MAY 2011

Signing of an Agreement to Promote

May 2011

Competitiveness and Innovation

For a donation of EUR22.9 million

BREAKING NEWS : The National Authorizing Officer for European Union development funds, Domingo Jimenez announced the signing of an agreement yesterday with the National Competitiveness Council for a donation of EUR22.9 million (approximately RD $1.26 billion) to contribute to the implementation of a systemic national plan for promoting competitiveness and innovation.

The funds seek to stimulate the creation of quality jobs and strengthen the competitiveness of the country’s productive sector in global markets. The agreement was signed by Jimenez, the head of the European Union delegation in the Dominican Republic Irene Horejs and Andres Van der Horst, executive director of the CNC .

The funds will be disbursed in three chapters throughout a two-year period from 2011-2013.

Dominican Republic Live, 02.05.11

Dominican Republic Wants to Create its Country Brand

The Dominican Republic Center for Export and Investment organizes a forum

BREAKING NEWS : The Dominican Republic Center for Export and Investment (CEI-RD) continues its country branding drive for the Dominican Republic. At an event that began yesterday at the CEI-RD, Industry & Commerce Minister Manuel Garcia Arevalo stressed the importance of the government and private sector choosing a country branding for the Dominican Republic.

He stated that this would promote the Dominican Republic’s potential for business and the tourism and cultural attractions in international markets. He called for the adoption of a differentiation strategy to position the country in the preference of consumers, investors and tourists on a global level.

“We are aware that to achieve this goal effective coordination between government departments is needed, combined with the private sector initiatives, with the objective of creating a coherent message that is capable of raising the image of our goods and services, promoting cultural and sports talents, as well as the attractions of our urban and natural landscape”, he said in his opening words at the workshop.

The Dominican Republic engaged in another major branding initiative several years ago, contracting London-based Fiona Gilmore (Acanchi), one of the world’s leading branding experts. However, the initiative met with opposition from then Minister of Tourism Felix Jimenez and was not used by the government.

Dominican Republic Live, 03.05.11

Inauguration of the First Endemic and Native Seeds Bank in the Dominican Republic

May 2011

To guarantee the survival of high value forest trees

BREAKING NEWS : Dominican president Leonel Fernández inaugurated the first Endemic and Native Seeds Bank in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, by planting a Caracolí tree yesterday.

Jaime David Fernandez Mirabal, environment minister, said initiative aims to preserve and protect the genetic patrimony, especially to guarantee the survival of high value forest trees, and promote a new culture of marketing the seeds as part of a process to cultivate biodiversity.

He said the “Seeds Bank” will respond to the need of Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries to have seeds that guarantee their territory’s biodiversity. D”uring centuries we’ve consumed endemic and native trees without worrying about their reproduction and sustainability, which has caused the disappearance of numerous species and maintains others at risk of extinction”.

The official said the initiative is also part of the strategy to protect the country’s most representative species, by restoring their ecosystems and to supply the demand of the Quisqueya Verde reforestation effort, noting that it will also create for hundreds of jobs, in the community Boca de Nigua.

Among the endemic verities of high interest figure abey, carob, almácigo, anón, baitoa, cabirma, caimito, candelón, ceiba, cedar, ebony, cocuyo, guaráno, yaya, jagua, mamón, macao, olive, mora, saona, níspero, cigua prieta and penda.

He added that Environment has established the price for a pound of baitoa seed at RD $1,500 per pound.

Dominican Republic Live, 04.05.11

Government Issued 65 Licenses to Companies that Market Natural Gas

May 2011

Program to Implement the use of Compressed Natural Gas”

BREAKING NEWS : The Dominican Government issued yesterday 65 new licenses to companies that market natural gas and related activities, during the official launch of the “Program to Implement the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Vehicles”.

President Leonel Fernandez headed the activity in the National Palace, where Industry and Commerce minister Manuel Garcia affirmed that the new licenses provide a new impulse to CNG’s development.

The authorizations will allow the start of operations by three new companies that import equipment, the opening of 20 conversion shops and 42 new natural gas stations that will lead to the creation of four major corridors, from Santo Domingo to all regions, to guarantee the massive use of the fuel.

Garcia said the Natural Gas for Public Transport Vehicles Conversion Project aims to discontinue the Bonogas-driver Card, and reallocate those funds for other social programs.

Dominican Republic Live, 05.05.11

The European Union will Provide 25 Million Euros to Dominican Republic

To help the country reach the Millennium Development Goals

BREAKING NEWS : The European Union (EU) will provide 25 million Euros to help Dominican Republic achieve the Millennium Development Goals promoted by the United Nations, according to an official source.

The funds are part of a disbursement of 1.0 billion Euros pending approval, which the European Union will allocate to Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries which have sustained setbacks or delays in achieving the Goals, European Development Funds National Coordinator Domingo Jimenez explained.

The initiative stipulates 700 million Euros, for nations with major delays and the remaining 300 million for those which have reached determined levels of achievement of those goals.

