JANUARY 2011

Public Works Will Resume the Asphalting of Roads Today

January 2011

22 contractors will be paid 500 millions pesos each

BREAKING NEWS: Public Works minister Victor Diaz Rúa announced that the asphalting of roads and highways will resume on January 3 nationwide, with 22 contractors who’ll be paid RD $500 million each after winning tenders.

He said the works, for which tender offers were received until September 28, include streets, avenues and country roads in the different regions.

The official said the works were halted once the contracts concluded in the previous phase.

Dominican Republic Live, 03.01.11

Forests Increase in Dominican Republic

January 2001

Forests in Dominican RepublicThanks to the Plan Nacional Quisqueya Verde

BREAKING NEWS: The Dominican Republic increased its forest coverage 5.4% in the past seven years. Environment Minister Jaime David Fernandez wants the media to reach a strategic alliance with the Ministry of Environment to benefit the forests.

In a press conference on Wednesday, 29 December, Jaime David Fernandez said that national forests coverage is 33-33.5%. The Ministry of Environment announced 2011 is the International Year of Forests.

He said in 1996 the forest coverage was 27.5%. He said the increase is attributed to the Plan Nacional Quisqueya Verde, an effort that began when he was Vice President of the Republic from 1996-2000 and since he was named Minister of Environment in August 2008.

He said this year 11,400,000 species of trees have been planted, namely mahogany, local pine, cedar, oak and tamarind. In 2011 the Ministry of Environment will be working from new offices at Avenida Luperon corner Cayetano Germosen.

Dominican Republic Live, 04.01.11

Dominican Republic Has 118 Protected Areas

59 are managed following the International Union for the Conservation of Nature guidelines

BREAKING NEWS: According to the official tally, there are 118 protected areas, but of these only 59 are well managed, according to research by specialists Jose Manuel Mateo Feliz and Adolfo Lopez Belaundo.

In their book “Protected Areas in the Dominican Republic, Nature in its Pure State” (Areas protegidas de la Republica Dominicana, naturaleza en estado puro), published with the support of the Vicini Group and the Pan American Institute of History and Geography, the researchers report having found 59 protected areas that follow the guidelines established by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Hoy newspaper carries an extensive article on the findings of the research. Of the six categories, only four follow the IUCN guidelines: Areas of Strict Protection, National Parks, Natural and Cultural Monuments and Areas of Habitat Management. The researchers say there is a need for more protected areas and new laws to provide these areas with the support needed.

One of the most interesting areas was also perhaps the smallest: the Scientific Reserve at Villa Elisa. In just 0.2k2 researchers found varieties of orchids, including the elusive “cacatica” (Ondicium henekenii), 138 different flora, 28 of which are endemic species, and 23 species of birds including three on the endangered list: parrots, a variety of the woodpecker and the “cao”.

Dominican Republic Live, 05.01.11

Dominicans Students Will Receive Scholarships to Study Abroad

January 2001

For an investment of 700 millions pesos

BREAKING NEWS: These are the best of days for deserving university students. The Ministry of Education under President Leonel Fernández has given priority to awarding costly scholarships so that Dominicans can undergo further studies abroad.

The Ministry of Higher Education (MESCyT) announced that in 2011 1,000 students would study abroad, a RD $700 million investment in their future. In the DR, the Ministry is awarding scholarships at the state university for RD $70 million to 1,200 deserving Dominican students. Another RD $1.2 billion will benefit students participating in English language immersion programs.

Since 2005 when the foreign scholarships program began, the Ministry of Higher Education has granted 8,000 scholarships abroad. Last year 1,345 Dominicans were sent to study abroad. In the DR, 13,000 Dominicans benefited from scholarships at the state university.

Higher Education Minister Ligia Amada Melo said that the scholarships are aimed at providing opportunities for the most talented students who could not afford to study abroad. She said that 15,000 young people have graduated from the scholarship programs over the past five years.

