Haitian President States That His Country Is The Second Largest Trading Partner Of The Dominican Republic

Construction work begins on the University of Northern HaitiLeonel Fernandez Rene Preval V12

BREAKING NEWS: Haitian President, Rene Preval, said on Saturday during the event to re-launch the Joint Bilateral Commission Dominico-Haitian, that his country is the second largest trading partner of the Dominican Republic.

Preval said the renewal of this committee indicates that the relations between the two nations are taking a new turn, and that this closeness that has occurred since the earthquake of January 12th, is increasingly intensifying.

We must become stronger compared to the myriad of challenges that we face, whether they be natural disasters, environmental problems, or our economic, social and financial crisis, said the Haitian leader, during the meeting in the free zone CODEVI of the M Group, at which the Dominican Republic was represented by Fernando Capellan.

He also spoke about the topics that should be discussed by the various subcommittees such as; education, security, environment, agriculture, migration and drug trafficking.

Mr. Preval added that his country has all intention of receiving Dominican business investment, which would help to create jobs and reduce poverty.

The Haitian head of state also said that the two countries must act in solidarity and brotherhood in order to effectively manage the problems that face them.

The Dominican Foreign Minister, Carlos Morales Troncoso, stated that the revival of this Committee will channel resources and development initiatives to the benefit of both countries.

Prime Minister of Haiti, Jean Max Bellerive, stressed that this event reaffirms the will to strengthen the brotherhood between Haiti and the Dominican Republic and that the Commission should be a forum for consultation between the parties.

He announced that the Bilateral Joint Commission will meet again in October of this year to review the signed agreements.

Construction work begins on the University of Northern Haiti

President Leonel Fernandez and his counterpart from Haiti, Rene Preval, led the ceremony to inaugurate the construction work for the Universidad del Norte, which will be built with the contribution of $50 million dollars by the Dominican government and businessmen.

The head of state, giving details of the work, said that this is the best contribution the Dominican Republic could make to the Haitian people, because that this school represents the twenty-first century revolution that will take place in that nation, a revolution of knowledge.

The president of the Dominican Republic was received very warmly by a multitude of Haitian nationals who were concentrated on the plot of land where the university will be built.

Let this serve as a fraternal gesture of solidarity from the Dominican Republic to the Haitian people, the Dominican president was quoted as saying.

Dr. Fernandez added that he hoped the construction of this university would encourage the international communities to fulfill the commitments they made to the Haitian government during the relief efforts after the January 12th earthquake.

Fernandez said the library will have four million volumes and that this institution of higher learning will be one of the most modern.

Rene Preval thanked President Fernández for his vision and commitment to the Haitians living in the north of his country, and added that this university will be part of the development of the inhabitants of that region.

Dominican Republic Live, 02.08.10

Deputy Minister of Tourism highlights role of press in the improvement of the Tourism Sector

Radhames Martinez Aponte V02Recognizes the progress made in Dominican tourism during the last 15 years

BREAKING NEWS: The process to improve our country as a tourist destination requires the participation of the public sector, private enterprises and the journalists in the media, said the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Radhames Martinez Aponte.

This is a process in which we want to improve our fate, above all the Dominicans who are in the process of making positive changes, and this requires the participation of private and public sector, but also a high level of awareness a press that, being honest, says what really happens and are faithful exponents of the feelings of Dominican society.

Mr. Martinez, made these statements during the launching of the Seventh Annual Tourist Journalism Awards, Epifanio Lantigua, sponsored by Occidental Hotels, the Dominican Tourist Press Association, the Ministry of Tourism, and MITUR as the main sponsor. The deadline for submission of entries in the contest is August 13th and can be brought to the reception of the Hotel Occidental El Embajador.

It is important that journalists understand the role of that they play in promoting the benefits and attractions of the Dominican Republic, but at the same time writing critically, said the deputy minister, who is also a Member of Honor of ADOMPRETUR, was quoted as saying.

He pointed to the progress made by the Dominican tourism industry in the last 15 years, and claimed that such achievements are underpinned with a greater awareness, a greater level of community integration, a greater respect for environmental quality, and a greater participation of all actors, directly and indirectly, involved in the process of development of this industry.

I believe that today we have great accommodations, but we also have a much more conscious and more responsible hotel industry, and that’s what the Dominican society expects from all of us, we have better tourism and a better press for the benefit of Dominican society as a whole, he said.

Dominican Republic Live, 03.08.10

Creation of new tourism clusters in the Dominican Republic

Island Dominican Republic V04Coordinated by the Dominican Tourism Competitiveness Consortium

BREAKING NEWS: The Dominican Republic has created new clusters distributed at major tourist destinations, in order to achieve a more competitive tourism development and poverty reduction in these communities.

The work of these clusters is coordinated through the Dominican Tourism Competitiveness Consortium (CDCT), an organization that promotes the competitiveness and sustainability of tourism through public-private partnerships, while impacting positively on the economic return, environmental protection and inclusion of the local communities in the tourist trade.

The president of the CDCT , Rafael Collado, explained that there are clusters in: Barahona, Constanza, Jarabacoa, La Altagracia, Pedernales, Puerto Plata, La Romana, Bayahibe, Samaná and Santo Domingo and one will soon be created in Monte Cristi.

