The G-20, (the Group of Twenty), is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union. The G-20 was proposed by former Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin as a forum for cooperation and consultation on matters pertaining to the international financial system. The first Summit was held in 1999.
Each year the G-20 elects a President to provide over their Summit for that year. President Calderon of Mexico was elected to preside over the 2012 Summit. He in turn selected the new international conference center in San Jose del Cabo, in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, as the main site for the proceedings.
During June 18-19, 2012, more than 10,000 attendees, including heads of state, finance ministers and staff came to participate in the Summit. There were nearly 3,000 journalists from around the world. Los Cabos put on its best face and received rave reviews as a destination for the event
The G-20 countries represented in Los Cabos were: Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, The United States, France, India, South Africa, The European Union and Mexico. Four observer countries also attended the meetings.
Unlike many other Summits, the one at Los Cabos was free of any major demonstrations. Local and national law enforcement officers, along with the Mexican army and navy were complimented on their work.
Mexico’s Free Trade (FTA)
In addition to the Trans Pacific (TPP) agreement signed by Presidents Calderon and Obama at the G-20 meetings in Los Cabos, Mexico has eleven trade agreements, involving 41 countries. Prior to the TPP agreement the last was with Japan. It was signed on September 17, 2004 and came into effect on April 1, 2005. One of Mexico’s primary motivations for the unilateral trade liberalization efforts of the late 1980s and early 1990s was to improve economic conditions in the country, which policymakers hoped would lead to greater investor confidence and attract more foreign investment. One of the motivations for Mexico to have other FTAs is to decrease its reliance on the U.S. as an export market and to gain access to other Global markets.