JUNE 2011

Today Marks the Beginning of the Hurricane Season in the Atlantic and the Caribbean

June 2011

Dominican Republic is ready

Today marks the beginning of the six-month-long hurricane season in the Atlantic and disaster organisations in the Caribbean have urged citizens to ensure they’re fully prepared. Although hurricanes can strike at any time, this is the time frame when a hurricane is most likely to form in the Atlantic Ocean.

Emergency organisations across the region have been issuing statements reminding of the need to be ready for a season that is predicted to be more active than average.

In Dominican Republic, the National Meteorology Office (Onamet) said in a statement it was “ready to monitor hurricane activity during the months of June to November (…)”.

However, the director of the ONAMET, Gloria Ceballos, stressed the importance of the population role who must keep itself informed on weather events. Local emergency offices launched like every year during this season the “Hurricane Season Contingency Plan”.

General Luis Antonio Luna Paulino, Director General of Civil Defense and Chairman of the National Emergency Commission COE, headed the launching ceremony of an educational campaign concerning the hurricane season in the Dominican Republic.

The campaign aims to increase levels of public awareness about the importance of being prepared for the possibility of a catastrophic event. According to Dr. William M. Gray and Dr. Philip J. Klotzbach, lead scientists with the project, there is a 20 percent greater chance (72 percent) than normal that a category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane will make landfall in the United States in 2011.
Keep informed about the Hurricane Season 2011 HERE

Dominican Republic Live, 01.06.11

Bad Beginning for Hurricane Season

June 2011

13 Dominican provinces in alert against floods

The Atlantic hurricane season began yesterday with a blast in the heart of the Caribbean, with the Dominican Government placing 13 provinces on flash flooding alert Wednesday night, when downpours drenched most of the country.

The National Office into Meteorology said the rains will continue during the next 3 days, with thunderstorms and gusts of wind from the high humidity associated with a low pressure system Southwest of Jamaica, and the Windward Passage.

It also forecasts moderate to heavy precipitation from a tropical wave south of the Dominican Republic.

In this context, the COE issued a yellow alert for the following provinces: Sanchez Ramirez, Independence, Bahoruco, San Juan de la Maguana, Monsignor Nouel, La Vega, Duarte, Monte Plata, San Cristobal, Barahona and San José de Ocoa.

Green warning was emitted against urban flood in Santo Domingo, the National District and San Pedro de Macoris.

The National Meteorological Office emitted a warning of flash floods and landslides, for residents near rivers, streams and creeks of the provinces of Duarte (especially the Bajo Yuna), Sánchez Ramírez, Bahoruco, Barahona (with special attention to the towns of Campbell, Jaquimeyes and The Rock), Independencia and San Juan de la Maguana.
Keep informed about the Hurricane Season 2011 HERE

Dominican Republic Live, 02.06.11

27 Communities Cut off  Because of the Rains in Dominican Republic

June 2011

19 provinces remain under alert

The low pressure system provoked heavy rains during the weekend that cut off more than 27 communities, forced dozens of people into shelters and damaged 300 houses by flooding in different south region provinces.

The rains also affected communities in Sanchez Ramirez, San Pedro de Macorís, San Juan, Barahona and Pedernales provinces, among others.

It also toppled the bridge that links the northwest communities El Peñón and El Aguacate, Dajabón, and another in eastern San Pedro.

Onamet meteorologist Bolivar Ledesma said the rains from the lower pressure system will continue to affect the country, this is why the Emergency Operations Center (COE) decided to maintain alerts for 21 provinces, as the National Meteorology Office (Onamet) forecasts that last week’s downpours will continue.

Dominican Republic Live, 06.06.11

8442 People Evacuated in Dominican Republic Because of Floods

June 2011

Rains will continue today and tomorrow

In provinces north of the Dominican capital, authorities evacuated 4,117 people, and at least a dozen homes were destroyed by floodwaters from the Licey River, as the result of the nationwide downpours since Thursday.

In total, 881 homes were flooded, several bridges were damaged and in the province of Monte Plata, south of the country, more than 400 families are isolated due to flooding of the River Ozama.

The Emergency Operations Center (COE) last night issued alerts for greater Santo Domingo, San Cristóbal and Monte Plata provinces, and ordered mandatory evacuations in Santiago, where at least 18 houses were destroyed, 20 on the verge of collapse from mudslides and 500 in Licey, Moca and Tamboril.

