Dragon Mart to land in Cancun

Updated: 2013-06-07 01:45

By BAO CHANG (China Daily)

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China's Dragon Mart is set to open in Cancun, Mexico, helping not only Chinese investors but also international traders explore the Latin American market.

"We are planning to adjust the operating strategy of Dragon Mart in Cancun by diversifying our business sectors," said Yu Yanqing, president at Chengkai Beijing (Investment) Co Ltd and one of the project's investors, during an exclusive interview with China Daily.

Dragon Mart to land in Cancun

According to Yu, after the transition, the expo center will offer a wider range of business to suit the demands of regional economic development, including traveling and ecological protection, and will add more international elements.

"Products from international merchants from the United States, Japan and South Korea will account for no less than 30 percent of the total goods sold at the mart," Yu said.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce and the Mexican government, Dragon Mart's construction began in 2012, and both governments have agreed to establish the project as the biggest Chinese goods trading platform in Latin America.

With a total investment of more than 10 billion yuan ($1.63 billion), the project is a joint development by three companies: Chinamex Middle East Investment & Trade Promotion Center Co Ltd, Chengkai (Beijing) Investment Co Ltd and New Rainbow (China) Limited.

Various Chinese goods including furniture, daily necessities, household electrical appliances, hotel supplies, construction materials, lamps and lights, textile products, medical appliances and agriculture mechanical products are planned to be traded in the first phase of the mart after Spring Festival this year.

However, due to opposition from the public, construction of the project has been postponed since late last year.

So far, Chengkai has invested at least 300 million yuan on the project, more than 30 percent of which has been completed, according to Yu.

"In a move to ease objection from locals in Cancun, we have decided to develop the project into an international mart rather than a Chinese goods trading center," said Yu.

"Although we have confronted a series of challenges, we are positive about the project's long-term development."

The mart will be beneficial to the development of the local economy and for the expansion of business for other international traders, Yu added.

Opposition of the project is believed to be from foreign traders from the US, South Korea and India, who have dominated the market in the region, and expect Chinese goods to be quite competitive.

"Most of Mexico's imports come from Japan, India, South Korea and the US, which can cost about three to five times more than Chinese goods," Hao Feng, chairman at Chinamex, said.