Ito Bisonó: “Alliance of DR, Costa Rica and Panama rises as the third most important U.S. trading partner in Latin America”

The bloc made up of the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Panama, known as the “Alliance for Development in Democracy”, has become the third most important trading partner of the United States, behind Mexico and Brazil. This was announced by the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes (MICM), Víctor -Ito- Bisonó, during his participation as guest speaker at the AmchamDR Encounters, organized by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic (AmchamDR).

The formation of this trade bloc was formalized in September last year to attract investments that were leaving Asia as a result of the pandemic. “Washington tends not to legislate for one country, but rather for blocs and allies,” Bisonó pointed out to explain the reasons behind the alliance.

“Six months of work and it is already three occasions that the presidents of these countries have met, with a fourth next month. If this is not working with commitment and speed, I don’t know what is,” he said.

Prior to Minister Bisonó’s presentation, Roberto Herrera agreed in underlining the importance of this alliance. “Since the Minister presented this initiative to us and invited us to be part of it, we have supported it as a transcendental commitment to generate synergies and exchange opportunities for regionalization in value chains. It is important to highlight the leadership of both Ministers Roberto Álvarez and Ito Bisonó in this project”.

In this regard, Ito Bisonó detailed that, in addition, a “milestone in the business and industrial history of our country” initiative was created, which the MICM has supported and followed up since its inception. “Through the so-called High Level Business Council, businessmen from the three countries dialogue to strengthen commercial ties with the United States and thus contribute to the reactivation of the region’s economy,” he said.

In this regard, the official thanked the support of AmchamDR, an organization that has taken the lead in these meetings between businessmen “and will continue to show progress for the next meeting in late March in Costa Rica,” he revealed.

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes (MICM) and AmchamDR share common interests and strategic goals, as Roberto Herrera emphasized, in line with these initiatives. One of the priorities is the facilitation of logistics and connectivity, “with the objective of positioning the Dominican Republic as a world-class logistics hub and as a production platform integrated into the North American supply chain”.

“This commitment has been formalized with the signing of an agreement with the MICM to boost foreign trade and competitiveness through initiatives that promote access to potential investors and take advantage of the reconfiguration of value chains, trade facilitation and the development of policies that integrate the digital transformation of our markets,” announced Herrera.

Medical devices, electrical appliances and textiles: the three rubles with the greatest potential for nearshoring.

In his speech, Minister Bisonó presented the conclusions of a report commissioned by President Luis Abinader and carried out by the MICM, Foreign Affairs and Competitiveness, in which it was determined that medical devices and pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronic devices, and clothing and textile manufacturing were the three sectors with the greatest potential to take advantage of the “nearshoring” phenomenon. He also indicated that these three sectors contributed to the diversification of the exportable supply and to the growth of employment in recent years.

Bisonó mentioned that the report will be released in more detail in the coming weeks and said that the text lists policy proposals on strategic positioning of the Dominican Republic, specialization of human talent to strengthen their employability, permitting and tax regulation, productive linkages and infrastructure for industrial development.

“I want you to know that there is no better time than now to invest, to relaunch your companies and industries. There is no better time than now to take advantage of the current geopolitical, commercial and regional circumstances,” he stressed.

In this line, Roberto Herrera agreed that the Dominican Republic has everything in its favor to become a magnet for investment and growth linked to nearshoring, “given our strategic geographic position, stability and predictability”.

In his speech, Bisonó also gave an overview of the different initiatives that have been implemented in the Ministry, both internal and external. Among them the achievement of ISO certifications and programs such as the Industrial Route and others.

This AmchamDR Encounter was sponsored by the companies that make up the AmchamDR Elite Circle: AES Dominicana, Barrick Pueblo Viejo, Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, Citi, HIT Puerto Río Haina, Grupo Humano, Inicia; Grupo Marí, Grupo Rica, Grupo SID and Squire Patton Boggs.

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