No doubt Mexico's reputation has been tarnished by reportsabout drug-related violence, and increasing economic risks mayprompt multinationals to think twice about moving in, but thecountry retains a relatively business-friendly environment comparedto other emerging markets.

In December 2008, Coface dropped its country-risk assessment onMexico by one notch, to A4 from A3. The assessment, which evaluatesthe macroeconomic and political outlook for a country, is stillabove average for emerging market countries.

“Mexico is one of the few emerging-market countries which was abit overrated before the financial crisis,” says Yves Zlotowski,chief economist at Coface, a credit-insurance subsidiary of Natixisthat provides a variety of services enabling companies to managetheir global business risks.

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