Mr. Collado stated that the CDCT is managed with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Dominican Sustainable Tourism Alliance (USAIDDSTA).

He said that since 2003, USAID has been supporting the country with projects and the creation of clusters, which act independently. Later, the National Network of Clusters was created in order to have a joint development strategy, which at the end of July became known as the CDCT.

Mr. Collado was a guest at the Economic Meeting along with the economic policy adviser of USAID , Duty Greene, the coordinator of the USAIDDSTA , Margaret Hendrickson; CDCT coordinator, Luis Omar Fernandez and communications specialist of USAIDDSTA, Patricia Reinoso.

The consortium promotes investment, the creation of employment, a favorable business climate and sustainable development in the various tourist destinations. It also addresses crosscutting issues that favor the development of tourism and represents its members in the institutions of the executive and legislative branches, the private sector, and national and international agencies of cooperation.

During the meeting, the Economic Policy Advisor of USAID, Duty Greene, noted that USAID projects primarily seek to reduce poverty, to help all community members and secondly, protect the environment andthe sustainability of the country.

One of the main projects run by the CDCT is the Atas Dominicana-Dominican Theasures, which promotes good practice and training among its members and the Observatory of Tourism along with other tourism entities in the country.

Atas Dominicana is implemented by the USAIDCDCT and DSTA. This constitutes a national network of tourism service providers who offer products based on nature and culture, protecting natural resources and creating equitable opportunities for local communities.

From Atas Dominican comes Dominican Theasures, a brand that represents products and services that meet quality standards and sustainability, based on global criteria for sustainable tourism. This offers a platform of opportunities to attract new markets in the country and strengthen the image of their products, stressed Collado.

Dominican Republic Live, 03.08.10

Ministry of Tourism continues to promote tourism in Germany

Elbe River Germany V01By bringing a Road show to six different cities in the nation

BREAKING NEWS: The Ministry of Tourism continues its active presence in the German market, with its first ever Road Show, which will travel to six cities throughout the nation under the supervision of the Tourism Promotion Office (OPT).

The Road Show, a form of mobile marketing and promotion, made its first stop on June 5th in Hamburg. It then continued on to Munich (July 10th), Frankfurt (July 17th), Mannheim (July 24th), and Berlin (July 31st). The last stop is scheduled for August 7th, in the very important market of Düsseldorf.

The main purpose of this Road Show (Caravan) is to stimulate sales to the Dominican Republic by bringing them directly to the consumer, said Petra Cruz, director of the Tourism Promotion Office for Germany.

In this activity, the OPT in Germany has the opportunity to present the Dominican Republic to 181,800 potential customers per city. The campaign is using the slogan The Dominican Republic Has It All, sharing the responsibility with some of the hotel chains and, such as, Sol Melia, who are also presenting their own products, said Cruz.

The activities include raffles, musical shows, folk dance groups and children’s activities, which seek direct contact with the public.

The first three shows were hugely successful, with a large number of people attending and participating in the activities and contests, in which the winners receive a week for two adults and two children in the Sol Meliá Hotel in Paradisus Punta Cana.

Dominican Republic Live, 05.08.10

The Chancellor of the Dominican Republic to make official visit to Morocco

Marrakech Marruecos V01To strengthen relations between the two nations

BREAKING NEWS: The Chancellor of the Dominican Republic, Carlos Morales Troncoso, will make an official visit to Morocco at the end of this year, according to an announcement made by Moroccan Ambassador, Brahim Moussa, who highlighted the good relations between the two nations.

In a ceremony held to mark the eleventh anniversary of the enthronement of King Mohammed VI, the ambassador, travelling through Haiti and other countries in the Caribbean region, reviewed some of the actions taken by his government in the area.

The ambassador recalled that after the earthquake that hit Port au Prince on January 12th, his country sent two planes with medicine and food, with a value of over one million dollars, to help the stricken Haitians.

The Moroccan government also participated in the summit held last June in Punta Cana, in the eastern section of the Dominican Republic, to discuss plans to rebuild Haiti, he said.

In regards to Dominican-Moroccan relations, the diplomat said that there are existing agreements on regular political consultations, cultural cooperation, trade and abolition of double taxation for companies.

Currently other agreements are in the works in areas such as, tourism, fisheries, agriculture and film cooperation.

In addition, the Arab nation contributed financially to the sports project featuring Dominican swimmer Marcos Diaz, who swam across the Strait of Gibraltar, from Punta Cires (Morocco) to Tarifa (Cadiz, southern Spain).

Morocco opened its embassy in the Dominican Republic in May 2009, said Mr. Moussa, who was born in the former Spanish Sahara city of Villa Cisneros, served as Consul General of Morocco in the Canaries between 1985 and 1992. He was also his country’s Ambassador to Mauritania between 1992 and 1997 and for ten years in Venezuela, 1999-2009.

Dominican Republic Live, 06.08.10

Leonel Fernández participates in the inauguration of Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos

Swear Juan Manuel Santos V02Dominican President gives a speech in Medellin

BREAKING NEWS: President Fernández was one of 17 visiting heads of state in attendance at the inauguration of Columbian President, Juan Manuel Santos.

