Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mark Nieman of Windermere Los Cabos welcomes guests to our Windermere Cabo San Lucas Grand Opening Celebration on December 8, 2012.  Guests pictured (L to R): Sergio Sanchez, Gaby Camus, Jim  and Maya Anderson; Jay West, Windermere Los Cabos; Geoff Wood, Windermere CEO; Jill Wood, Windermere President; Lee Farthing; John Vering; Martin Posch, Windermere Los Cabos.
"CLICK" on the VIDEO above to see how the evening went for all of us including remarks by Windermere CEO Geoff Wood, about Windermere's first office opening in Mexico!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Windermere Los Cabos - now open for business in Cabo San Lucas - Offering Premier Properties like this elegant All-Custom Beach-Front Villa La Estancia luxury villa and so much more!

This is the first time a major U.S. real estate brand has made a commitment to the Los Cabos market since the financial crisis hit in 2008. The Pacific Northwest is the second most important market after California for Los Cabos. We are excited to be part of the Windermere family.  With over 300 offices and more than 6,000 Brokers and specialized Agents throughout 10 Western States, we know that Windermere Clients are currently buying and selling real estate in the Baja.  Many of the clients that are doing business with Windermere have been coming to Los Cabos as owners or vacationers for many years.  And many plan to retire here on a full or part time basis.  People will also want to do business with Windermere in Los Cabos because we are the largest regional real estate company in the western U.S. and our brand is known for serving a very upscale client base.

Our office is open for business now and we have become quite familiar with the professional way Windermere does business.  We encourage conversations with seasoned real estate brokers and agents and can offer them an opportunity unlike any other in the market.  For example, one of our partners, Jay West, is currently marketing our Los Cabos Real Estate in the US among our 300 Windermere offices as well as large networks of international, resort, retirement and second-home professionals.  Windermere will grow in Baja and other parts of Mexico in an organic and successful manner.

As we mentioned, Windermere Real Estate is a very familiar and respected name for people in the US and beyond.  Our Company is known for Integrity, our commitment to local communities through the Windermere Foundation, and our cutting edge state-of-art technology.  We believe we will be able to offer the most effective options for Sellers to promote their properties throughout the Windermere network and elsewhere.  The Windermere website ( has more than one million visitors each month.  This is huge, and Buyers that are already doing business with Windermere back home can now be assured to receive the best service possible from our trained Windermere professionals in Los Cabos.

Posted by Jay West & Martin Posch

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sir Richard Branson on Why Volunteer Work Is Important for Business Leaders
(Photos from Public Domain (Virgin) and by TIME Magazine ... from an article series published in ENTREPRENEUR sponsored by Hewlett-Packard - )

Note:  Special thanks to Mark Nieman who sent me this article.  Mark has established his own foundation in Los Cabos and will also manage the Windermere Foundation here in Los Cabos. Since its formation, The Windermere Foundation has donated more than $22million to communities served by local Windermere offices throughout nine western States in the U.S.A.    Please see:  (

BY RICHARD BRANSON | October 8, 2012

Q: You are spending a lot of time on your philanthropic ventures and volunteer work. Does this take time away from your job of steering the Virgin Group? Or does it help you to come up with new approaches to business problems?

A: When people ask me if a business can balance making a difference in people's lives with making a profit for the company, the point that I always try to make is that the two are not exclusive.

Business leaders should not focus solely on earning money. They must remember that a healthy profit means that a community supports and appreciates the products and services a business offers, and also how that business is managed.

My work on initiatives fostered by our nonprofit foundation, Virgin Unite, such as The Elders and The Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship, have given me a different outlook. I have a broader perspective than I did in the 1970s, when my focus was mostly on our local community and our customers, but as Virgin grew and our efforts expanded, I began working on philanthropy projects alongside inspirational figures such as Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. And then the types of projects expanded, taking on everything from urging world leaders to end the drug wars, to providing mentoring opportunities to young entrepreneurs, so that now I also tend to think in terms of the global community.

Our work with Virgin Unite has given our companies a fantastic boost. Customers want to know that the company they're dealing with has a moral compass and takes a socially responsible approach to doing business. An example of one of our initiatives that has gained people's attention is our decision to invest profits from the Virgin transport businesses in researching clean fuels. Using fuel derived from a renewable energy source to fly our planes would benefit everyone, and we can be sure that the technological breakthrough needed to make this happen will take place eventually, so we are striving to be the first to reach that goal.

