By Fernando Rodriguez
Once Mexico announced selecting Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur as host for the G20 Summit on June 20 of this year, plans immediately called for the building of a convention center to host this semi annual gathering, bringing together the leaders and finance ministers of 20 of the world’s most powerful countries. Respected intellectual and financial representatives from allover the globe meeting at one time and one place, which collectively represent more than 90 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP), around 80 percent of world trade volume and more than two-thirds of the world’s population.
16,000 visitors, including United States of America President Barrack Obama, are expected to attend the G20 Summit from the list of current member countries of South Africa, Canada, Mexico, United States, Argentina, Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, the EU, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
To accommodate this vital and grandiose meeting of the world’s finacial powers , Mexican president Felipe Calderon allocated more than $180 million to build a new convention center in San Lucas, as well as the construction of a four-lane highway stretching from the airport at San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas.
“Hosting the G20 Summit in Los Cabos is a tremendous opportunity for our destination as well as for the country of Mexico,” said Gonzalo Franyutti President of the Los Cabos Hotel Association and Convention and Visitors Bureau after recieving news of being awarded this prestiguous event. “Los Cabos has the exclusive appeal, a contemporary tourism infrastructure and the safety record required to host an event of this global caliber.” stated Mr Franyutti, prior to learning of a glitch regarding the land upon where the convention center is to be built. Property contested as to having two owners not willing to relent nor allow for the intended convention center construction site.
Meeting extensively with Patricia Espinoza, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Relations, as well as with Gloria Guevara Manzo, the country’s Secretary of Tourism, to remedy the situation, Gonzalo Franyutti stated at press time, ”The situation involving the two parties was referred to the Gobierno Municipal where disagreements found solutions and current architectual aspects of the project are being revised over last minute details by the Mexican Federation before finalizing, in a short time, the necessary construction plans of what will be a wonderful convention center greatly benefitting our city of Cabo San Lucas.”
Mr Franyutti assures us nothing will hinder nor delay the construction of this all-important G-20 meeting place, stating, ”The Convention Center will be ready in accordance with all approved plans submitted to the Federal Government where they informed us weeks ago that there was great interest in having Los Cabos host the meeting since it has many advantages as a Mexican destination, such as security, climate and highway infrastructure. Los Cabos badly needed a convention center in order to host an event of this magnitude and everything is on schedule to meet that demand.”
The G-20 Summit has been holding these semi-annual meetings since 2008, the most recent Summit held in Seoul, South Korea in Novenber, 2010. More specifically, the G-20 grew after the Washington Summit of 2009 from what began as the G-8, which formed the main economic council of the wealthiest nations at that time. Their initial formation being to collectively address, review, study and promote discussion of policy issues towards the promotion of international financial stability.
The group also seeks to address critical finacial and economic issues that go beyond the responsibilites of any one organization or country.
The G20 was originally established in 1999, in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, bringing together advanced and emerging economies to stabilize the global financial market. The economic crisis that spread throughout the world in 2008, called for the G20 members to further strengthen international cooperation. Since then, G20 Summits have been held in Washington (2008), London and Pittsburgh (2009), in Toronto and Seoul (2010) and this year, the G20 will take place in Cannes, France in the fall of November 3-4, before landing here in Cabo San Lucas. May 2012.
And while the group continues to grow in stature, they hardly are meeting to find new ways to screw the world over, as some have jokingly remarked.
In London the G20 announced the end of bank secrecy; since then there has been unprecedented action to implement things initiated and now globally endorsed standards of transparency and exchange of information in tax matters. Since April over 90 tax information exchange agreements have been signed and over 60 tax treaties negotiated or renegotiated to incorporate the standards. All major on and offshore centres have endorsed those standards set by the G-20 and those which had impediments to implementing them are in the process of removing them and falling in accordance with the G-20 changes.
Awarding Los Cabos the G-20 Summit has also called for the expansion of the tiny, federal, military-guarded and manned airport in San Lucas. Wherefore, the highest security will undoubtedly be accorded many of the forgeign dignitaries choosing to arrive in San Lucas under more private auspisces than would be afforded them at the Los Cabos International Airport in San Jos del Cabo, more than 40 minutes away.
Excavation has alreday started towards updating and inproving the small airstrip, with civil engineers busy surveying the land in preparation for the 2-4 day event transforming and pushing Cabo San Lucas into another echelon of the world’s elite.