The Dominican Republic and India held a business meeting in Santo Domingo on Friday, with the aim of expanding trade relations between the two countries, in the framework of the official visit of the Indian Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
The commercial relations between both countries have “great opportunities” for growth, affirmed the Dominican Foreign Minister, Roberto Álvarez, while intervening in the meeting with Jaishankar at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the meeting, Jaishankar, who previously met privately with Álvarez, highlighted the dynamism of his country’s economy, which, according to projections, will grow by 6.1% this year and 6.8% in 2024.
At the same time, he underscored India’s desire to intensify business exchange with Latin America.
“This is a diplomatic trip, a political trip, but it is also, of course, a business trip,” he noted.
Those businesses are focused, in the case of the Dominican Republic, on sectors such as pharmaceuticals, steel, gold and paper, among others, he added, while mentioning that some Indian companies from different sectors have set up offices in the Caribbean country, and important vehicle distribution companies already have local distributors.
“The challenge for us today is how to scale up, intensify and expand” these exchanges, he added.
He also expressed his desire for regular meetings to take place in the future to address economic and business opportunities between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Alvarez referred to the “stable” and “progressive” growth of the Dominican Republic, based especially on tourism, trade and foreign direct investment.
Trade exchange between the Dominican Republic and India amounted in 2021, for the first time, to US$1 billion, a figure similar to that of 2022, the Dominican official recalled.
Major Indian industries “are solid enough to develop major projects in Dominican territory” in areas as diverse as pharmaceutical production, information technology or textile manufacturing, he said.
“We hope to see Indian companies consider the Dominican Republic as their gateway to the American continent,” added the minister during the meeting, which was attended by executives of the National Council of Private Enterprise (Conep), the Association of Industries of the Dominican Republic (AIRD) and the Center for Export and Investment of the Dominican Republic (ProDominicana).
Prior to the event, Conep signed a memorandum of understanding with the Confederation of Indian Business.
At the start of his agenda in the Dominican Republic, Jaishankar met with President Luis Abinader, a meeting that aimed to “further boost bilateral relations between the two nations,” the Dominican Executive noted on Twitter.
Jaishankar’s agenda this Friday includes a discussion on India’s foreign policy, where he will present his country’s strategies to promote its participation in the international context.
Likewise, the inauguration of the Embassy of the Republic of India in Santo Domingo, an act that will be headed by the Foreign Ministers of both States.
On Saturday he plans to attend the inauguration of the India pavilion at the Faro a Colon Museum in eastern Santo Domingo, and the inauguration of the statue built in honor of the Indian pacifist Mahatma Gandhi in the Dominican capital.
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