MEXICO CITY Aug 29 A planned expo center in the
Mexican beach resort of Cancun, touted as the largest showcase
of Chinese goods in the Americas, should begin construction
soon, the company behind the project said on Thursday after a
court ruled in its favor.
Plans for Dragon Mart Cancun, a $180 million, Chinese-backed
retail space, have run into various obstacles including
complaints from business groups fearful it would undercut local
businesses, and from environmentalists concerned about coral
The project was approved by the state government, which is
run by President Enrique Pena Nieto's centrist Institutional
Revolutionary Party, or PRI, but the city government, led by the
leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), opposed it.
In April, Dragon Mart Cancun sued the city of Cancun to
overcome a political impasse that threatened to derail the
But last month, the PRI recaptured the municipality and this
week a state court ruled the city should approve the project.
"For Dragon Mart Cancun the next step is to wait for the
municipality to give us the building permit, because now there's
no likelihood or recourse available to stop it," said Carlos
Lopez, the company's chief executive, in a statement.
The PRI will take control of the city at the end of
Lopez has said the project will create 8,550 jobs and enable
Latin America's No. 2 economy to become a key center for growing
Julian Ricalde, the outgoing PRD mayor of Cancun, said he is
analyzing the court's decision and would make a statement in the
Various business groups opposed to the project have said
they will continue to fight Dragon Mart Cancun.
The project is 90 percent Mexican-owned and will get 10
percent of its funds from privately held Chinese firm Chinamex,
according to the company.