Mexican business group opposes Dragon Mart in Cancun

MEXICO CHINA

A scale model of the Dragon Mart project in the Mexican resort city of Cancun. EFE/File
A scale model of the Dragon Mart project in the Mexican resort city of Cancun. EFE/File

— The Dragon Mart project in the Caribbean resort city of Cancun will promote the importation of "underpriced Chinese products" and lead to unfair trade, posing a threat to domestic industry, the Concamin business association said.

"As representatives of the industrial sector, we protect our members and energetically reject a project that will not promote manufacturing, production and Mexican labor," Concamin president Francisco Funtanet said in a statement.

The Quintana Roo state supreme court ordered officials in the city of Benito Juarez, where Cancun is located, to issue building permits to Dragon Mart's developers.

The state's high court ruled last week ruled in favor of Real Estate Dragon Mart, stating that the developers should get the permits because city officials failed to respond to their request for the documents within the 45 working days required by law.

The huge project "represents serious unfair trade for Mexican producers, harming investment, employment, the environment and consumers," Funtanet said.

Dragon Mart does not comply with the "environmental impact regulations or with the local urban planning program established by law," Funtanet said.

"China is not considered by the WTO to be a market economy, posing a danger from unfair trade for countries like ours," Funtanet said.

The Dragon Mart project, which is designed to promote Chinese trade with Mexico and Central America, was launched in 2011.

Dragon Mart, whose initial phase is expected to cost $180 million, is designed to be an exhibition center for merchandise from China, providing an opportunity for companies from the Asian nation to make contacts in Mexico and Central America.

Real Estate Dragon Mart is 45 percent owned by Carlos Castillo, with Monterrey Cancun Mart holding a 45 percent interest and Chinamex Middle Investment & Trade Promotion Center owning a 10 percent stake.