The reform contemplates service concessions as well as profit-sharing and production-sharing contracts – which allows companies to book reserves. Additionally, Pemex, the national oil giant, would remove representatives of its workers union from the board of directors, the electric power sector would be open to private investment, and a sovereign wealth fund run by the central bank would be established to manage energy revenues. This reform looks to have all the ingredients needed to unleash the country's energy potential.
(Read more: Politics press as Pemex eyes deep-water partnership)
The U.S. shale revolution has drastically increased gas production, reduced the cost of energy and therefore improved the economic competitiveness of its businesses, added hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and strengthened its current-account balance.
Mexico is well-positioned to rapidly adopt the knowledge and technology needed to exploit shale formations. Given its close trading ties with the U.S. and expected competitive gains, Mexico would be also be well-placed to extract a further share of the U.S. manufacturing market from competitors like China, a country which also just recently announced ambitious reform plans.
(Read more: Fed taper could be good for Mexico: Carstens)
After the U.S. Federal Reserve first hinted in May that it might taper its quantitative easing program, the sell-off in emerging market assets should have represented a wake-up call to all developing countries. In a world where monetary conditions may tighten andthe placement of international capital is becoming more discerning, investors will pay great attention to structural reforms.
Mexico still has to implement some of its other recent policy moves effectively, and challenges remain in areas like security and the rule of law. But withtheir new energy framework, Mexican politicians and policymakers have shown they understand that in the competition for scarcer capital, only the fittest will outperform.
Jorge Mariscal is Emerging Markets Chief Investment Officer at UBS Wealth Management.