Newly elected President Santos, who promised to unify the national government, was sworn in at the Plaza Bolivar by the President of the Columbian Parliament, Armando Benedetti, in front of thousands of Columbians and International guests.

The inauguration was also attended by presidents; Porfirio Lobo, Honduras, Cristina Fernández de Kitchner, Argentina, Rafael Correa, Ecuador, Ricardo Martinelli, Panama, Alan Garcia, Peru, Laura Chinchilla, Costa Rica, Mauricio Funes, El Salvador, Felipe Calderón, Mexico and Felipe de Borbon, the Prince of Asturias, among others.

In the morning, Fernandez visited the Centro Ático, School of Information Technologies and Communication of the Pontifical University Javeriana.

He said that the Dominican government has been working on agreements with the institute of higher learning with the aim of human resources training in the Dominican Republic.

Leonel Fernandez gives lecture at the University of Medellín EAFIT

President Fernandez claimed that the way for Latin America to achieve sustainable development is by the implementation of what he called a new model of social solidarity market economy.

During his lecture at the University EAFIT about economics and geopolitics in the Americas, the Dominican president said that the main problems facing the continent in the 21st century are marginalization, unemployment, lack of opportunities and social exclusion.

He explained that in the 21st century the most prudent and advisable manner in which to achieve true Latin American social and economic development is to establish a balance between state and market, as these are the two concepts that exist in a system of free competition.

He said that in a capitalist system, the market reflects the balance between those providing goods, products and services, and the demand of the citizens, and the state must not only ensure that such products and services reach families, but that they also are provided at fair prices without sacrificing quality.

Juan Luis Mejia Arango, Dean of the University EAFIT, introduced President Fernández and called him a leader in Latin America and the Caribbean who is in search of peace for the continent.

Mr. Arango Mejia thanked Fernández on behalf of all Colombians for the role he played in the Rio Summit, which was held in the Dominican Republic in 2008, where the head of state was able to bring together several Latin American nations that had been having diplomatic difficulties.

Dominican Republic Live, 09.08.10

New building inaugurated for the Ministries of Tourism and Environment

Inauguration Tourism Environment Building V01President Leonel Fernández in attendance

BREAKING NEWS: President Leonel Fernández led the inauguration of the new building on Monday that will house the offices of the Ministries of Tourism and Environment, at a cost of over 860 million pesos

The president, accompanied by the ministers of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia, and Jaime David Fernández, cut the symbolic ribbon that officially opened the modern building, located on Avenida Luperon on the corner of Cayetano Germosén in the National District.

The supervisor of the work, Pedro Delgado Malagon, said that this building was started in 2000, stalled in 2003 and restarted in 2005 by the Office of Supervisory Engineers for State Works.

Mr. Malagon noted that the design was launched in line with environmental protection, natural resources and biodiversity.

He explained that the building was built on 35,152 square meters of land and a construction area of 24,067 square meters, divided into four levels for offices and two levels of parking with space for 240 vehicles and 28 motorcycles.

Each floor consists of five office areas, subdivided into areas of cubicles, executive and secretarial offices, with an open area for four multi-purpose rooms that have a capacity for 128 people.

While the first level was built to have a reception area or lobby, conference rooms in the central area, and in the Western part, a cafeteria for common use. The building of the Ministries of Tourism and Environment and Natural Resources, was designed by the Company Acero Estrella.

Also in attendance were; Rigoberto Santos, from the Engineers Office of the State Works, Ernesto Reina, Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Manuel Estrella, the contractor and Monsignor Benito Angeles, who blessed the work.

Dominican Republic Live, 10.08.10

Ecological tourism is the industry’s future

Ecological Tourism Dominican Republic V06According to the World Association for Tourism Training

BREAKING NEWS: The General Secretary of the World Association for Tourism Training (Amfortas), Joan Passolas, said that ecotourism is, and will continue to be, the predominant trend in the business over the coming years.

Mrs. Passolas explained that the current generation is increasingly concerned about environmental issues, not only is ecotourism increasing but all areas of ecological activity as our young people are becoming more and more responsible, she said.

Mrs. Passolas, who was invited by Professor Bolivar Troncoso, President of the Pan American Confederation of Hospitality, Tourism and Gastronomy schools, gave a conference at the Hotel Lina on Trends in Tourism. At the event, she cited the tragedy in Haiti, which despite its proximity has not affected the arrival of visitors to the Dominican Republic. It looks great because at a time of political and economic crisis the country has been a prime example.

There was an earthquake in Chile and 3,000 meters away there were no tourists. You had an earthquake 150 miles away, perhaps the most destructive in the past 300 years, and yet tourist activity has increased.

In the Dominican Republic increased foreign visitor arrivals by air increased by 2.46% from January to June this year.

Dominican Republic Live, 11.08.10

Dominican hotel groups seek to obtain the Blue Flag

Hotels Blue Flag Dominican Republic V01An international recognition of environmentally safe facilities

BREAKING NEWS: Recently a considerable number of hotel groups submitted documentation in hopes of qualifying for international Blue Flag certification.

Along with the documentation, it was necessary to present proof of such facilities as, lifeguard towers, access ramps and bathrooms for the disabled, as well as information boards with detailed information, among other criteria that is required to be eligible for certification.

