June 12, 2012 -
Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, will proudly host this year’s annual G20 Summit that will take place from the 18th to the 20th of June, 2012 at the new $180 million convention center in José del Cabo, this is definitely a big deal!. The G20 is arguably the most important financial and economic international summit held each year in the world. It is comprised of 20 members that represent world’s major and emerging economies.
This international event is expecting world leaders that include US President Obama, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón and those from the most economically powerful countries in the world. These include; Germany, Canada, The United States, France, Italy, Japan, The United Kingdom, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Brazil, China, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Australia and The European Union. In addition, the 2012 G20 Economic Conference of developed and emerging nations will take place in Cabo San Lucas on June 20-22, 2012.
Supplementary meetings of foreign leaders will continue through the 24th of June. According to the IMF, the G20 countries represent 90% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product, 80% of world trade volume and over two/thirds of the population. In theory, the G20 Cabo forum comes together each year to study and promote discussions about issues related to industrialized countries to maintain a stable international financial system.
The Canadian Connection
Originally established in 1999, following the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis,the G-20 was proposed by former Canadian Finance Minister and later Prime Minister Paul Martin, for cooperation and consultation on all matters pertaining to the international financial system. The G20 brought together advanced and emerging economies in an attempt 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. That year members agreed not to implement trade tariffs and other protectionist taxing, which would further slow international trace and open the economic situation. In 2009 it became the main group to deal with world-wide economic issues replacing both the G8 and G8+5. I am confident we all have an opinion on how successful the G20 has been achieving their objectives depending how well our long term investments and pension plans are holding up. Despite lacking any formal ability to enforce rules, in reality the G-20′s prominent membership gives it a strong input on global economic policy. However, there remain disputes over the legitimacy of the G-20 and many critics of the organization and the value of any declarations.
Los Cabos Benefits
In addition to the capital funds allocated to the new Convention Center, additional improvements are being made to the old Cabo San Lucas Airport to accommodate the more than 16,000 anticipated guests to the city for the event. The old airport will provide additional tarmac space for aircraft parking but will prove too small for the arrival of President Obama aboard Airforce 1, which will most likely land at the Los Cabos Airport which has also undergone significant improvements over the last year in anticipation of the event. It is likely everyone can also thank the G20 Summit for expediting the construction of the new four lane Highway 19 to Todos Santos, we will be thankful to drive on this after last season’s in-construction faze.
With 13,000 total rooms in the destination, Los Cabos will dedicate 11,000 rooms to the G20 Summit to accommodate the more than 7,000 attendees, while the Mexican government will invest more than $47,000,000 into the development and promotion of the Summit. The new 653,400 square foot Convention Center that is designed to house the G20 meetings and events can accommodate over 6,000 people. The municipality of Los Cabos endowed a 15-acre tract of land, which is located alongside a private golf community and boasts magnificent views for the building of the Convention Center. The Convention Center will be designated a “green” facility, and will be designed with energy efficiency in mind and will be equipped with solar panels. Construction of the center is set to begin during the first week of November. Los Cabos has long been in need of a significant convention center and the enduring legacy of the G20 conference will be a building capable of housing larger trade shows and business meetings which in turn will increase the tourist traffic to the city which has been suffering slow years since the economic slowdown and the rise of Mexiphobia. I just hope the new Convention Center is more esthetically appealing then the Cabo San Lucas harbour front “stealth like” facility.
Locals Delayed & Protesters Beware
Not surprisingly, high security and traffic delays are expected for the week surrounding the event, we actually experienced some of this when we were there last March. This means security will be tight in Cabo in advance of the event, lots of road blocks, a larger than normal military presence and Federal Police at every corner. Previous G20 conferences have drawn a great deal of protest over the economic policies of the wealthier nations attending the conference, most recently in Toronto Canada. Without question, Cabo San Lucas was selected for the remoteness of the location and the difficulty that protesters will encounter in travel to the location. I am all in favour of peaceful protest; however my experience tells me the Mexicans in charge of security are not likely going to allow the shenanigans, aka anarchistsRus, to run amok during the Summit. As I understand it, although there are areas established for peaceful protest, event organizers have already stated that civil disobedience will be handled swiftly. The Americans who are always prepared will have a United States Aircraft Carrier stationed off the coast to provide additional security for the event if required.
Foreign nationals in Mexico under tourist visas, FM3 or FM2; that activity participate in political protests in Mexico can result in detention, revocation of your travel documents, deportation and expulsion for a period of 5 years. Believe me the last place you want to end up in is the “Hotel Crowbaro” in Los Cabos as a “Gringo Turista“.
For more about the G20 in Los Cabos watch this YouTube Video