The International Trade Center (ITC) launched the SheTrades Dominican Republic Hub, in an event organized by the Dominican Republic Export and Investment Center (ProDominicana), with the objective of providing training, mentoring and market opportunities to boost the competitiveness of Dominican companies led by women.
The launch of the SheTrades Center in the Dominican Republic seeks to increase the participation of women in trade as a tool for inclusion and the generation of collective well-being.
During the launch, ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton and ProDominicana Executive Director Biviana Riveiro Disla signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). In addition, five key institutions that advocate for gender equality in the Dominican Republic, including ProDominicana, also signed letters of commitment to promote women’s empowerment during the ceremony.
For her part, Director Coke-Hamilton said she was excited about the official launch of the SheTrades Dominican Republic Hub, which strengthens ties between the ITC partnership and the Government of the Dominican Republic. “Investing in women means creating an environment where women can reach their potential and beyond. This new Center will provide women across the country with greater economic opportunities, which in turn will improve their communities,” she said.
Likewise, ProDominicana’s executive director, Biviana Riveiro Disla, highlighted that it is a significant achievement for the Dominican Republic to have a SheTrades Hub. This hub represents a key platform to promote and strengthen the active and successful participation of women in international trade.
In addition to the event, a panel discussion was held on the challenges and opportunities for Dominican women-led businesses. The panel was attended by the president of EM Consultancy, Elizabeth Mena; the Deputy Director General of Procurement and Public Contracting (DGCP), Crystal Fiallo; the Vice-Rector of Administration and Finance at the Santo Domingo Institute of Technology (INTEC), Alliet Ortega; and the head of consultancy for European and International Organizations, Tatiana Mora. The panel was moderated by journalist Millizen Uribe.
As part of the launch of the SheTrades Hub in the Dominican Republic, the initiative was socialized with the Vice President of the Republic, Raquel Peña, the director of the International Trade Center (ITC), Pamela Coke-Hamilton, and the executive director of ProDominicana, Biviana Riveiro Disla.
“The establishment of this SheTrades Hub represents a commitment to gender equality and to the recognition of the fundamental role that women play in the economy and in international trade. This Hub becomes a space that promotes training, connection with markets and the promotion of Dominican women entrepreneurs and companies in the global arena,” said Riveiro.
During the launch, Ms. Coke-Hamilton shared an overview of how the political landscape in the Dominican Republic supports women to do business and trade. She emphasized that national institutions have done well in creating an enabling political environment for women. However, more can be done to mainstream gender in trade policy. This is based on the SheTrades Outlook assessment that was conducted between March and July 2023. One day after the launch, ITC delivered a SheTrades Outlook validation workshop to discuss the results and recommendations with public and private sector institutions.
The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC helps small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the framework of the Aid for Trade agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of the expansion of the SheTrades Hubs network to Bangladesh, Mauritius, Mongolia, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean this year, ITC will host an annual SheTrades Hubs meeting in November. There, Hub focal points will have the opportunity to connect with other Hub representatives, share best practices and receive training of trainers to expand and diversify services to women in their respective SheTrades Hub.