The Blue Flag award or certificate is a selective label given for the development of the beaches and has been granted to more than three thousand beaches in the world. Having received the award, the institutions must continue to comply with the strict criteria or risk losing the certification and the prestige of being recognized internationally as an environmentally safe destination.

The Blue Flag is a symbol recognized by millions of people who then can be sure that the beach or port is complying with the stringent health and environmental standards, thereby guaranteeing them a safe and peaceful holiday.

The water from Blue Flag beaches must be monitored every 15 days by a laboratory to analyze the presence of physical, chemical and biological contaminants; The results of the analysis must be made available on blackboards or boards which are located on the beach area to inform users.

These criteria are grouped around four pillars:

  1. quality of bathing water.
  2. information and environmental education.
  3. environmental management.
  4. security and services.

Upon fulfillment of all conditions implemented for a period of one year without interruption, the beach areas are supervised and carry out the verification which are decided by the National Jury, who will accept or reject the national candidates.

In the Dominican Republic, the national jury includes; the Ministry of Environment, Tourism, Education, Public Health, CIVIMA, National Aquarium, ASONAHORES, Civil Defense and the NCC (National Competitiveness Council) as coordinated by the IDARD (Institute of Environmental Law Dominican Republic), who is charge of monitoring compliance with the criteria established by the International Jury, which is formed by representatives of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), UNEP, UNEP, World Tourism Organization (WTO), European Union and the Organization for the Conservation of Coastal in the European Union (NGOs).

Dominican Republic Live, 12.08.10

President Fernández announces Film Promotion Act

Theaters Dominican Republic V004To promote the film industry in the Dominican Republic

BREAKING NEWS: President Leonel Fernández signed the Law for Promotion of the Cinematographic Activity in the Dominican Republic, said the Minister of Culture, Jose Rafael Lantigua.

The piece of legislation had been passed by the Senate on June 29th, and then was passed by the House of Representatives on July 22nd.

The Act aims to promote a progressive, harmonious and equitable development of the national cinema, and generally promote the film industry in the Dominican Republic.

Among the key aspects of the law include the renaming of the hitherto National Film Office, which henceforth will be called General Directorate of Cinema (DGCINE), which will function with administrative, financial and technical autonomy under the tutelage of the Ministry of Culture.

Similarly, it will establish the Inter-sector Council for the promotion of the film industry in the Dominican Republic (CIPAC), which will be formed, in addition to the Ministry of Culture, by the Ministry of Tourism, the Directorate General of Internal Revenue, the Export and Investment Center (CEI-RD), PROINDUSTRIA, and representatives of academic institutions of cinematography, the Exhibitors Associations, Associations of Film Distributors and Associations of Film Professional.

Other developments of the law are the creation of the Information and Registration System of Dominican Film (SIRECINE) and the Film Promotion Fund (FONPROCINE), for the support and continued promotion of the national film and audiovisual industry. These groups will provide a systemfinancial support, guarantees and investments for the benefit of producers, distributors, traders and exhibitors of local films as well as for policy development in the film industry.

Mr. Lantigua reported that among the stimuli created by the new Film Act are the persons investing cash in Dominican feature film projects, who are entitled to deduct or calculate 100 percent of invested in real value purposes in the calculating of income tax charge.

In addition, for ten years from the effective date of this Act, the income of producers, distributors and exhibitors, of Dominican films in the country or abroad, will be capitalized to develop new products or investments in the film sector, and will be exempt up to 100 percent of the value of the income tax.

Similarly, Mr. Lantigua explained, the law will promote the establishment of movie theaters around the country, in that the natural or legal persons who invest capital in the construction of cinemas in the National District and the municipality of Santiago de los Caballeros will be exempted 50 percent of income tax for a period of 15 years. For other provinces, the exemption will be 100 percent.

He added that the law exempts, for 5 years, from national and municipal taxes on construction permits for cinemas, as well as the import taxes, ITBIS and others, on equipment, materials and furniture.

The Minister of Culture stressed that foreign films produced in the country will not pay ITBIS nor the income tax rate or any other municipal tax, and that established film studios will have a 100 percent exemption.

Lantigua said that, based on this law, the Dominican Cinema will be an agency of the DGCINE, which will work with the resources assigned FONPROCINE and their own investments.

The law has a total of nine chapters and 56 articles, and we are preparing a popular edition, as we did with the Law of the Book, so that all interested parties can learn about and study it, said the senior official.

He said enthusiastically, our Film Act is the best in the whole region and indeed all members of the industry in the country should feel satisfied with a piece of legislation that sets the course for progress and growth, as has always been the aspiration of our visionary President, Dr. Leonel Fernandez.

Finally, he reported that the Ministry of Culture and the new DGCINE will hold a cocktail party on Monday the 23rd, at the Hotel V Centenario, to present the new law in detail, an event at which producers, distributors, exhibitors, artists, educational and media personalities will be in attendance.


The schedule of Santo Domingo Theaters

The schedule of Santiago Theaters

The schedule of La Romana Theaters

Dominican Republic Live, 13.08.10

Tourist arrivals up by 6.16% in July 2010

Tourism Dominican Republic V26Tourism in the Dominican Republic continues to grow

BREAKING NEWS: The Central Bank reported that tourist arrivals to the country were up by 6.16% in July, after recording an increase of 24,247 passengers, as compared to the same month in 2009.