So far there is no official information about possible deaths. Flood damaged 25,000 chickens drowned in a poultry farm of Juan Lucas Alba.

Some plantations were also devastated in eastern Monte Plata province, and the communities Chirino, El Talao and Mata los Indios were cutoff when the Ozama river overflowed yesterday.

In Dajabón (northwest) the bridge that links the towns El Pino and El Aguacate collapsed from a swelled gorge, while the Soco river, in San Pedro, cut off communities including Cabeza de Toro, Lima and San Piña.

The Onamet forecasted the rains will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday in most of the country and alerted the population risk of further flooding and landslides.

According to the last informations revealed today, now 8442 people were displaced, and 3.178 houses affected by the rains.(Updated at 3.25 p.m.)

Dominican Republic Live, 07.06.11

Dominican Economy Will Grow From 5% to 5.5% in 2011

June 2011

According to the International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation revealed Tuesday that it expects the Dominican economy to grow from 5% to 5.5% this year, and said the Dominican Government pledged a commitment with a harsher policies.

“The Government has reiterated its commitment with the objectives and the policies of its economic program, which foresees a hardening of the policies for 2011”, the International Monetary Fund said in a statement.

It said economic growth will be from 5 to 5.5% and inflation will range from 6 to 7% in 2011, while the fiscal policy aims at a consolidated public sector deficit of 3% of the Gross Domestic Product, as the 2011 Budget stipulates.

The delegation that recently visited the country from May 24th to June 7th said the performance of the program under the stand-by pact with Dominican Republic continues being satisfactory, but several criteria slated for execution for the end of December 2010 and the end of March this year weren’t met, mainly those of the electrical sector, where the large subsidies hindered the fiscal result.

Dominican Republic Live, 08.06.11

Dominican Republic Has a Strategic Position with Natural Gas

June 2011

Natural gasAES Dominicana invested US $600 million in the sector

Marcos De la Rosa, AES Dominicana energy group president affirmed that his company has managed to place the country in a strategic position within the global energetic matrix, and among the hemisphere’s leaders.

“Dominican Republic is among the five countries with more than 25% natural gas -compared with Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico and the United States- which have 40% of their matrix converted to natural gas”, he said, noting that it must be taken into account that those countries produce that fuel.

He added AES Dominicana has invested around US $1.0 billion in the country, US $600 million of which have been allocated to develop the natural gas infrastructure.

Mr. De la Rosa also explained that in addition to electricity generation, the investment has prompted other segments to use natural gas, including industries and vehicles.

Concerning the industrial sector, the AES Dominicana president revealed that nearly 50 factories already use natural gas, and have reported savings as high as 40%, with RD $1,000 per day in public transport vehicles.

According to him, the country has saved nearly US $600 million thanks to the change of the energetic matrix, from the standpoint of the electrical subsidies.

Dominican Republic Live, 09.06.11

The Rains Filled Dams and Improved Agriculture

June 2011

The showers cured the effects of the last drought

The rains that have fallen over a large part of the country these last weeks have left several dead and caused considerable material damage, however, they cured the effects of the last drought and created the necessary conditions for carrying out a massive planting of farm products.

They also filled all of the reservoirs according to the Committee of Dams and Reservoirs.

The 32 dams-between large and small dams and the reservoirs in back of them-that the country has, are now at stable levels according to the spokesman for the Committee on Dams, engineer Luis Cuevas.

He said that the intense rains were able to restore these infrastructures after the prolonged drought that lasted from December 2010 until April of this year.

Luis Cuevas pointed out that they are now using 76% of the storage capacity and the majority of the dams have space available to cushion any rains that might fall, except for Hatillo which is the only one that is dumping 176.7 m3 a second, but under controlled handling, and it does not represent any danger to the Lower Yuna watershed.

He added that as of yesterday the Moncion Dam is 19 meters below its limit and Sabana Yegua is 12 and the dam at Higuey is 36 below maximum.
He stressed that up until now the dams represent no danger but they have to wait for the behavior of th new rainy season.

The Ministry of Agricultures said that the crops that were flooded in some areas of the country are few in proportion to the lands that were benefitted by the rains, and this is the reason that the ministry foresees the planting of some 300,000 “tareas” (close to 19,000 hectares) with 20 different farm crops.

