|Not to be confused with the lowly Laredo World Cities Forum|
Hoping to be confused with the World Cities Summit, the city of Laredo is holding an ill-planned, divisive World Cities Forum later on this year. The planned forum has been scoffed at by most of Laredo's business community, especially when the city council first awarded a local logistics company $120,000 to stage this so-called self-financed event, which turned out to be not-so-self-financed after all.
Recently, there has been a little bit more co-operation between the city's elected officials and staff as they have reached out to area business associations in an effort to make amends.
Last year, Hector Vargas, director of Laredo Logistics International asked for $20,000 to start to set-up the forum. At that point, before city council, he insisted that the even would pay for itself. Fast forward to November, 2012 and the city awarded the same Vargas, a hefty $120,000 courtesy of the always-unsuspecting Laredo taxpayers.
That's when the several local business leaders went on record (El LMT) as saying that this World Cities Forum was not exactly what the city needed to be spending money on. The consensus was and is that the city should focus on the Mexico business and not necessarily try to go out and globalize.
We should note that shortly afterwards, the Mayor was on his way to Saudi Arabia.