My philanthropic ventures have also been good for our team: People want to work for a company they are proud of, one whose values they believe in. I like to think that our staff is as proud as I am about the good that our companies do. And a happy and motivated workforce is a productive one.

Many people assume that the only way a business can contribute to its local community is by donating to charity, but they're mistaken.

A company that has a strong set of principles woven into its DNA will find many opportunities for making a difference. In South Africa, where unemployment and poverty are pressing issues, Virgin Active, our health-club business, saw that there was a need to support other local businesses. So our branch in Soweto brought in partners: a hairdresser, DJs for the exercise classes, a car-washing business for the car park. Our successful venture thus provided the support and spark to help other businesses ramp up their operations.

If you are looking to change how you do business, the first step is to integrate great values into your business plan. Any company can do this, no matter what its size, location, or how long it has been in business. Small businesses can make a difference locally, bigger companies can make a difference nationally, and even bigger companies can make a difference internationally. And look at every stage of your business, from manufacturing to disposal, and consider the impact on your community. Are you really making people's lives better?

If you're thinking about launching a business, consider the new opportunities offered by some of the environmental challenges that your community faces -- what would happen if you were to find a solution? If your company offered a scalable solution to a problem like a local water shortage or waste disposal issues, you might help your community and others.

If you lead an established and successful company, why not address the bigger picture? One of the projects that Virgin Unite supports, The Carbon War Room, works with companies and industry organizations in many different sectors to decrease that sector's carbon footprint. We don't condemn or single out businesses for their carbon outputs; our focus is on finding ways to eliminate market barriers to large-scale adoption of low-carbon solutions, like renewable fuels, so that sectors such as shipping and aviation can make more money while producing less pollution.

Philanthropic work undertaken not just by the CEO, but by any employee, is an asset to the group as a whole, bringing in new perspectives and relationships that the group wouldn't otherwise have. So encourage your employees to contribute, off the job and on, and in time people in your community will learn that business can bring positive change.In the meantime I will also be urging my team at Virgin to "Screw business as usual." It's what we do best.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

CABO!  A $$$ Million Dollar World Record?  

Angler Guy Yokom and his crew from El Suertudo show off their prized catch, a 427-pound yellowfin tuna that could be the all-tackle, world record for the species. 
Pisces Sportfishing Photo - Article from San Diego Union Tribune
Click Here for San Diego Union Tribune Article.

Steve Tagami didn’t sound like a guy whose company was about to lose $1 million to an angler who caught a potential world-record fish.

Tagami, head of sales for Mustad, the world’s oldest hook company, actually sounded downright giddy about the prospect of his company giving away the big loot for the big fish. Guy Yokom of Dana Point used a Mustad hook to land a 427.5- or 421-pound yellowfin, depending on which scale is verified, Tuesday morning 180 miles south of Cabo San Lucas. If the catch is approved by the International Game Fish Association as an all-tackle, world-record yellowfin tuna, Yokom gets $1 million because he beat the Sept. 30 catch deadline of Mustad’s “Hook A Million” contest.

“I’m telling you, everyone at Mustad is excited about this,” Tagami said. “This is good for Mustad, good for the angler and good for the sport. For him to do this at the 11th hour is just amazing. It’s all good stuff.”

Yokom and his crew of seven, which included captain Greg DiStefano of San Clemente, on the aptly named El Suertudo, which means “the lucky one,” have been working for Mustad’s $1 million prize.

But they’re not the only ones who will benefit from catching this magnificent fish. Many will benefit, not the least of which will be the economically depressed Cabo San Lucas area.

The world’s economic crisis has taken a deep toll on fishing and hunting destinations. Sportsmen and women have been worried more about keeping their homes and jobs than taking fishing trips to resorts towns like Cabo San Lucas or East Cape.

A world-record catch like this has tremendous value. Just ask captain Mike Lackey of the Vagabond. His angler, Mike Livingston, landed the current yellowfin standard, that 405.2-pounder, in December of 2010. The Vagabond isn’t the biggest long-range boat in the fleet, but it received big-boat publicity for that catch.

And now it’s Cabo San Lucas’ turn. I asked Tracy Ehrenberg of the Pisces Group Cabo, a sportfishing fleet based at the tip of Baja, what the catch means to the once sleepy fishing village that grew up to be big-game fishing and big-time partying central. Ehrenberg responded in an email.