The program includes planting of “batata”, yucca, corn, rice, and vegetables among short-cycle crops and plantains and bananas among medium-cycle crops.

With the sowing program, it estimated that 994,291 quintals of the different crops will be produced, which, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, will keep the nation’s markets supplied.

Dominican Republic Live, 10.06.11

Dominican Cinerma in the Cannes Film Festival

June 2011

Marlon Soto and Leticia Tonos were part of the Caribbean delegation

After intense planning and effort, the Caribbean Audiovisual Network (CAN) participated in the 64th Cannes Film Festival and Market (16-18 May 2011) under the banner – “Unity is Strength”.

The 34-person delegation was led by the Guadeloupe Regional Council, in partnership with the Caribbean Export Development Agency that facilitated the participation of the Bahamas, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.

Representing the Dominican Republic, Marlon Soto, Director General of Cinema and director Leticia Tonos, attended the event. They had the opportunity to present the different aspects of the dominican cinema to the many organizations that attend this festival, which is undoubtedly one of the most important the world.

Brain-child of Tony Coco-Viloin, Guadeloupe Film Commissioner and CAN Vice-President, this initiative presented the Caribbean, (for the first time) as a region with a wealth of diverse locations, and world-class technical and human resources for international film projects.

“The opportunity to be a part of the Film France stand at the Pantiero International Village, was priceless – as the Caribbean would otherwise have been lost in the massive Film Market”. The President of Film France addressed the delegation and invited guests at the Pitching Session on Wednesday May 18, noting that the partnership between the Guadeloupe Regional Council and the Caribbean Audiovisual Network and its spin off movements such as the Caribbean Film Commissions Group, is serving as a source of inspiration for the European Network of Film Commissions.

One of the main objectives was a pitching platform that showcased three (3) recently completed films from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago and four (4) feature film projects in development from Guadeloupe.

“Our participation in Cannes gave us a broad perspective on global film market and actual trend and direct contacts with buyers around the world for the distribution of our film LOVE CHILD. We met with distributors from Spain, Germany, NY and Los Angeles, and have been invited to several Festivals including, “the African Diaspora Film Festival, Caribbean Film Corner and the Malaga Film Festival”, said Leticia Tonos, Producer/ Director – Dominican Republic.

Another major component of the programme was the launch of the Caribbean Film Commissions Group which aims to represent the Caribbean as a dynamic resource network and to facilitate technical collaboration among countries across the region at multiple-levels. In the memorandum of understanding, the participants undertook to work together to achieve concrete goals, including “the creation of an inventory of human, financial, infrastructural and available technical resources for the promotion of the film sector in their respective territories; to pursue wherever possible, the joint branding, exhibition, promotion opportunities such as participation in locations trade fairs, film festivals, and film markets; to create a production guide to include case studies, success stories in financing and distribution; and to advocate for the development of film commissions in regional territories where none exist”.

Cannes was the ideal setting to discuss the One Short, One Movie project developed by Tita Production in Marseilles. Overseas editions have been produced in Guadeloupe and New Caledonia, in parthership with local co-producers

The idea of the Caribbean project is to assemble a stellar team of filmmakers from across the region to create a series of shorts films that will raise the bar and help showcase our indigenous stories and talents. Participants at Cannes had an opportunity to see the 8 shorts shot in New Caledonia in late 2010, as they were screened at the Film Market to critical acclaim.

Dominican Republic Live, 13.06.11

Standard & Poor’s Raised the Dominican Republic’s Credit Rating

June 2011

Standard & Poor’sCiting improvements in the debt structure and economy growth

Standard & Poor’s raised the Dominican Republic’s credit rating on Monday, citing improvements in the country’s debt structure and prospects the economy will continue to grow at a healthy pace.

S & P said in a statement it upgraded the long-term foreign currency rating of the Dominican Republic, one of the largest economies in the Caribbean, to B-plus from B. S& P’s rating is four notches below investment grade.

“The Dominican Republic’s economy remains resilient, S & P” said. “The upgrade reflects the country’s progress in gradually improving its debt structure and debt management, its stronger growth and export prospects”.

S & P said continued growth will be helped by the reopening of a key nickel mine this year and the planned 2012 production start at Barrick Gold’s Pueblo Viejo gold project, the Dominican’s largest foreign investment project.