These statistics show that tourism in the Dominican Republic is continuing to grow. According to this report, these positive figures are the result of a 5.7% increase in arrivals of non-resident aliens, or 18,704 extra visitors compared to the same month in 2009.

Meanwhile, non-resident Dominicans accounted for the additional 5,543 visitors this July, an increase of 8.46%.

The cumulative arrival of nonresident passengers to the country during January to July, 2010, was 2,616,486, an increase of 3.04% compared to the same period in 2009. This year´s 77,077 additional visitors reverses the decline of 63,266 tourists lodged in the same period in 2009.

Arrivals by residents grew by 13.75%, exceeding the fall of 6.08% for the same period last year.

The Central Bank´s report states that North America was the continent with the greatest contribution, accounting for 50,125 additional visitors.

44.250 tourists arrived from South America, while Central America and the Caribbean combined to contribute 15,551 visitors. These numbers helped to offset the decline in visitors from mainland Europe, which dropped by 58,973.

Dominican Republic Live, 17.08.10

Dominican Republic is the third most popular tourist destination in the world

According to Hoteles.com

BREAKING NEWS: The Dominican Republic is the third most sought after tourist destinations in the world, according to a list compiled by Hoteles.com, which ranked the 20 most popular destinations.

Mexico is at the top of the list, which along with other cities in Latin America, has experienced a big surge in tourism due to the celebration of the bicentennial of independence.

The most in demand destination is Ixtapa, which showed an increase of 987% compared with July 2009. Filling out the top five are; Riviera Maya (946%), the Dominican Republic (913%), Montevideo in Uruguay (859%) and Paradise Island, Bahamas (791%).

Johannesburg, South Africa made the top ten with an increase of 359.5%, helped by travelers wishing to see the World Cup.

Spain declined in prominence with regard to search a year ago, although the Spanish destination Formentera grew by (506%) to place 13th.

Peñamellera Baja, in Asturia, showed an increase of 394%, while the town of Porto Cristo, Mallorca, rose 393%, taking positions 18 and 19, respectively.

Dominican Republic Live, 18.08.10

Dominican Republic to develop a comprehensive beach management plan

Beach Dominican Republic V27With the support of experts from the Balearic Islands

BREAKING NEWS: The Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic will perform, for the first time in the history of the country, a comprehensive plan for the management of the beaches, with the aim of improving their conditions and raising their status, in conjunction with experts from the Balearic Islands.

The first phase of the project will begin in September with the inspection on 30 beaches in the eastern area of the island, by a team of scientists and technical specialists in the fields of geology, biology and management of coastal resources from the University Balearic Islands, as well as technicians from the Ministry.

During this first phase, there will be a geo-environmental study and proposal for the sustainable management of the natural environment. 18 beaches will be conditioned and a system will be designed, tailored to each case, in the areas of security and services.

According to the ministry, this will result inprograms for monitoring, sustainable management, maintenance and safety of the beaches of the Dominican Republic to ensure quality environmental tourism and also avoid deterioration.

The monitoring of the programs will be left to a team of qualified staff members from the Ministry of Tourism, which has already been formed for this purpose.

According to the Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia, the first phase of the project will take an estimated time of 18 months to be implemented, and will be allocated a budget of 95 million pesos (two million euros).

Dominican Republic Live, 19.08.10

President Fernández receives plaque of recognition from the United Nations

Leonel Fernandez Valerie Julliand V01For his leadership role during the Haitian crisis

BREAKING NEWS: President Leonel Fernández received a plaque from the United Nations on Thursday in recognition of his leadership and humanitarian work during the Haitian tragedy caused by the earthquake of January 12th.

The president accepted the prestigious award on behalf of the Dominican people, and after having talked about his second visit to Haiti after coming to power in 2004, for the first time revealed how he had to make a quick exit from the Palace of the Republic Haiti.

He said he warned the Haitian prime minister of what was happening around the government house and the level of violence that was increasingly intensifying in rejection of the Dominicans.

He claimed he had never referred to this in order to avoid friction between Dominicans and Haitians, and also said that he was able to get out because the MINUSTAH group stood in front of the presidential motorcade so that the Dominican party could leave.

The President emphasized that with the earthquake on January 12th, his government reacted in the best way possible and understood that throughout the Dominican Republic had to be at the forefront of humanitarian aid to Haiti during this tragedy.

For this reason he felt unsure of returning to Haiti and that’s why he reportedly would go to Jimaní, it is then from there that he tentatively decided to travel to the country, because no one knew that he would meet with President Preval, but finally held a meeting in Port-au-Prince with his Haitian counterpart, because they didn´t know what the reaction would be of the citizens of the neighboring country.

But two weeks ago when I travelled to Haiti to attend the ground breaking ceremony at the university that the Dominican Republic has decided to donate to the Haitian people, I noticed how the times have changed, in Cap Haitien in the North region of Haiti a great crowd had gathered and what they were shouting was ´Leonel´, noted Dr. Fernández.

The Haitians were shouting his name because in him they were recognizing the solidarity, generosity, kindness of the Dominican people at a time of tragedy and misfortune in Haiti, and that such cooperation is continuing to take place.