Scholarships are awarded for the following courses: Health (32%), Education (15%), Business (14%), Engineering and Architecture (8%), ICT (6%), Arts (5%), Humanities (4%), Law and Political Sciences (4%), Economy & Finances (4%), Basic & Applied Sciences (2%), Environment (1%), Agriculture & Veterinarian Sciences (1%).

Dominican Republic Live, 06.01.11

Fitch Ratings Lifts is Ratings Outlook on the Dominican Republic

January 2001

Citing the Dominican economic resilience during the global financial crisis

BREAKING NEWS: Ratings agency Fitch has lifted its ratings outlook on the Dominican Republic to positive, citing the nation’s economic resilience during the global financial crisis.

Senior directorTheresa Paiz Fredel said the Dominican Republic’s rapid recovery following the crisis within the context of moderate inflation highlights “the authorities’ commitment to maintaining macroeconomic stability”.

The ratings agency said the nation’s resilience was supported by an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, improving export prospects and structural improvements in debt management.

Despite the strong economic recovery and higher commodity prices, the nation’s central bank met its inflation target of between 6% to 7% last year, which Fitch said bodes well for enhancing monetary policy credibility. The economic recovery exceeded both Fitch’s and the market’s expectations, with growth estimated at 7.8% f estaor 2010.

High per capita income, as well as stronger social and business environment indicators also support the sovereign’s ratings, which stand at B, or five notches into junk territory. However, the Dominican Republic’s liquidity position relative to its peers remains a credit weakness.

Dominican Republic Live, 10.01.11

The Dominican Republic and India are Interested in Strengthening their Commercial Relations

January 2011

A seminar will be organized to talk about the opportunities for bilateral business

BREAKING NEWS: The India Chamber of Commerce in Dominican Republic will host the seminar “Opportunities for businesses between Dominican Republic and India”, aimed at gathering the various sectors interested in getting to know the opportunities and interchange with timely information on how to take part in the trade with the Asian giant.

The event, under the auspices of India’s Embassy, the Round Table of Commonwealth Countries, the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD) and the Dominican Exporters Association, ADOEXPO, will center on India’s great political, economic and social potential for Dominican Republic.

The seminar is slated to start at 8:30 a.m. on January 19, in offices of the CEI-RD, on 27 de Febrero with Luperón avenues.

India Ambassador Deepak Bhojwani will participate the seminar, with the topic “The Situation and Perspective of Bilateral Relations between Dominican Republic and India”.

Dominican Republic Live, 11.01.11

Leonel Fernández Launched the Book “Un Compromiso con Haití”

January 2001

Leonel Fernández and René PrévalIn order to celebrate the first anniversary of earthquake

BREAKING NEWS: President Leonel Fernández said Haiti’s problem isn’t only about mitigating the day to day shortcomings of its population, and that the international community has understood the need to approach it as an integral, long term development strategy, aimed at refounding that nation.

The statement is from the chief executive’s prologue to the book, “A Commitment with Haiti”, that was released at 7 p.m. in the National Palace, to mark one year since the 7.3 magnitude quake leveled Port-au-Prince, leaving hundreds of thousands dead.

“It’s the opportune moment so the international community can, in fact, apply a plan of creation in that direction, so that Haiti can get in step with the modern world totally, with the 21st Century, guaranteeing its population a dignified and just life”, the chief executive says.

In the prologue, Fernández notes that in other opportunities he has stated that Haiti’s chronic poverty began as a result of its war for Independence, which although managing to abolish slavery, condemned it to international isolation.

Dominican Republic Live, 13.01.11

The United States Agency for International Development Finished Program in Constanza

January 2001

The production costs were reduced

BREAKING NEWS: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) affirmed that its Rural Economic Diversification project’s integrated management of plagues improved the zone’s crops and reduced production costs, with the support of the Constanza Horticultural Cluster.

In a statement, USAID said it costs RD $2,741 to harvest one tarea (632 square meters) of broccoli with a traditional system, but only RD $586 by using the integrated practices to handle plagues.

