The Federal Attorney General for the Environment, Profepa announced today that the project Dragon Mart in Quintana Roo, will be stopped because of irregularities in the use of protected areas for the contruction. The project involved the building of 722 homes, 22 commercial spaces and 3 thousand stores all in just over 200 hectares.
The project had also been opposed by the private sector in Mexico, which feared that if the project was built by a Chinese corporation, it would increase the import of Chinese goods. The Confederration of Industrial Chambers of Mexico, Concamin, said they had projected that if the new construction was allowed, 300 thousand tons of Chinese products would come into the country.
At an initial cost of US$180 million dollars, Dragon Mart Cancun expected to stock furniture, jewelry, electronics, toys, construction materials and other goods, targeting wholesalers in the growing markets across Latin America and the Caribbean. The 722 homes were slated for the Chinese administrators of an approximate 3 thousand showrooms, which would have become the largest trading center for Chinese products in the Western hemisphere.
Modeled on theDragon Mart Dubai that opened in 2004, the project iwas expected to generate greater trade between China and the Americas, as well as promoting cross-cultural ties, with the village hosting events to showcase Chinese music, dance and culture.
Many Mexicans were firmly opposed to the project. Environmentalists argued that the project, would endanger the protected Puerto Morelos coral reef and that it violates environmental regulations.
Dragon Mart Cancun is a joint venture between Mexican investors and Chinamex, an overseas promotional department of China’s Ministry of Commerce. Chinamex chairmen Hao Feng owns 10 percent of the shares of Dragon Mart Cancun Real Estate, 45 percent is owned by Yucatan businessman Carlos Castillo Medrano, who owns the 571 acres of land, locally known as “El Tucan,” where the complex will be built, and the other 45 percent is owned by a group of investors from Monterrey.
The aim of Dragon Mart Cancun is for China to diversify its exports, which are still heavily dependent on the shaky economies of the United States, Europe and Japan. The developers considered other host cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, Panama City, Sao Paulo and Tijuana, but chose Cancun because of its major international airport, its world-class hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions, and the promise of tax breaks from the Quintana Roo government.