Domingo Jimenez said the beneficiaries will have to formulate their proposals of intervention in four of the goals: reduction of children mortality, improved maternal health, reduce the proportion of people without access to potable water and basic cleanup by half, and reduce the number of people who undergo hunger by half.

Dominican Republic will promote maternal health and reduce children mortality with the European Union’s support, for which EU delegate in the country Irene Horejs affirmed that the initiative is one more proof of the European governments’ commitment to the people and institutions for human development, and its fight against poverty.

The Millennium Development Goals, to be reached in 2015, also include obtaining universal primary schooling, promote gender equality, fight HIV-AIDS, secure environmental sustainability and develop a global association for development.

Dominican Republic Live, 06.05.11

Foreign Direct Investment Increased 25% in 2010

From U.S. $ 1.258 billion to U.S. $ 1.627 million

BREAKING NEWS : The income of foreign direct investment in the Dominican Republic increased 25% in 2010, an increase of U.S. $ 540 million, from U.S. $ 1.258 billion in 2009 to U.S. $ 1.627 million in 2010.

According to “Foreign direct investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2010” report published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in the Dominican Republic, the foreign direct investment (FDI) is concentrated in the sectors of technology manufactures, mining and tourism.

In the medium term, the Dominican Republic has attracted large amounts of FDI through companies operating in free zones for export or which produce goods and services for the local market. This is explained by its excellent macroeconomic performance, the relative size of its local market and its proximity to the United States.

In the mining sector, the “Pueblo Viejo” project of the Barrick Gold Corporation represents an investment of more than U.S. $ 3,000 million.

Other major investments in this sector were made by the following companies : Cementos Atlas, Colapsen, Karr Securities Inc./Corporación Minera Dominicana et Globestar Mining Corporation/Corporación Minera Dominicana.

Dominican Republic Live, 09.05.11

Leonel Fernández Regrets World Economic Crisis is Not Solved Yet

May 2011

All the countries should participate, not only G20

BREAKING NEWS : Dominican President Leonel Fernández said he regretted that two years after the beginning of the world economic crisis, they have still not been able to find formulas to solve it. This is why he suggested that Latin America should adopt a regional position in order to overcome it.

He set forth the possibility of fusing the economic policies of neo-liberalism and neo-populism in order to see how perhaps out of this there comes a third option that offers a viable solution to the crisis.

He made this affirmations during his speech at the II International Forum of Santo Domingo, called “Dialogue on Democracy, Development, Social Cohesion and Security in Latin America”, which was being held at the Global Democracy and Development Foundation (Funglode), the President underlined that the market has to exist wherever there are exchanges between human beings. He cited the fact that the problem for Latin America is that “we have states that are fiscally weak”.

“It is here, where we are at this time, that we can find a solution something better than neo-liberalism and neo-populism, and perhaps the answer is in the integration of the two, in tying the State with the market, which is the other great controversy”, espoused Fernandez.

“There cannot be well being and prosperity for the people if there are poor states. The truth is that there is still no consciousness in Latin America about having a state with strong fiscal capabilities that can provide answers to the problems of the population”, he said.
All the countries should participate, not only G20

Leonel Fernández also criticized the confrontation of the group of countries that make up the G-20.

He said he feels that if these nations want to seek a global solution to the economic problems that affect the different economies of the world, that will have to include all of the nations through the system of the United Nations Organization.

He congratulated the integration of Brazil, Mexico and Argentina into the G-20, but he questioned the legitimacy of this, since he considered it to be exclusive and lacking legitimacy. “Besides the G-20 we have the G-172 which is excluded (from the G-20), we would have to suggest the adhesion of the G-172 with relation to the G-20 The problem is that they are inside and of those are outside”, the President said.
The democratic transition in the country

The Dominican President also said that after three decades of dictatorial governments, the democratic transition in Latin America began in the Dominican Republic in 1978. He said that the main problem was that in Latin America there were no mechanisms or clear rules of how they were going to produce the democratic alternation of power.

He reiterated moreover, that the coups d’état that occurred in Honduras cannot happen again.

Dominican Republic Live, 10.05.11

Gallup Poll Reveals Hipolito Mejía Would Win With 48.7% of Votes, Danilo Medina 40.4%

May 2011

78% think no other candidate could win

BREAKING NEWS : A poll published by Gallup firm revealed that if the presidential election would be held today, with Danilo Medina as the candidate of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) Hipolito Mejia as the candidate of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) the first would reach 40.4% of votes and the second one 48.7%.

According to the poll, Hipolito Mejía has the largest number of supporters in the North region with 50% in the South with 47%, in the Eastern region with 45% and in the metropolitan area with 41%.

Danilo Medina is more popular in the South region, where he was born. 78% of the persons that intend to participate in the next presidential elections said they think that no other candidate has a chance of winning them.

94% of PRD sympathizers said they would vote for Mejía, while 83% of PLD sympathizers affirmed they vote would go to Danilo Medina. This poll was conducted from 26 to 30 April, and 1,200 citizens were interviewed across the country.