S & P, however, warned the Caribbean nation still has many structural and institutional challenges.”Despite buoyant economic growth, fiscal challenges persist as revenue collection lags behind the economic expansion”, it said.

The upgrade comes as the government of President Leonel Fernández is moving to tap international capital markets for $500 million this year.

Fernández is also pushing a tax reform bill in Congress to help the government meet fiscal targets under a $1.6 billion economic aid program it agreed to with the International Monetary Fund during the global economic slowdown.

Dominican Republic Live, 14.06.11

Dominican Republic Agricultural Power in Central America and Caribbean

June 2011

Agriculture in the country is well advanced”

The Dominican Republic has become, at agricultural level, a regional power in Central America and the Caribbean, said representatives of international organizations accredited in the country who ensure that this achievement in recent years is the result of the large investment by the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, and regained producers confidence.

These declarations were made by Isaac Tsai, Taiwan’s amabassador in the country; Antonio Fernández, agricultural attaché of the Embassy of Spain; Margie Bauer, agricultural advisor of the Embassy of the United States, and Miguel Marrero, a representative of the International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA).

Mr. Marrero, OIRSA representative, stressed that the biggest efforts of the authorities of the official sector, private and supportive partners, have allowed the agricultural sector to expand and develop.

“There has been a significant advance currently, since 4,500 containers of bananas are exported weekly, 25% of banana production is being exported to the European market, where health and safety conditions are very demanding, surpassing in that item the US $200 million”, said Marrero.

He added that in the line of oriental vegetables, Dominican Republic was able to reduce drastically the automatic withholding in the United States and Europe, because Dominican producers have welcomed the recommendations of the technical officers and international organizations.

“In oriental vegetables we are exporting to Europe, Canada and the United States more than US $80 million, plus mangoes, whose producers have improved the quality of that fruit, pineapple and other items; also, greenhouses have grown, allowing the country and producers to have a cost-effective healthcare”, he said.

He highlighted the joint efforts (support all initiatives that benefit the country) of the government, employers, and the producers, whose work is closely followed by international agencies.

Fernández said that “Agriculture in the Dominican Republic, in many respects, is a regional power at the farm level. In Central America and the Caribbean, Dominican emerges as a nation of greater importance”.

He meant that from the technical point of view, “agriculture in the country is well advanced in economic and agricultural matters, because it has increased exports to European Union nations”.

He said that Dominican Republic exports between 50 to 60% of bananas consumed in the European market, “Over the past four years it has tripled its sales in Spain, because the fruit produced in the Dominican Republic has high quality, it’s healthy, and because it is economically acceptable and benefits both to Spanish consumers and Dominican producers”, he said.

The Spanish embassy official in the country said that the traditional cooperation between the Dominican Republic and Spain, in the area of agriculture, is based on specific and multilateral programs; which are reinforced by the European Union, which run on the training centers of the Spanish Cooperation in Latin America.

He clarified that the contributions of Spain consist on technical cooperation, courses, training and exchange of professionals.

Mrs. Bauer, agricultural counselor at the Embassy of the United States, said her country takes on Dominican products, because the authorities and producers have achieved excellent progress in plant health in agriculture.

The North American embassy official noted that her government supports two agricultural development programs for US $22 million, involving the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The Dominican agricultural sector must continue its development to produce the products that the Dominican people needs”, she said.

While the Ambassador of Taiwan, Tsai said that the government of his country provides aid to Dominican Republic to share expertise and technology to that Dominican Republic’s agricultural sector forwards.

He clarified that the Taiwanese mission cooperates in agricultural technical advisory. “Our country supports three projects, a laboratory in La Vega; another one with the Piñeiro sector in La Vega and in the Cooperativa de Fruticultores (Fruticultores)”.

He said that Taiwan will continue this year providing financial and technical resources to the Ministry of Agriculture to control diseases such as Huanglongbin, which affects plantations of citrus and other fruits.

Dominican Republic Live, 15.06.11

Dominican Cinema Industry Would Spur Investments of US $ 375 Millions

June 2011

Dominican cinema industry According to an investigation paid by Indomina Group

According to a research paid by the Indomina Group, the Dominican film industry would spur investments of US $375 million in five years and create 24,000 high quality jobs in different sectors.

Anthony Smith, Indomina vice president said the economic flow would be from the production of at least 10 films per year, with an average investment of US $7.5 million on each.

