On the basis of a social context permeated by the war conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which threatens to trigger a food crisis on a global scale, and the incipient post-pandemic, Japan is betting on investments in Caribbean lands such as the Dominican Republic.
This was stated by the ambassador of the Asian nation in the country, Masahiro Takagi, while participating in the Breakfast of the Listín Diario, headed by the director of this newspaper, Miguel Franjul.
The diplomat took advantage of the scenario to point out the interest of promoting the investment of Japanese companies in the Dominican territory, as well as to make known the cooperation projects that the referred embassy has started in coordination with the central government and its various dependencies.
“I want to let Japanese companies know that this is an ideal place to invest, not only in tourism, but also because of the business environment, political stability and growth through free trade that the Dominican Republic enjoys to date,” said the ambassador.
Takagi highlighted that the free zone model could be very attractive for the business class of his country due to the proven positive results generated by these industries.
“Customs in free zones are different from ordinary customs, it is the first time in my life as a diplomat that foreign companies, including Japanese ones, praised without hesitation the stability, profitability and efficiency of the free zones of a country where they operate: the Dominican Republic in this case,” he said.
In fact, based on this anecdote and other impressions he has had of the country during his tenure, the diplomat wrote an article for “Nikkel”, the most widely read financial newspaper in Japan, where he praises the economic potential of this half island.
In the same article, he called on Japan’s company owners to “look to a new frontier as the world seeks new manufacturing and distribution bases in the face of today’s turbulent world situation.”
He pointed out that having free trade agreements with the United States, the European Union, Central America and the rest of the Caribbean countries, allows the Dominican Republic to offer foreign investors a much more far-reaching market and, eventually, higher profits.
Aware of the consequences of a war like the one the world is going through at the moment, Takagi bets for the investment of his country’s companies in Dominican soil and for a substantial increase of bilateral exports.
According to the data offered by the diplomat, at present some 800 Japanese reside in the country. Regarding exports, Takagi said that 75% of the products exported from the Dominican Republic to Japan are of an industrial or manufacturing nature, while the remaining percentage corresponds to products such as mango, cocoa, cigarettes and rum.
The strongest imports from Japan to the Dominican Republic continue to be machinery, especially fuel vehicles.
In addition to the investments that the diplomatic headquarters embarks on promoting, Japan has granted the country some 250 million dollars in soft loans for financial support to the country. Also, its embassy has made several donations of medical apparel to public hospital centers.
“To mention a few, we have delivered some 26 electrocardiograms to several hospitals, mainly those of La Vega, Azua and Santo Domingo,” stressed the Japanese official.
In the health sector, the Japanese embassy has also carried out academic exchanges in the areas of endoscopy and dentistry with Dominican medical personnel.
Tourism, education and sports are other areas of interest for the Asian nation in the country. Takagi said that they plan to promote sustainable tourism in non-coastal areas, with special focus on the Cibao region and rural areas.
Regarding education, Takagi said that several Japanese teachers of mathematics, a branch of education in which the country stands out for its excellence, have helped both teachers and Dominican students to strengthen their skills in this science.
He informed that the Embassy offers scholarships so that young people interested in postgraduate or technical studies in advanced technology and other areas, such as scientific research, can apply and be trained in Japan at no cost.
In sports, he stated that “we have delivered several sports teams in disciplines such as judo and gymnastics, Dominican athletes have also received training from Japanese”. Takagi considers sports as a fundamental element for the youth of any nation.