“To have a fish like this weighed in Cabo is worth a fortune in marketing as it focuses attention on our city from a worldwide audience,” Ehrenberg wrote. “It proves that once again Cabo is one of, if not the best fishing spot on the planet and that marlin is not the only thing we do. Cabo and Baja California Sur produce record tuna, dorado, wahoo and roosterfish as well as marlin and compared side by side with other fishing destinations it is still the best value out there.

“This also shows the importance of keeping our oceans well managed, that with healthy seas we can attract revenue from sports fishermen who use the resource carefully and do not have the impact of commercial fishing that often uses destructive techniques.

“With the economy the way it is, a lot of anglers are no longer making their yearly trip to Cabo, but with great fishing news, it will get their attention focused on our town and its incredible fishing again and encourage them to come back.”

Friday, August 31, 2012

(Photo L-R, Windermere Gen. Counsel, Paul Drayna; S.V.P. Michael Fanning; CEO Geoff Wood; & the guy from Mexico)

For Immediate Release

Windermere Real Estate Expands To 
Los Cabos, Mexico

August 28, 2012 – Seattle – Geoff Wood, CEO of Windermere Real Estate, announced today that the company is expanding internationally with the opening of its first franchise office in Mexico. Located in Cabo San Lucas, the Windermere Los Cabos office represents the merger of CaboRealty Partners and Nieman + Posch Boutique Realtors, two well-respected real estate brands that have operated independently in the Cabo area.

Martin Posch and Jay West, the principal owners of Windermere Los Cabos, have a broad range of international experience in the sale and marketing of all types of vacation resorts, second-home residential properties, and new developments. They also consult with investors in the sourcing, acquisition, and marketing of development properties.

Originally from Switzerland, Posch moved to Mexico in 1998 and was a top-producer and sales manager with Prudential California Realty in Cabo San Lucas. In 2011, he opened his own real estate company and earlier this year, formed a partnership with West in order to open the Windermere Los Cabos office. West has lived in Mexico since 1994 and is a Bi-National REALTOR® in the U.S. and Mexico. After more than 40 years in business, West has extensive experience serving international clientele seeking residential and resort real estate opportunities in both countries.

According to Wood, more than 79 million Baby Boomers will reach retirement age over the next 18 years, and studies show that many of them will purchase a second home in resort areas, such as Mexico. “Given that Windermere operates in nine Western U.S. states, we have a steady stream of clients interested in buying homes in Mexico, so we think this is a great time to tap into that market,” said Wood, adding “Los Cabos is the safest and most desirable resort area in Western Mexico making it an ideal location for a Windermere office.”

West says that he and Posch have been in discussions with Windermere for several years about opening a franchise in Los Cabos, but that the right opportunity only recently presented itself, “Windermere has offices in all of the key markets in the Western U.S. where many of our buyers come from,” said West. Also an important part of West and Posch’s decision was “Windermere’s reputation for integrity, leading-edge technology, and their strong commitment to the community,” West added.

Posch emphasized that “Jay and I are excited to have merged our brokerage firms to create a dynamic three way synergy with Windermere as its first international office south of the border.   Los Cabos is the perfect location and our goal is to create a springboard for future expansion into mainland Mexico.”

Windermere’s Los Cabos office is located in Plaza Paseo Los Arcos, Suite B-6, in front of Home Depot on the corridor highway entering Cabo San Lucas.  It will open its doors in September followed by a grand opening celebration in early December.

To speak to Geoff Wood, please email Shelley Rossi: or call 425-269-7132. To speak to Jay West, please email or call 503-887-8769.

About Windermere Real Estate
Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 23 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Washington is a big state with 7 Million people!

So, I thought it would be a great idea to open a real estate office in Southwest Washington near Portland along the Columbia River and sell people on the idea of buying real estate in Mexico!
After all, I have lived in Los Cabos for most of the past 18 years and I know the country and the market.
OK, so then I get this information on my computer about the competition up here..... and again I say, WOW!  DOUBLE WOW!!  Seriously, check this out......

As part of the Puget Sound Business Journal's Book of Lists, this highly-respected business publication has periodically published a Residential Real Estate Firms' list that ranks the region's top real estate firms. The Residential Real Estate Firms' rankings are based on residential sales volume in the Puget Sound area, with Windermere reporting more than double the sales volume of its closest competitor.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the April 20.26, 2012 issue of The Puget Sound Business Journal.