“Evidently the national reserves will increase extremely with this impact and the country would have a high import of capitals”, he said, noting that the figures a based on a hypothetical framework designed with Great Britain and New Mexico, and the United States as a reference.

Speaking in the forum “Cinema Law Investment Perspective”, Smith affirmed that the incentives created in the legislation have already begun to spur important foreign investors, for which if the norm is applied as it has been planned thus far, still needs to be seen.

The expert based in Los Angeles said he’s confident that opportunities will be derived from an early development of that business in Dominican Republic.

Smith was accompanied by Juan Vicini, of Indomina Group; Manuel Corripio, of the Corripio Communications Group; Ricardo Hazoury, of the resort grop Cap Cana, and noted film producer Alfonso Rodriguez.

Dominican Republic Live, 16.06.11

Dominican Republic Will Resume Meat Exports to the United States

June 2011

After a suspension of 31 years

Manuel Garcia, the Dominican Industry and Commerce minister affirmed Thursday the country will resume meat and processed meat exports to the United States this year, because the Government recently published a norm on those exports, after a suspension of 31 years.

He said the provision paves the way to reenter the international market, “from which we had retired in the 1980s from the fall in international prices and the change in regulations”, and that the implementation of the norm benefits a sector with exporting potential.

Garcia added that Presidential Decree 329-10 issued May 17 contains the national norm on the production and handling of meats and related products, with the names of the agencies in charge of inspection and certifications; the requirements for slaughterhouse and processing plants, as well as details that compare the national norms and procedures with those in effect in the United States and the other developed countries.

Dominican Republic Live, 17.06.11

Leonel Fernández Signs Agreements in Jordania

June 2011

To spur trade with the Middle East

Leonel Fernández, the Dominican Republic president, signed two bilateral cooperation agreements in Amman Monday, with Maruf Bajitto, Jordan prime minister, in order to spur trade with the Middle East.

Presidency press director Rafael Núñez said the meeting will lead to “opening the Middle East’s door to project Dominican Republic in other countries of the region”.

He explained that the “essentially work” meeting the chief executives dealt with the strategies to promote tourism, trade and the new technologies established in both countries, based on “commissions created for the supply of Dominican products in Jordan”.

Núñez said the Amman Chamber of Commerce and the Dominican Republic Exports and Investments Center signed the agreements, adding that tourism and information and communication technologies were also discussed.

In a statement, Bajit and Fernandez made a call to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the formation of an independent Palestinian State. Bajit also invited Dominican Republic to the International Tourism Congress to be staged in Jordan in September.

Dominican Republic Live, 20.06.11

Leonel Fernández Arrived in Israel

June 2011

Ex British prime minister Tony BlairHe will meet Tony Blair and Shimon Peres

Dominican President Leonel Fernández arrived in Israel Monday night for talks with ex British prime minister Tony Blair and Israeli president Shimon Peres.

The Head of State arrived at 9 p.m. local time accompanied by Margarita Cedeño and was received by Israeli officials and Dominican ambassador Alexander de la Rosa and other diplomats.

Previously, Fernández also visited Palestine, where he stressed the need to push that nation’s peace process with Israel, recognizing the latter’s right to safe borders and the former’s right to statehood.

“The government of the Dominican Republic supports completely and in a consistent manner the right of the Palestinian people to constitute itself as an independent State, coexisting peacefully with the State of Israel”, Fernández said in a press conference, after being received by Palestine Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

Fernández said those goals must be reached achieve in adherence with the United Nations Resolution in effect.

On Tuesday, the Dominican president will head the seminar “High Tech Investment in Dominican Republic”, where he’ll tout his country’s advantages and reaches to invest, in addition to other bilateral meetings.

Dominican Republic Live, 21.06.11

Mahmoud Abbas and Abdullah II Will Visit Dominican Republic

June 2011

Fernández highlighted the advantages of investing in the country

King Abdullah of Jordan and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority told Dominican President Leonel Fernández that they hoped to visit the Dominican Republic in the near future as part of the Dominican President’s push to strengthen commercial, cultural and diplomatic ties with the region, before the end of the year.

The visits will take place in September and October this year. Fernández, himself, described his visit to the area as “historic” , and said that he was pleased with the results. The Jordan Times reported that Fernandez highlighted the common factors shared by the DR and Jordan, especially with regard to the democratic drive and economic openness.
On Monday, Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit discussed ways of bolstering bilateral relations as well as the latest regional developments with Fernandez.