The document also notes that broccoli growers reduced costs by 79%; cauliflower 76%; celery 71% and carrots 32%.

“The use of this type of good agricultural practices will have a great impact on the competitiveness and yield of the agribusiness. As the USAID we are proud to show that it’s possible to produce with quality and innocuity and to manage to be competitive respecting the environment and the health of the farmers”, said USAID Economic Policy coordinator Luis González.

The Constanza Horticultural Clúster conducted the project “Installation of 10 and field markings using good agricultural practices” and looks to implement those procedures in fields to grow celery, carrots, cucumbers, beets cabbage and lettuce. Around 117 small growers received technical assistance including the use of traps, signaling of crops, diversification with high value products and costs reduction.

Dominican Republic Live, 17.01.11

A Support Network Was Created for the Jaragua-Baoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve

January 2001

It contributes to defend the habitat of endangered species

BREAKING NEWS: The Environment Ministry promotes the creation of the Jaragua-Baoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve Support Network, to tackle the great challenge posed by climatic change and global warming.

It calls on all national and local authorities to increase the Reserve’s development plans, to defend the habitat, especially the species faced with extinction.

Through the Declaration of Pedernales, official, local and civil society sectors in Barahona, Pedernales, Baoruco and Independencia provinces assume a commitment to spur the Reserve’s involution to guarantee the conservation of the region’s natural resources. I”t’s an instrument for awareness of the Southwest Region’s inhabitants on the importance of protecting the natural resources”.

The Jaragua-Baoruco-Enriquillo Reserve, an international classification, encompasses three biogeographic regions in the Caribbean: The “Lake Enriquillo Basin”; “Sierra de Bahoruco Range” and “Barahona Promontory”, in addition to islets ands and keys with high endemism.

The Reserve’s central zones are the National Parks Sierra de Baoruco Lago Enriquillo and Jaragua, which are examples of tropical mountain ecosystems, with an enormous importance for the conservation of birds.

Dominican Republic Live, 18.01.11

USAID is Satisfied with the Efforts of the Country to Improve Transparency

The Dominican-American Day was inaugurated yesterday

BREAKING NEWS: The interim director of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Dominican Republic today said Washington is satisfied with “the efforts carried out by the current administration to improve transparency”, and reiterated “a commitment to collaborate together with the authorities and civil society to obtain an increasingly efficient and transparent public administration”.

James Watson inaugurated Tuesday the Dominican-American Day celebration as part of the Third Quality Week taking place in the capital until Thursday, January 20, listed the efforts by Washington to collaborate with the country.

“The corresponding dialogue and interchange of innovative models and better practices in government ethics, quality and management in public administration, without a doubt will contribute significantly to the success of key efforts for transparency such as the Participative Anticorruption Initiative (IPAC), as well as for the successful implementation of major reforms in governance and the judicial sector”, the official said during the event

The USAID director also cited the Agency’s support for the Dominican Government on anticorruption and transparency and in the 30 recommendations in the IPAC, focused to help government agencies to implement three specific areas: public access to information, government purchases, bolstered overseer entities an rendering of accounts.

The USAID also signed cooperation agreements with the Accounts Chamber and the General Office of the Comptroller to implement an assistance program that includes training for 300 auditors in audit norms of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO), and the development of audit guides and norms, such as the audit operative manual, the guide on rights and responsibilities of audited organizations, procedures to evaluate internal controls and guides to examine the National Budget and the presentation of the report to the Congress.

Dominican Republic Live, 19.01.11

CEI-RD is Confident that Exports to India Will Double this Year

January 2001

Eddy Martínez says country will export 20 million dollars to this county

BREAKING NEWS: Dominican Republic Export and Investment Center (CEI-RD) directorEddy Martinez is confident that exports to India will double this year, from around US $10 million to US $20 million.

He said the country exported US $58.9 million from 2006 to 2010, with products including cacao beans, handmade, steel and paper for recycling, cigars, uncured animal skins, pharmaceuticals, wood furniture, dental items, larimar stone, car batteries, among others.