Puget Sound Real Estate Rankings of Residential Real Estate Firms:

The largest in the Puget Sound area.  Ranked by residential sales volume for 2011:

1.  Windermere Real Estate | Seattle, WA | 
      -  2011 Residential Sales Volume  =  $9,652,900,000
      -  Licensed Agents  =  2,886
      -  Offices in Washington 142
2   John L. Scott Real Estate | Issaquah, WA |
       -  2011 Residential Sales Volume  = $4,091,400,000
       -  Licensed Agents  = 1,598
       -  Offices in Washington  = 74
3   Coldwell Banker Bain | Parsippany, NJ |
       -  2011 Residential Sales Volume  = (Would not disclose)
       -  Licensed Agents  = (Would not disclose)
       -  Offices in Washington  = 37
4   RE/MAX LLC | Denver, CO |
       -  2011 Residential Sales Volume  = $2,395,000,000
       -   Licensed Agents  = 893
       -   Offices in Washington  = 47
5   Keller Williams | Seattle, WA |
       -   2011 Residential Sales Volume  = $1,646,600,000
       -   Licensed Agents  = 799
       -   Offices in Washington  = 17

Those of us who have lived in Los Cabos know how many people own real estate from the West Coast of the U.S.A.  We are so accessible and it is so safe here that the sunshine makes it the perfect place to be on vacation, or for owning a second or retirement home.  By the way, those numbers are in US DOLLARS and in BILLIONS with a "B".  Viva!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Enjoy a vacation in Cabo when you see my Dentist..... Dra. Marta Cruz is wonderful!

My wife Teena introduced me to Marta more than 10 years ago and we consider her to be a friend.  She is warm, understanding and kind.  She is also very good at what she does and we both trust her.

Dr. Marta Cruz is my dentist, and her office is in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
On July 9th I had a last minute appointment to get my normal check-up and cleaning less than 48 hours before my return flight to Washington.  The timing never occurred to me as potentially problematic.  You see, I have been blessed with strong teeth and disease free gums throughout my life, so “normal” for me is a simple, painless cleaning and the usual compliment of how great my mouth looks and “still only two cavities” after 70 years.  And, despite strong recommendations to the contrary, I still do not floss.   Just a quick regular check-up and cleaning, no worries in the dental department…. Or so I thought.  Great teeth, lovely 25 year old veneers, no problem…. Or so I thought.
During her preliminary inspection with a grotesque pointed tool, Marta literally hit a nerve…. And I knew there was trouble.  The electric jolt of pain erased any doubt…. Big trouble.
Marta did all the talking.  She apologized that she could not move ahead with the cleaning.  She apologized that she could not repair the cavity which had secretly been destroying the enamel hidden beneath one of my cosmetically lovely upper veneer applications.  I was toast.  I had to have a root canal and fast, if I did not want to deal with it in the States or return within a couple of weeks to do the repairs in Cabo.  Marta told me she always referred this type of surgery to one of only a couple of specialists who are the best of the best, but she did not know if an appointment could be made to accommodate my time sensitive emergency. She personally made the call at 4:50pm on Monday afternoon to Doctor Rosalba Yanez Elias, Endodontist.
Prior to that moment, I had no reason to know that an endodontist is a dental specialist that has completed 4 years of dental school along with an additional 2 or more years of specialty training in endodontics (root canals).   The doctor was alone in her office but would accommodate my request for the surgery.  And, I am thinking big bucks for this emergency!
Driving my own car, I followed Marta’s receptionist to the office of Doctor Yanaz (how many medical professionals in the U.S. would even consider that service?) located about one kilometer away on Calle Leona Vicario.  The Doctor was just finishing a procedure performed on the wife of a DENTIST  from the U.S.!  While waiting, I noticed two Academic Certificates from the finest Medical University in Mexico City consisting of her medical degree in Dentistry and her Master’s Degree in the Specialty of Endodontics (in 1987).  Clearly she has done a lot of root canals!
The cost of my root canal was 3,500 Mexican Pesos (about $270 U.S. Dollars).  The office was modern, spotless and well equipped.  Dra. Yanez spoke clear and fluent English and made a point of explaining the procedure as well as re-assuring me that there would be no problems.  The most painful part from that moment until today was the needle prick I felt when she introduced the first local anesthesia into my upper gums.  She completed all of the surgery by herself with a competence that was above question.  She explained every step and took 8 X-rays to reference each step in the procedure and which appeared instantly on a large flat screen for her inspection.  2 hours later after removing the nerve, creating space for the “post” which was to hold the new reconstructed tooth in place, and temporarily filling the remaining hollow space, I got in my car and safely drove home, fully alert and pain free except a bit of tenderness and the sensation of numbness in my jaw and face.
Marta had already scheduled me for a second appointment on the following day at 3:30pm, during which she installed the new “post” and reconstructed a lovely new tooth complete, fully functioning, and polished.  Her total charges were 2,000 pesos ($155 USD).  I caught my flight the next afternoon as planned, ate an Alaska Airlines cheeseburger with potato chips in-flight, and have experienced no pain or problems since.
Doctora Marta Cruz is wonderful, and I will not be changing dentists any time soon.