Bakhit stressed the importance of the visit to Jordan as a means of boosting bilateral ties. The Prime Minister mentioned the need to increase cooperation in the fields of trade, tourism and investment between the two countries, emphasizing the importance of Jordan’s location as a gateway to other regional markets, as reported in Jordan Times.

He also invited the Dominican Republic to participate in the International Tourism Conference that Jordan is hosting in September. Currently, the tourism sector’s contribution to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product stands at around 21%.

He and President Fernandez attended the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries’ ministries of foreign affairs to develop political coordination between both sides.

During a session at the Amman Chamber of Commerce, Fernandez gave a long talk on the advantages of investing in the Dominican Republic in the areas of agriculture, alternative energy, tourism, infrastructure, electronics, manufacturing and technological development.

In a bid to boost trade, on Monday the Amman Chamber of Commerce (ACC) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dominican Republic’s Centre for Export and Investment to enhance commercial cooperation.

ACC president Riyadh Saifi invited Dominican businesspeople to visit Jordan and become acquainted with investment opportunities and learn about Jordanian products so as to increase the joint volume of commercial exchange.

Dominican Republic Live, 22.06.11

Leonel Fernández Arrived in Paris

June 2011

He met the president of La Francophonie

Dominican President Leonel Fernández arrived Friday in Paris, where he’ll meet with the director of UNESCO, and will be interviewed by newspaper Le Monde. He was received by Dominican ambassador in France, Laura Faxas and UNESCO representative Rosa Hernandez de Grullón, among other Dominican diplomats in that nation.

The chief executive arrived at 10:40 p.m. local time in Charles de Gaulle Airport, accompanied by the Foreign Relations minister Carlos Morales, First Lady Margarita Cedeño, Press director Rafael Núñez, among other Dominican officials and business loaders.

The president is slated to return to the country at Las Americas Airport on a private flight from New York around 2 p.m. Sunday.
Dominican president met Abdou Diouf

The Dominican president Leonel Fernandez met with the president of La Francophonie and former president of Senegal, Abdou Diouf, in order to strengthen cooperation and the teaching of French language in the development of projects in the border area with Haiti.

The information was offered the Dominican ambassador in France, Laura Faxas, who said the president of that entity thanked Fernandez for the support that the Dominican government has given to Haiti after it was hit by an earthquake in January 2010.

Faxas said the two men discussed the role that the French language would have in the university donated by the Dominican government to Haiti.

The Dominican Republic is the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean, besides Haiti, which is part of the Francophonie.

Dominican Republic Live, 24.06.11

The Dominican Republic, the Most Attractive Island for Movie Making

June 2011

Indomina Pinewood Studios will be launched in Juan Dolio

The Dominican Republic would rise in the eyes of the movie filming industry and investors with the construction of Indomina Pinewood Studios and if the proposed filming incentive law is approved by congress.

The country could be placed as the most attractive destination in the Caribbean for international actors to shoot films.

According to the information, the new Indomina Pinewood Movie Studios, which would be launched on Wednesday 23rd of June 2011, would be the most senior of its kind in the region and one of the few available to Latin America. Indomina Pinewood Studios would be built by Vicini, in association with the British company Pinewood.

It is expected that the film industry will emerge in the country if in addition to building this infrastructure, which is expected to be completed in 18 months. Also with the approval of the new bill of incentives for the film industry submitted to Congress by President Leonel Fernández last year it could be a new dawn for the Dominican Republic and how it will be seen by investors worldwide.

Among other incentives, the law would allow companies to invest in feature Dominican film projects to deduct expenses taxes to up to 100% in order to foster that sort of productions.

The bill also creates a fund to promote the film industry that would feed from fourteen sources, including resources allocated in the General State Budget, of the revenue from national taxes on the ticket or entrance fee showrooms to pay customers to exhibitors and 100% of Revenue Tax on the Transfer of Industrialized Goods and Services (ITBIS), on sales and movie rental establishments engaged this business or any other tax replacing it, as well as 100% of revenues generated by the ITBIS charged with sales of products within theaters or any other tax replacing it.