Martinez said he’s also expects that Indian investors’ interest will grow once they learn of Dominican Republic’s benefits on trade, in his view evidenced by the stable climate for investment. “We want to stimulate the arrival of new capitals in the areas of call centers, cinema and others which contribute to our country’s high tech”.

The CEI-RD director spoke in the seminar “Business Opportunities between Dominican Republic and India”, organized by the India Chamber of Commerce in Dominican Republic, hosed by the India Embassy, CEI-RD, the Round Table of Commonwealth Countries, the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD) and the Dominican Exporters Association (ADOEXPO).

The seminar gathered the diverse sectors interested in learning of trade opportunities with India and how to do businesses between both nations.

Recently India’s newly appointed ambassador Deepak Bhojwani listed his country’s political, economic and social potential for the Dominican Republic. The diplomat spoke on the subject “Situation and Perspective of Bilateral Relations between Dominican Republic and India”.

Dominican Republic Live, 20.01.11

The Puerto Rico-Dominican Republic Ferry Will Resume on March 16

January 2001

Puerto Rico Beach With the boat “Caribbean Fantasy”, of the company America Cruise Ferries

BREAKING NEWS: The Puerto Rico-Dominican Republic ferry will resume on March 16 when the boat “Caribbean Fantasy”, of the company America Cruise Ferries, sets course from the port at Mayaguez to Santo Domingo.

The ferry will provide service at 7 p.m. on Mondays from San Juan’s Pan-American Terminal, and at 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays from Mayaguez, the executive Daniel Berrebi announced Thursday.

Given the prevailing east-to-west current, the trip from Santo Domingo to Puerto Rico takes 12 hours and costs US $189 per person, and 8 hours from Puerto Rico to Santo Domingo at US $169 per person. During the announcement, the temporary governor, Kenneth McClintock,

The company said it’s satisfied with the renewal of the “maritime bridge” between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, which they affirm will increase tourism between both islands with an important economic impact.

America Cruise Ferries resumes the crossings previously conducted by the “Ferries del Caribe”, halted since 2009.

Dominican Republic Live, 21.01.11

More and More Tourists Visit the Caribbean

January 2001

Cruise in the Caribbean5% more visitors in 2010 than in 2009

BREAKING NEWS: More than 23 million tourists visited the Caribbean in 2010, a nearly 5 percent increase from the 22.1 million that visited the previous year, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

The Dominican Republic for the first time surpassed 4 million visitors, according to the Ministry of Tourism, while St. Lucia also reported a record 330,000 visitors.

The Bahamas and Jamaica, meanwhile, were among the top eight most requested countries last year, according to a recent quarterly review by Tripology.com, an online travel referral service that caters mostly to United States travelers.

The eastern Caribbean islands of Anguilla and St. Lucia drew hordes of tourists from Canada and the U.S and posted double-digit increases. St. Eustatius, a speck of an island that was previously part of the Netherlands Antilles, got a big boost from European visitors.

The Caribbean also was the second most requested destination last year following the United State.

Dominican Republic Live, 24.01.11

Francisco Javier García is Confident 2011 Will Be Better Than 2010 for Tourism

January 2011

“Tourism in Dominican RepublicThe Dominican Republic continues to attract tourists from around the world”

BREAKING NEWS: The Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia, predicted that 2011 will be better than last year, when the sector recorded a growth of four percent and generated more than 4100 million dollars in benefits for local economy.

He said the tourism sector was dynamic and strong as it was able to grow during difficult times: “The tourism industry in the Dominican Republic has passed the test, since it was able to maintain growth despite the international financial crisis of last year”, Garcia said Fernandez to talk to reporters after being inaugurated thirty-first version of FITUR.

Garcia heads the Dominican delegation that takes part in the International Tourism Fair of Madrid, which last year brought together about 10.966 companies from 166 countries and was covered by journalists 7.352.