Friday, July 13, 2012

(This is a re-post is from my friend William Obando Maaser, Los Cabos Manager of Actinver Casa de Bolsa)

Bill Gross is Betting on Mexico. 
Here’s Why.

Bill Gross has taken a sizable position in Mexican government bonds. 
The ETF version of the PIMCO Total Return Fund (BOND) has an incredible 10.34% of its market value in Mexican Bonds. That is second only to US Bonds in terms of position sizing. Even more interesting, the average duration of his Mexican Bond holdings is similar to the fund’s holdings in US Bonds, around 5 years.
The investment in Mexican Bonds has the potential to affect the fund’s performance much more dramatically than its other foreign holdings, because of its size and longer duration. The fund has 5.13% of its assets (about half the size of its Mexico Position) invested in Japanese Debt, and its Japanese holdings are all very very short term. As a result, the investment in Japan represents more of a currency diversification play, rather than a bond investment. After Japan, Brazil is the fund’s next largest holding with 2.10% of assets invested in Brazilian bonds.

Why would Bill Gross be interested in Mexico?

-  Mexico has a debt to GDP ratio of 45% which is quite low when looked at in comparison to countries like the US (at 100% debt to GDP) and Japan (at 200% debt to GDP).

-  Mexico’s Central Bank is very focused on fighting inflation which is a long-term positive for the currency and its debt. The central bank lending rate has stood at 4.5% for several years.
-  Mexico’s economy continues to show good growth, in the 4 to 5% range.

This is a very different picture of Mexico than one would get from the nightly news, where they portray the country as a war between the government and drug cartels. After doing this initial piece of research I was curious about how to go about investing in Mexican debt. According to Bloomberg, peso denominated date with a maturity of 2024 was paying a yield of 5.30%. A nice juicy yield compared to treasuries.

Then came the disappointing part of the process, I could not find an easy want to invest in Mexican debt. There are some funds that invest in Latin America, but I could not find a single one that was country specific to Mexico.

If you have any ideas on how to execute this trade please let us know in the comments. For more information on Bond Funds visit the Bond ETF and Bond Mutual Fund pages here at Learn Bonds.

(You may contact William Obando Maaser at his San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos office:  Actinver Casa de Bolsa Asesoría |  B.C.S. Los Cabos P. Península | 
Tel. (624) 172-6377 Ext. 61200  |  Fax (624) 172-6380  - from the U.S. 800 705-5555

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Where "SIZE" Matters........

13th Annual East Cape Bisbee Tournment
Date: From 07/24/2012 to 07/28/2012
Location: Los Barriles & Buena Vista, Los Cabos, B.C.S.
Event Type: Local Events
The first of three Bisbee tournaments in Mexico, anglers from all over the world come to the East Cape and compete for large cash prizes. In 2011 over $330,000 was awarded in prizes among the 61-boat field. The Sea of Cortez is home to some of the biggest billfish in the world. For more information visit
(Photo: Courtesy of  2011 East Cape Bisbee winner, Chucky Van Wormer of the landmark Palmas de Cortez Resort in Los Barriles)

"More varieties of big game fish than days in the year."

In Los Cabos, sport fishing is an activity that attracts tourists from all over the world. There are over 500 fishing vessels waiting to take you where the Sea of Cortés meets the Pacific, where these two bodies of water join in a tumult of marlin and swordfish, wahoo, dorado and yellowtail, snapper, cabrilla, corvina and roosterfish, and where 12,000 of these creatures of the deep are caught every year, with most released to fight another day.   
(Los Cabos Convention & Visitors Bureau| Asociación de Hoteles de Los Cabos, A.C.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The PRI will return to the Presidency of Mexico.