Any good film shot on location at the tourist destinations could become a catalyst for the Dominican Republic real estate and villa rental industry to boom because good films bear a lot of weigh in tourism promotion when the advertising goes worldwide. The villas for rent in Sosua and Cabarete would greatly benefit from a large movie cast and media people demanding rooms that would most probably be full in most hotels during high season.

Puerto Rico adopted a law on incentives for the film industry in 1999, which was extended earlier this year, which has attracted international actors for the filming of movies that have a significant economic impact on the island. Some of the best locations for movies in the Dominican Republic are the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo, The beaches and tourist areas of Puerto Plata, Cabarete, Sosua, Samaná, Bavaro, Punta Cana and The Southern Barahona.

Dominican Republic Live, 24.06.11

Dominican Republic Stands Against Whale Hunting

June 2011

The country signed an agreement along with 11 other nations

Dominican Republic is among the 11 Latin American nations that now stand behind an international agreement calling for a ban on hunting these mammals.

The agreement would only allow for controlled hunting, strictly for scientific and research purposes without killing the whales.

Representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay signed the agreement in Buenos Aires, during a meeting to prepare for the annual International Whaling Commission conference in July in the United Kingdom.

Dominican Republic Live, 27.06.11

Process to Register the Brand “Barahona Coffee” Advances

June 2011

It should benefit 7,294 growers

Different agencies of Dominican Republic’s coffee sector have begun the legal process to register the brand “Barahona Coffee”, that should benefit 7,294 growers and their families in the southwestern Enriquillo region.

All necessary documents are ready to establish the Barahona Coffee brand, according to the declarations made during an activity in the presence of the members of the future brand’s Regulatory Council; Dominican Farming and Forestry Research Institute (IDIAF) director Rafael Perez Duvergé; officials of the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECID), the National Industrial Property Office (Onapi), and the Agriculture Ministry.

The organizers added that the Barahona Coffee brand’s success is guaranteed, given its world known flavor and quality.

Dominican Republic Live, 28.06.11

Dominican Republic Signs Agreement With Puerto Rico

June 2011

Aimed at boosting business ties between both countries

Representatives of more than 51,300 major companies and professional organizations of Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico announced the start of the push for the “Dominican, Puerto Rican and Caribbean Business Connection Alliance”, which goal is to boost business ties between both countries and the Caribbean, via concrete actions, together with their governments.

Ambassador Virgilio Alvarez Bonilla represented the Dominican Government in the press conference held during Puerto Rico’s Annual Chamber of Commerce Convention.

Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño was accompanied by Alliance president Luis Llompart Torres, and the business leader Carlos Daniel Pellerano.

“The Business Connection aims to interchange perspective and information with respect to the challenges and opportunities before us”, Fortuño said.

Dominican Republic Live, 29.06.11

American Chamber of Commerce Highlights Education Critical State

June 2011

IDB works to prepare more than 70 million children in Latin America

The American Chamber of Commerce, AMCHAM, yesterday considered that given education’s critical state, the private sector doesn’t have the luxury to wait for something that the Government hasn’t been able to solve alone, even if the taxpayers’ money should’ve been spent in human capital and infrastructure to bolster competitiveness and the capacity to generate wealth and dignified jobs.

Julio Virgilio Brache, AMCHAM president said the problem requires the private sector’s involvement, and proposed a pact to the Government, with concrete roles and visible commitments, since in his view no sector can advance by itself, for which efforts are needed to obtain viable and effective results in education.

He added that AMCHAM has begun that commitment through its education program, noting its high impact such as quality training for teachers, which he affirms is one of the most critical aspects to reach a quality education in Dominican Republic.

Mr. Brache spoke before a dissertation by Marcelo Cabrol, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Education Division chief, who said since 2006 AMCHAM sponsors integral schools with the participation of 40 companies, at a cost of US $1.5 million in more than 60 schools at nationwide, directly benefiting 1,140 teachers and more than 44,000 children.

Cabrol considers the IDB’s vision of 21st century schools is to halt what he affirms is a current statistic that 4 of every 10 children don’t reach high school, which has serious consequences for their job possibilities and personal future.

He said languages, especially English, and math is the first place to start to surmount the country’s deficiencies in education. “The problem of language is what most affects the Dominican Republic, just as it does in other nations of Latin America”.

According to him, the IDB works to prepare more than 70 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean for a totally productive and inclusive life, adding that a study found that the best paying jobs go to those who finish high school.

Dominican Republic Live, 30.06.11

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