He announced that the university has a very valuable and that this work will open on January 12th of the coming year, at 5:30 in the afternoon, the same time as the occurrence of the earthquake.

I can bear witness to the past 14 years of the relationship between our two countries and as we have risen above. In 1998, when I first went to Haiti as head of state, the first official visit of a Dominican President to Haiti in 60 years, the last time being Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, two peoples who share the same island, however, no president in 60 years had returned to visit Haiti, he said.

The President recounted that when he arrived in the country he was take aback by the attitude of Haitians to the Dominican presidential motorcade in some ways it expressed what had been the tradition of estrangement and misunderstanding with the Dominican people.

He said that contrary to this situation, the official protocol of the Haitian government was friendly and encouraged the establishment of a personal relationship with President Rene Preval, which has since been maintained and has helped strengthen ties between the countries.

The humanitarian coordinator of the United Nations, Valerie Julliand, recognized the rapidity with which the Dominican authorities responded during the Haitian tragedy.

He stressed that he had been in war and disaster, but had never seen a people as supportive and generous as the Dominican, on the night of the earthquake he called several state officials to find ways to help and Nobody said no, they were always willing to go to the aid of the Haitians.

Also recognized during the event were: Aristides Fernandez Zucco, head of the operation Open Wings for Haiti, Father Manuel Ruiz, from Home Life and Hope, the National Council of Private Enterprise, represented by Francisco José Castillo, international cooperation in the person of José Manuel Trullols, Deputy Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, and the journalist, Candida Ortega.

Dominican Republic Live, 20.08.10

French-Dominican Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Economy hold a meeting

French Dominican Chamber Commerce Ministry Economy V001To discuss National Development Strategy Bill

BREAKING NEWS: The Minister of Economy, Themistocles Montás, invited the members of the Dominican-French Chamber of Commerce (CCDF), in order to discuss the National Development Strategy Bill (END), which aims to set the developmental course for the Dominican Republic for the next twenty years.

During the meeting, Magdalena Lizardo, Vice Minister of the Economy, presented END, and said that this month several civil society organizations are being asked to answer a consultation questionnaire concerning this legislation.

Mrs. Lizardo said END comes from the Law of Public Investment and Planning (498-06), enshrined in Article 241 of the Constitution of the Republic, which defines the country’s long-term target image and major commitments assumed by the authorities, the State and all political, economic and social conditions, taking into account their feasibility.

Henri Hebrard, director of the CCDF, said the National Development Strategy is an expression of the country we aspire to have and the society we hope to be by 2030, and a proposal on how we might best achieve this.

Despite the evident economic growth, it is clear that Dominicans are frustrated with the level and quality of development achieved by the country. They want a better country. This strategy is like a travel plan in establishing where we want to draw as a nation and the ways to move in this direction. The CCDF wishes to support the Dominican authorities in their efforts to disseminate the initiatives contained in the National Development Strategy, which will allow economic growth along with social equity.

Mr Hebrard explained that in order to change the reality of a country requires intervention in a multitude of areas: basic education, health, industrial development, improving public administration, agriculture productivity, and improvement of the justice system.

He added that in order to tackle these issues in logical order of, objectives and action lines have been grouped into four broad strategic thrusts, which interact strongly with each other, so it is necessary to be familiar with the complete package to get a clear idea of its completeness and consistency of the strategy in bringing about institutional, social, economic and environmental transformation.

Progress in the implementation of the END will be measured through a set of variables that can be subjected to measurement. We take these indicators as an example of the net coverage of the various educational levels, rate of perceived corruption and percentage share of Dominican exports in world exports.

The Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development will review the questionnaires filled out by the CCDF in order to access the opinions and recommendations of the entities invited to participate in the process.

Finally, the results of this survey will serve as input in the drafting of the Law on National Development Strategy 2010-2030, which will be submitted to Congress.

Dominican Republic Live, 23.08.10

Six airports to be refurbished and expanded in the country

Catey Airport Samana V0221st Century Dominican Airports invests 850 million pesos

BREAKING NEWS: The 21stCentury Dominican Airports Consortium (Aerodom) plans to invest 850 million pesos in the renovation and expansion of six airports.

The information was provided by Victor Diaz Rúa, Public Works Minister and president of the Airport Commission, which conducted a meeting at the airport Las Américas to review the work Aerodom is conducting in that terminal.

Mr.Rua explained that the decision to invest 850 million pesos in these airports, was the main theme of the meeting held by the Airport Commission, of which he is president.

The minister of Public Works stated that renovations to Las Americas International Airport (AILA), will cost RD $450 million and the remaining RD $400 million will be invested in the expansion and remodeling of other airports.

In attendance at the meeting were Aerodom top executives, led by Andrew O’Brian and Airport Department director, Aristides Fernandez Zucco, and representatives of Customs, Immigration, Tourism, Civil Aviation and airline companies.

Dominican Republic Live, 24.08.10

The Tourist Police to assess the tourist spots of the country to increase security

Pedro Antonio Cáceres Chestaro emphasizes importance of tourism

BREAKING NEWS: The director of the Tourist Police, Major General Pedro Antonio Cáceres Chestaro, explained that due to the importance of the tourist industry to the country, security must be high for this sector.