Mica Rosenberg and Ioan Grillo
10:12 p.m. CDT, July 1, 2012

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's old rulers claimed victory in a presidential election on Sunday after exit polls showed their candidate Enrique Pena Nieto primed to restore to power the party that dominated the country most of the 20th century.

Pena Nieto, 45, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), led by between 5 and 11 percentage points in exit polls published by three of Mexico's main television networks.

Shortly afterward his campaign manager, Luis Videgaray, declared victory.

"It is a resounding triumph," Videgaray told Milenio television, adding that he was hopeful the PRI would have a majority in the Senate and possibly in the lower house of Congress, too.

The PRI, which governed Mexico for 71 years until losing power in 2000, has staged a comeback behind the telegenic Pena Nieto, who is promising to open state-owned oil monopoly Pemex to foreign investors, raise tax revenue and liberalize the labor market.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

PRESS RELEASE - "Mexico joining global elite of world economic powers"
June 28, 2012, 2:29 p.m. EDT
Travel and Tourism Play Key Role as Vehicle for Job Creation, Economic Growth and Development, According to Leaders Declaration at G20 Summit 2012

MEXICO CITY, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- UK's Prime Minister David Cameron states, "Mexico joining global elite of world economic powers"

The following is being released today by Marca Pais - Imagen de Mexico:

One of the main themes of the recent G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico was the importance of tourism and international travel to the job market. In the Leaders Declaration at the G20 Summit, the significance of tourism on the vital recovery of the world's economy was highlighted, "we recognize the role of travel and tourism as a vehicle for job creation, economic growth and development, and, while recognizing the sovereign right of States to control the entry of foreign nationals, we will work towards developing travel facilitation initiatives in support of job creation, quality work, poverty reduction and global growth."

At the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) advocated this link between economic recovery and tourism. The tourism sector of the economy can create countless employment prospects for individuals and can spur a significant amount of growth in the GDP of the G20 countries in question.

Furthermore, the tourism market is anticipated to make up $2 trillion of the world's GDP and create as many as 100 million new jobs on a global scale this year. Cultural tourism and ecotourism can tackle the problem of unemployment in an imperative fashion, creating jobs and securing opportunities for individuals containing a variety of different skill sets. This in turn will reduce some of the damaging effects attributed to unemployment, including poverty.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron Praises Mexico in Joining Global Elite of World Economic Powers

During an official lunch with the United Kingdom's Prime Minister David Cameron, the European official praised Mexico as a global leader in Latin America and in the world. In a video, Cameron spoke about his visit to Mexico by saying, "This is my first visit to Latin America as Prime Minister, and it is no coincidence that Mexico should be my first destination. Mexico is joining the global elite of world economic powers, not just as a brilliant host of the G20, but as a major force in its own right."

And when giving some key facts he knew about Mexico, the UK Prime Minister stated, "Which country is the largest trading nation in Latin America and set to become one of the world's top five economic powers by 2050? Brazil? Argentina? No, it is Mexico. Who was voted best central banker in the world in 2012? Was it Mervyn King at the Bank of England? Was it Ben Bernanke at the U.S. Fed[eral Reserve]? Was it Mario Draghi at the European Central Bank? No, it was Agustin Carstens, the Governor of the Bank of Mexico. Which country has the largest number of Facebook users in the world? America? Indonesia? You don't need the multiple choice options. It is of course, Mexico."

Speaking on the Mexican people, Cameron also said, "Its people are becoming ever more influential in every part of the global community."

SOURCE Marca Pais - Imagen de Mexico

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The G20 Leaders’ Summit, the most important multilateral event ever hosted by Mexico, has concluded, as a result of which President Calderón issued a press statement.
The president began by thanking the G20 members, guest countries and heads of international organizations that participated and made the Leaders’ Summit a success. He also highlighted the work of academics, businesspeople, trade unions and young people at several parallel forums such as the L20, Y20 and B20 who worked for months to submit recommendations and achieve commitments among the G20 participants. The President declared that the VII Leaders’ Summit was characterized by being open and inclusive and working closely with various social sectors and organizations whose opinions and recommendations were taken into account at the Los Cabos meeting.
President Calderón subsequently briefly described the most important agreements reached within the framework of the Summit in order to contribute to addressing several of today’s challenges:
• The Los Cabos Action Plan for Growth and Employment was signed. The plan established commitments to deal with the eurozone, strengthen demand, economic growth and financial systems, ensure the fiscal consolidation of advanced economies, reinforce solid, sustainable growth in emerging economies and maintain trade liberalization. To this end, an innovative Accountability Mechanism for G20 Objectives was implemented.

