Las Cabos: "Aap ka swagat hai" (You are welcome), read a giant billboard en route Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's convoy from the San Jose del Cabo International Airport to his resort hotel as he arrived in Mexico half way around the world from India for the G20 Summit Sunday evening.
In fact, Manmohan Singh is among the first leaders his host and Mexican President Felipe Calderon had scheduled for a bilateral engagement on the margins of the summit. The two sides had elevated their ties to what is officially called priviledged partnership when Calderon visited New Delhi in 2007.
At 79, Manmohan Singh is also the oldest leader in the G20 grouping, which was primarily formed at the level of finance ministers and central bank governors to find ways out of the economic crisis that had gripped the world in 1999. It was raised to summit level in 2008, with the first one hosted in Washington. The Mexico G20 is the seventh in the series.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's convoy was welcomed by a giant billboard reading "Aap ka swagat hai".
Los Cabos is a World Heritage site
Los Cabos, which is hosting the G20 Summit, is a resort town in the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California.
A famous landmark here is El Arco, a natural arch of rock formed by erosion that juts out of the waters. It was recently declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
One of the best pastimes is whale-watching as these giant marine mammals come near the shore during winters to savour the warm waters.
India-Mexico trade shows significant jump
Trade between India and Mexico has been on the rise. From $2.95 billion in 2008, it jumped to $4.15 billion in 2011, as per official estimates with the Indian side. Some 25,000 Indian tourists also visited this country last year.
Even though the Indian diaspora in this country is no more than around 2,000 people, Mexicans have shown a lot of interest in India, thanks to the Gurudev Tagore Indian Cultural Centre in Mexico City.
This apart, there is an Indian Women's Association in the capital, an India-Mexico Business Chamber, a gurudwara, an Iskcon temple and even two Indian restaurants.