20 Jun 2012

A ‘retail moment’ in Mexico City

We are in Mexico City for a trade trip on the way home from the G20 summit. The PM has an ambition to visit as many G20 countries as possible with trade missions (though Argentina, on recent form, will remain an exception, I suspect).

He’s unapologetic about what many of his predecessors would’ve considered a little beneath them. The itinerary for the PM includes a “retail moment,” but don’t tell Sam.

This is the second highest capital in the world and has a bit of a pollution problem – we’ve been advised to drink plenty of water, not run up stairs and expect disturbed sleep.

Back at Los Cabos, President Hollande confirmed in his press conference at the G20 that the eurozone is indeed going to activate the EFSF to buy Spanish sovereign debt, maybe as soon as this week.

Germany was reluctant to confirm the story, Chancellor Merkel left without a press conference. This could be that the Germans felt everything wasn’t signed, sealed and cleared with other wealthier nations like the Dutch and the Finns.

Anyway, if they slipped away from it now it would be a very bad day on the markets. Maybe that’s what some intended to do: lock in a decision that was 90 per cent taken.

As we left Los Cabos, the airport was looking like a very up-market potentates’ parking lot. There was Air Force 1 and Air Force 2, the South Korean President’s personal jumbo, a personal jumbo for the Indian PM, chunky jets for the Indonesian and the Canadian leaders too. Down the runway about eight more large jets waiting, engines purring … and then our chartered Virgin Airbus.

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