• The IMF’s financial resources were increased to over $450 billion USD. This constitutes the greatest capitalization in the history of the Fund, which will increase its capacity to provide support and loans for coping with economic crises.

• Trade facilitation measures were adopted in order to reject protectionism, since it is in the interest of all the Group members to prevent the escalation of protectionism measures from leading to further recession. The president declared that the main agreement established was to extend the Stand Still Clause to 2014, which involves abstaining from implementing protectionist measures, and will guarantee certainty for international markets.

• Advancements were achieved in improving the regulatory framework in order to strengthen financial systems. Progress was made in the creation of an institutional framework, as a result of which the Financial Stability Council will be created, with new statutes to enhance its operativeness and governance.

• In regard to financial inclusion, the president declared that agreements were reached for the Global Alliance for Financial Inclusion, which will measure the progress in the extension of financial services to the population with least resources. In addition, greater financial education will be promoted and protective measures increased for the users of financial services for savings, credits and insurance.

• In regard to food security, the G20 agreed to promote greater public and private investment in order to promote agriculture, develop technology and increase the productivity of the sector. The president announced that Mexico will host the G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists in September. An Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) will be created to prevent worldwide food price speculation.

• For the first time ever, the environmental issue has been established. In particular, Mexico promoted the discussion of topics such as green growth, the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and measures to increase fuel efficiency, among others. Foremost among these is the launching of the Dialogue Platform on Inclusive Green Investments, which brings together several sectors in order to identify private investment opportunities in green projects that will create growth and employment and at the same time, help preserve the environment. The president declared that this will be one of the legacies of the VII Leaders’ Summit.
President Calderón concluded his address by stating that the second half of the Mexican G20 presidency will be characterized by fulfilling the Summit’s commitments in order to deliver a solid agenda to Russia in December. Lastly, he fielded questions from the media.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mexico to Host G20 Leaders’ Summit in Los Cabos!

Mexico City, June 12, 2012

President Calderón issued a press statement on the G20 Summit to be held on 18 and 19 June 2012 in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur.
The president explained that the Summit is the most important leaders’ meeting to have been held in Mexico, which has maintained an ambitious international agenda. He then recapitulated the main fields in which Mexico has shown significant participation at the international level. He declared that, as host of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP-16, Mexico demonstrated environmental leadership. In the commercial sphere, it has promoted openness to new international markets, as exemplified by Mexico’s signing of the Pacific Alliance, which will facilitate the access of Mexican products to Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.
The president added that Mexico has also played a key role in international politics by promoting the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). In regard to security, international cooperation mechanisms have been strengthened to combat transnational organized crime and during the Summit of the Americas, the creation of a Hemispheric Scheme against Transnational Organized Crime was approved.
President Calderón added that through the G20 presidency, Mexico has confirmed its economic and political importance. Mexico will host the G20 Leaders’ Summit, the main forum of international economic coordination that brings together the world’s most important emerging and advanced economies. These economies account for over 80 per cent of the world GDP, 80 per cent of global trade and two thirds of the world population. The leaders of the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, Canada, India, Spain, Australia, Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Argentina, South Africa, Colombia, Chile, Ethiopia, Benin and Cambodia will attend the Summit, during which they will discuss the main challenges of the global economy and define actions to restore economic stability and growth.
The issues Mexico will seek to promote include strengthening the international financial architecture and regulation; public policy options to determine the causes and reduce food price volatility; policies to promote green growth and greater investment in scientific and agricultural technology and research. He added that the Mexican G20 Presidency will maintain an inclusive approach, which will deal with the concerns of non-member countries of the Group and various actors in the private sector and civil society.
The president reported that together with the G20, the Business 20 (B20) meeting will be held at which the leaders and decision-makers of the world’s most important firms will discuss and submit proposals within the framework of the G20 issues.
The president declared that Mexico not only seeks to promote specific measures for dealing with the global economic emergency but also to draw up a development agenda with a long-term vision and lastly he fielded questions from the media.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tom Kelly, the syndicated radio host and business reporter from Seattle has another great book about Mexico.  This one pulls no punches and takes aim at the foolishness of the U.S. media when it comes to factual reporting about traveling and living in Mexico.  I quote from his Introduction in "Bargains Beyond the Borders":