The officer stated that the responsibility has been placed in his hands by the supreme commander of the Armed Forces and National Police, the President, Leonel Fernández, and that he plans to use human resources to ensure the safety of these destinations.

General Chestaro will head the evaluation of the tourist spots of the country as one of the first steps, as well as making contact with all players involved in the industry.

We are committed to safeguard the tourists and all sectors involved in tourism, said Mr. Caceres Chestaro. He stated that citizens who visit us from different parts of the world can rest easy and enjoy their vacations because the Politur is working diligently to ensure their safety.

Dominican Republic Live, 25.08.10

The natural gas market is opened in the Dominican Republic

Natural Gas Dominican Republic V03Will save the country US $1.1 billion per year, 2.5% of GDP

BREAKING NEWS: The natural gas market was opened in the Dominican Republic and will continue to advance without the fear that it may be impacted by a tax burden that is placed to keep the same price level of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which hinders its expansion in the domestic market.

This information was reported by president of AES Dominicana, Marco de la Rosa, who said that contrary to a tax to limit the expansion of natural gas, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has a plan to boost the fuel. We do not expect anything to happen that will affect this market, he said.

He said that the expanded use of natural gas has not occurred more rapidly because the change in energy is a process that doesn´t happen overnight, because it involves huge investments that require planning. For example, he said, the investment we made in the natural gas terminal in Punta Caucedo was US $400 and these are investments that require a certain amount of time to plan and execute.

The executive vice president of the Dominican Corporation of State Electrical Companies (CDEEE), Celso Marranzini, said the decision of the Dominican AES Corporation, to invest $15 million to build a new generating plant is a signconfidence in the energy sector.

He noted that this confidence is also reflected in that for the first time in the last ten years, at the end of 2011, the system will have 500 additional megawatts.

These new megawatts will help to stabilize the system and contribute to a significant reduction in prices, because it begins to change the energy matrix of the Dominican Republic, which at present is highly dependent on oil and diesel fuel said Mr. Marranzini.

The President of AES Dominicana added that natural gas is an opportunity for the country to save resources, approximately US $1.1 billion annually, representing about 2.5% of GDP.

Natural gas also provides savings of up to 40% on the cost of operation and maintenance of machinery.

The transportation sector was among the fastest to adapt and the tourism sector is making the switch to this alternative fuel not only because it is cheaper, but also because of the demands from tourists for clean air. To date some 50 companies have made the change to the use of natural gas as fuel for electricity generation.

Among the main companies that became Pioneers in the use of natural gas are Moldosa, Inca, Grupo Rica, Metaldom, César Iglesias, Mercasid, Ladom, Multiquim, Luz y Fuerza, Envases Antillanos, Group M, Termoenvase, Plastifar, Docalsa, Brugal, Begosa, Acerotec, Dominican Pottery, D’Class, Frito Lay, and other industries.

Dominican Republic Live, 26.08.10

Dominican Republic seeks to attract Chinese tourists

Great Wall China V0154 million Chinese will travel outside their country this year

BREAKING NEWS: The economist Rosa NG Baez said that the Dominican Republic should work on a short-term strategy to attract tourists from China, explaining that during 2010 more than 54 million Chinese will travel outside their territory.

The former technical secretary to the president during the first presidency of President Leonel Fernandez said the country needs to take advantage of not only the huge number of Chinese tourists, but also investment possibilities from that country in Latin America, which last year amounted to US $ 43 billion dollars.

She stated that according to projections by the Economic Commission for Latin America (CEPAL), in 2020 over a hundred million Chinese will be traveling the world. And so the question remains, what is the Dominican Republic doing to take advantage of this tremendous potential

Mrs. Baez added that although Dominican tourism overall has maintained a certain level of stability, in some important areas there has been a downturn. She suggested that the Ministry of Tourism, the National Association of Hotels and Restaurants (Asonahores) and the major hotel chains operating in the country should unite to project the Dominican tourism destinations to the Chinese.

The president of the Foundation Flor para Todos and promoter of the Barrio Chino de Santo Domingo, believes that the Dominican Republic has everything needed to attract tourism and strengthen trade relations with Communist China, which represents the second largest economy in the world.

She said that several Latin American and Caribbean countries have been able to recruit Chinese tourist, including Mexico, Jamaica and Cuba. These countries have adopted specific measures to encourage the flow of tourists from China and simplify the procedures for the visa.

Mrs. Baez explained that in addition to natural attractions, modern accommodations, beaches, and the quality of the people, the Dominican Republic has the distinction of having a thriving Chinese community that has been in the country 148 years and recently established a Neighborhood Chinese business investment that has generated over 200 million pesos.

She added that the Dominican business sector has begun to look towards China and said some of the major economic groups will be present October 5th in The Dominican National Day to be held during the Shanghai Trade Show, which began in May and ends in October.

According to a report of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released in May, China will replace the European Union as the second largest trading partner in the region, ranking behind only the United States by mid-2011.

Latin American countries are actively exploring cooperation agreements with Beijing in such fields as mining, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, science and technology, the report said.

Mrs. Baez was interviewed on National Pulse program, produced by journalists Osvaldo Soriano and José Luis Chávez, on Channel 19.