Mr. Garcia said FITUR fair is a good way for the Dominican Republic to show that it remains one of the main destinations for the Spanish tourists.

“The Dominican Republic continues to attract tourists from around the world, more and more Spanish and European tourists prefer our country because of its diversity, and the happiness of its people”, he said.

Dominican Republic Live, 25.01.11

Month of the Nation Begins Today

January 2011

To celebrate the 198th anniversary of the birth of Juan Pablo Duarte

BREAKING NEWS: A military and student parade headed by vice president Rafael Alburquerque marks the official start of the Month of the Nation in the northeastern city San Francisco today, and to celebrate the 198th anniversary of the birth of Juan Pablo Duarte, Founder of the Republic.

Patriotic Dates Commission (CPEP) president Juan Daniel Balcácer said the official activities to honor Juan Pablo Duarte will take place across the country simultaneously, with the participation of students and citizens.

In the capital, Presidency’s Chief César Pina Toribio will represent the Government in the ceremonies organized by the “Instituto Duartiano”.

Dominican Republic Live, 26.01.11

Environment Ministry Trains on Prevention of Forest Fires

January 2001

Negligence is behind most forest fires

BREAKING NEWS: The Environment Ministry began the practical course “Forest Fire Prevention Operations” in its school, where 60 Civil Defense, Red Cross and Fire Department volunteers will become trained firefighters.

It said local and international experts will participate in the 10 day workshop, including Pablo Meléndez, forest biologist of Puerto Rico’s Environment and Natural Resources Department.

“We’re going to deal with the topic of wild fires, the importance of forest firefighters, the risks of these fires, personal security, the tools used and field exercises will be conducted with the participants”, Meléndez said

He said as environmentalist his greatest satisfaction is having saved lives and natural resources, control the spread of the fire and even save the biodiversity threatened by the flames.

The expert added that negligence is in fact behind most forest fires.

Dominican Republic Live, 27.01.11

Francisco Javier García Says Cholera Won’t Atourism in Dominican Republic

January 2001

Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez recognized the Health Ministry did a good job

BREAKING NEWS: Tourism minister Francisco Javier García today discarded that the cholera that sickened some 20 Venezuelans in a famous resort would affect tourism, and recognized the Health Ministry’s work to halt its spread.

Garcia said last week and in the presence of president Leonel Fernández hotel chains praised the work health professionals carry out in the country against the spread of the disease.

He said cholera doesn’t affect tourist arrivals and mentioned that last year the country received 4.1 million tourists, the highest number ever.

The official spoke after signing an agreement with cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez to create a museum in the first Cathedral of the Americas, to promote religious tourism, with an initial cost of RD $20 million and is expected to next begin its activities on August 8.

Dominican Republic Live, 28.01.11

Ministry of Tourism Will Launch New Advertising Campaign in Spain

To retrieve the decline in the arrival of Spanish tourists in 2010

BREAKING NEWS: The Minister of Tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia announced that in 2011 an new advertising campaign will be launched in Spain, in order to seduce again Spanish tourists, since in 2010 the country registered a drop in tourist arrivals from this European country.

Mr. García said he was not afraid to invest in Spain, despite the economic downturn over the past two years, since 2011 will be a year of recovery for the European economy.

“Regardless of the economic recovery we’re going to encourage Spanish tourists to come visit the Dominican Republic” said Garcia.

He added that the ministry would also tryi to increase flights from Spain, especially with Iberia and Air Europa. The Minister explained that this institution was trying to prevent the economic crisis that hit Europe to reflect on tourism sector, and highlighted the importance of the Spanish market for the Dominican Republic.

Considered that the policy of lowering prices is not the most appropriate for use as promotional and defended Dominican product quality, which he defined as a key to the success of Dominican tourism.

“The policy of price reduction is not a good option for a country promotion, and value for price is very attractive in the Dominican Republic”, said the Mr. García.

Dominican Republic Live, 31.01.11

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