Introduction - The Majority of Mexico Remains Laid-Back, Welcoming and Safe
‘Not Every State Is Involved in the Drug Trade’

Jim Cramer, the bombastic, high-energy investment guru and host of the CNBC show Mad Money, told his audience in late July, 2010, that he recently purchased three properties in Mexico. Why

"Mexico is a big country and not every province, every state is involved in the drug trade,” Cramer said. “It has to be one of the nicest places I've ever been."* * *

When was the last time the beauty was showcased – instead of a border war or a drug-related incident?
From lush and tropic mountainous municipalities on brilliant bays to iridescent sparkling water with white sandy beaches to European style architecture in houses lining cobblestone streets in quaint picturesque settings, our Spanish speaking neighbor to the south is abundantly rich in geographic and natural diversification.

Mexico is a country that provides a panorama of stunningly beautiful landscapes and indigenous culture regionally seasoned by its history and native ancestry. Pyramids, volcanoes, caves, mountains, ancient ruins, waterfalls and underground springs provide a spectacular playground for those wishing to explore and experience its natural array of beauty. Species of birds and animals, plants and flowers help create the majestic contrasts that make Mexico so incredibly appealing. Dry and arid desert terrain transcend to the humid jungle environs at opposite ends of the country providing an appreciated appeal to certain types of inhabitants. These locales have also become the destinations for many a foreigner seeking a different clime and setting to reside or vacation. It is merely a question of what you like and where you want to be. Mexico is a country that offers something for everyone.

Forty-three percent of the land area of Mexico fronts on water. The coastlines vary in their topography and geographic presentation as a result of the terrain that lines the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Cortez, the Bay of Banderas, the Mexican Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Until the days of paved roads and aircraft, Mexico was not so much a united country as a loose federation of regions virtually isolated from one another by a rugged geography. In some areas, the mountain ranges were so impenetrable that neighboring towns were practically ignorant of each other’s existence.

Today modern communication systems leap mountains and find remote villages. Still, unifying characteristics in so large and varied a country will never be easy to find.

 ......“When someone gets killed in New York City, people in Europe don’t boycott the United States,” said Marino Tomacelli, a Mexican national living near San Diego. “There’s a general perception that only negative things are happening in Mexico.  That’s coupled with an American ignorance of the geography. If there is a mugging at night in Tijuana, they think there is going to be a problem in Cancun, Cabo and the Riviera Maya. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I continue to feel safer in Mexico than I do in the States. In fact, I think some people are promoting the violence in Mexico to keep tourist dollars in the States.”

..... Jeffrey Hill, a former Seattle resident, has four vacation rental homes in Puerto Vallarta and one in Florida (“Does that tell you which is more profitable?”) He spends most of his time south of the border and part of his year in Fort Lauderdale.

“Would I ever go out walking at 5 a.m. alone in Lauderdale or Miami? Hell no,” Hill said. “Just the thought of that scares the hell out of me. There are many neighborhoods in Seattle where I would never go out walking alone in the dark.”

Even with the killings in the country the past two years, statistics provided by the Citizens’ Institute for Crime Studies in Mexico City reveal that the murder 2009 rate in Mexico was lower than it was a decade before. In addition, the 2008 murder rate in Washington, D.C., was nearly four times that of Mexico City in 2009 (31.4 per 100,000 compared to 8 per 100,000).  In reality, the rest of Mexico is unchanged and laid-back, warm and welcoming to foreigners. It has received a bum rap, as reporters have raced to make the world believe that the entire country is on the brink of a blood bath. That is simply not the case, and many of the areas continue to appreciate, unlike most of the markets in the U.S.

......“Some U.S. newspaper or news service put out a report about some drug related shooting in Acapulco,” Hill said. “But the headline said something like ‘Drug related shooting in major Mexico resort city.’ Why didn’t they just say it was in Acapulco instead of insinuating that all resort cities have issues?

...... Are you ready for a contrarian cruise through Mexico that avoids drugs, murders and muggings yet provides proof of an inexpensive, carefree life? That’s not difficult to do because 95 percent of the country still offers exactly that. Get on board, and rest assured we won’t be crossing the border at Ciudad Juarez after dark. And, we won’t forget about your investment portfolio along the way.  “It's not such a bad idea to diversify away from stocks,” said Cramer, a magna cum laude graduate from Harvard. “I think that out of favor real estate in Mexico that's easily accessible to Americans represents a great buy . . .”

Excerpts quoted with permission of the author.   jw