Dominican Republic Live, 27.08.10

Caribbean monitors the path of Earl a category 4 hurricane

Hurricane Earl V01Green alert for some areas of the Dominican Republic

BREAKING NEWS: Strong winds and heavy rains from Hurricane Earl hit the north of the Lesser Antilles today, while hotels and tourists are stuck in the midst of a hurricane warning on several Caribbean islands.

Sustained winds intensified early this morning to almost 175 km/h. The U.S. National Hurricane Center, based in Miami, reported that Earl could become stronger this afternoon or early Tuesday. It is currently a level 2 force hurricane, on a scale of 5.

Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Bartolome, Saba, Saint Eustatius, the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands received hurricane warnings today.

On Sunday, people on several of the islands were supplied with bottled water, canned food, milk, candles and batteries, while some tourists were quick to take flights back to their countries. Others simply relaxed on the beach the best they could.

In Antigua, the International Airport, V.C. Bird closed and international airlines, LIAT and Winair, suspended their flights. Cruise ships were diverted to other ports in the Caribbean and Mexico.

In St. Kitts and Nevis, authorities urged residents to take all necessary precautions because of the approaching hurricane.

Monday morning, Earl was about 50 miles east-northeast of the island of San Martin, about 155 miles east of Puerto Rico, and was moving west-northwest at 15 mph.

The hurricane-force winds extended up to 50 miles from its vortex, fueled by warmer sea temperatures, which were close to 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).

Experts have warned that Hurricane Earl could bring big waves and tides that might reach 1.2 meters (four feet) above normal levels.

Forecasters said there is a chance that the hurricane would affect the east coast of the United States and even reach to touch the central-eastern region of the country by the weekend.

In the Dominican Republic, Hurricane Earl could cause showers, isolated thunderstorms and gusty winds throughout much of the country.

The Emergency Operations Center (COE) issued a green alert because of the possibility of tropical storm conditions from La Romana to Cape Engaño and from Cape Engaño to Samaná, including La Isla Saona, and the provinces of La Altagracia, El Seibo and Hato Mayor.

Residents of these provinces and in areas located on steep slopes vulnerable to landslides, or those with poor drainage, plus all those near rivers, streams and creeks should take precautions against flooding.

A green alert is declared when the expectations of a phenomenon can cause hazards to the population. The Dominican Republic should closely monitor the development of this hurricane and give strict adherence to ONAMET bulletins.

On the Atlantic Coast, fragile and small craft should remain in port, because of winds and waves. While in Samaná Bay, fragile and small vessels must navigate within the Bay and not venture out to sea.

Dominican Republic Live, 30.08.10

Jaques Attali and Leonel Fernández discuss global crisis

Jacques Attali Leonel Fernandez V07Global Economic Recovery: Opportunities and Challenges

BREAKING NEWS: President Leonel Fernández and the economist Jacques Attali, shared views on the origins of the global crisis, and the future challenges that will need to be faced in order to overcome this situation, during a conference given on Monday by the French professor at the National Palace.

The president stated that Mr. Attali addressed the most serious issue which is now facing humanity, the global finance crisis, which is in the opinion of the Dominican President, the worst thing that has happened to the economic system in the past 80 years.

Professor Attali said in his lecture Global Economic Recovery: Opportunities and Challenges that the global crisis was brought on by the issuance of unsupported mortgage loans, because the applicants to obtain them should have had to register a guarantee repayment mortgage certificate and that mortgage become financial assets, these in turn are placed in international financial markets through the securitization mechanism.

He said those banks who bought these financial assets made more money and invented the monolines, where they obtained credit without any problems.

The French teacher explained that the situation of speculation is very difficult, because if it is not worldwide it does not work « and this will continue. » He also said that worldwide there will always be the same solutions, such as cutting spending, raising taxes, moratorium, searching forothers to pay for you, inflation, war or growth, these are the seven possible solutions, there are no others.

He suggested that a strong economic system must be based on education and savings incentives of its citizens, plus the development of technology and nano technology.

Mr. Attali stressed that countries should create another global economic architecture with a new financial and monetary system.

He added that there exists a lack of global rules, which may be stopping the growth of the world economy. Furthermore, he claimed that no market economy can function without a state and when there is a strong market we have democracy.

The lecturer was introduced by the Minister of Economy, Planning and Development, Temistocles Montas, who pointed out that Mr. Attali´s lecture would be a part of a series of conferences taking place in the National Palace.

Mr. Montas noted that the French teacher and writer has published over 50 novels, essays, biographies and plays, which have been translated into twelve languages. He also mentioned that according to the magazine Foreign Policy, Jacques Attali is among the top 100 intellectuals in the world.

For 10 years, from 1981 to 1991, Mr. Attali was special adviser to French President François Mitterrand, under whom he was in charge of relations with the G-7countries.He later founded, and for two years was the chairman of, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Jacques Attali is currently the director of Planet Finance (Planet Finance), an international non-profit organization that advises and finances the development of microfinance institutions in 80 countries.

In June he was appointed by the French government to review the results of the implementation of the 316 measures proposed in 2008, with the aim of helping France find a successful situation by 2020.

The conference was attended by; Vice President, Rafael Alburquerque, the First Lady, Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, ministers, deputy ministers, and representatives of the diplomatic and consular staff of the country.

Dominican Republic Live, 31.08.10

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