The Mexican economy is characterized by widespread poverty, a burgeoning manufacturing sector, a large informal economy and the presence of myriad microbusinesses. Mexico is a large exporter that has free trade agreements with more than 50 countries..
World Bank notes the extensive informal sector in Mexico. It is the result of both complex business regulations that are difficult for most small-businesspeople to navigate and a general lack of substantial start-up capital. Many Mexicans make money with small operations that make do with the few resources at their disposal. Examples include food stands, trash collectors, handymen, independent cleaning personnel, taxi drivers and musicians. The persistence of informal microenterprise leads to a reduction in national tax revenue which in turn affects the level of public investment in infrastructure and public goods.
The CIA World Factbook observes Mexico's increasing tendency toward manufacture. Mexico is a new center of production for automobiles, textiles and consumer durables. American and Asian companies are establishing factories to take advantage of the country's cheap labor, resulting in the creation of much employment. However, most factory jobs are extremely low paying.
Agriculture remains an important economic activity, although the World Factbook reports that it employs a very small percentage of the total workforce. Farmers are mostly engaged in the cultivation of corn, wheat, fruits, coffee and rice.