Dominican Republic Live, 11.05.11

Taiwan Businessmen Explore Opportunities in the Country

May 2011

Second Dominican Republic-Taiwan Joint Businesses Meeting

BREAKING NEWS : Dominican Government officials, Business leaders and Taiwan representatives praised the gathering hosted for trade delegation and industrialists of Taiwan, aimed at developing business opportunities.

Ligia Bonetti, National Council Business (CONEP) vice president, delivered the inaugural speech for the Second Dominican Republic-Taiwan Joint Businesses Meeting.

She said the complementariness of both economies is a strength worth noting and that the Taiwan-Dominican alliance seeks a better and shared future.

“We will have to create a virtuous circle of opportunities that will be perfected with the passing of time”, she said, adding that “we’ll also temper our will to forge onward regardless of how difficult the adversity that we must defeat”.

Among the Taiwan companies present in the event were International Integrated Systems lnc., Tenon Industrial Co., Ltd, Golden May Industry CO., LTD., CHYI YANG Industrial CO., LTD, Linkage Co., Ltd., Ihlin Co., Re-energy Technology Co. Ltd., Sinotech Engineering Consultants Ltd., and Peter King Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Dominican Republic Live, 12.05.11

Leonel Fernández Will go to Port-au-Prince Tomorrow

May 2011

For the inaugural ceremony of Michel Martelly

President Leonel Fernández will go to Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Saturday to assist to the inaugural ceremony of that nation’s president elect Michel Martelly.

Foreign Relations minister Carlos Morales and the Presidency’s Press director Rafael Núñez, among other officials, will accompany the chief executive.

Fernández will head to Haiti from western Barahona province, to the Dominican embassy in that nation, in the capital’s Petionville sector, from where he’ll go to the Presidential Palace at 10 a.m. for the inaugural of Haiti’s new leader.

Fernández will go to the Dominican embassy in Haiti, from where he’s scheduled to return to Santo Domingo.

Dominican Republic Live, 13.05.11

In 2011, 1.6 Million Tourists Visited the Dominican Republic

14.02% growth in April

Dominican Tourism continues consolidating in the local economy, as 1.6 million visitors by air make it its highest growth in the first four-month period, during the last three years

Tourism minister Francisco Javier Garcia said, as he cited Central Bank figures, that just in April 330,697 non-residents visitor came the country, for a 14.02% growth compared with the same month last year, and an additional 46,488 visitors, while nonresident Dominicans grew 14.34%, or 5,014 more.

He said the growth in the first four months of 2011 was 5.24%, or 81,363 more tourists than the same year ago period, mostly American. Garcia said the Tourism Ministry and the private sector conducted a successful ad campaign that led to the sector’s highest growth in the last three years from January to April.

The official said the 16,381 tourists from the U.S. contributed to making April the highest month in growth during the last 3 years.

Dominican Republic Live, 16.05.11

Beginning of a Project to Reforest the Masacre River Basin

May 2011

Reforestation of the Masacre river basinDominican-Haitian cooperation

Haiti’s and Dominican Republic’s Environment ministries began a project to reforest the Masacre river basin, in which Norway cooperates with 1.5 million dollars.

“It’s a project with the philosophy of the National Plan Quisqueya Verde, to recover the Masacre river basin, increase its forest cover, improve water management techniques and of basic cleanup of the homes”, said Jaime David Fernandez Mirabal, Dominican Environment minister.

He added that Haitian and Dominican environmental crews will plant diverse trees in the depredated zones in Haiti and Dominican Republic, and hailed Norway’s solidarity in restoring that basin.

Ferbández Mirabal also said the United Nations has also provided assistance to create new reforestation crews, and “green” jobs. “This is the creation of green jobs because that aid will arrive directly to the communities. As of this week all the mango and cashew seeds that the citizens in this place can gather will be bought by the sack”.

Dominican Republic Live, 17.05.11

Dominican Exports Increased by 13.14% in the First Trimester of the Year

According to the Center for Export & Investments

Dominican exports have increased by 13.14% in the first trimester of the year, according to the Center for Export & Investments (CEI-RD).

Exports were up US $156.87 million increasing from US $1.193 billion in the first quarter 2010 to US $1.350 billion for the January to March 2011 period.

Traditional exports were increased by 12.57%, while non-traditional exports showed a stronger 14.59% increase.The United States remain the main importer of Dominican products, importing US $653.59 million during the period, up 12.99%.

Haiti was second with US $241.28 million in exports, up 16.95%. Puerto Rico was third with US $241.2 million.

Dominican Republic Live, 18.05.11

Leonel Fernández Met With American Business Leaders

They are interested in investing millions in Dominican Republic

Dominican president Leonel Fernandez met in New York with business leaders from different areas, who expressed their interest in making major investments in the Dominican Republic, including Robert L. Johnson, president of RLJ Companies, which has millions worth of global interests in hotels and finances.

 

Fernandez’s delegation includes Administrative Minister Luis Manuel Bonetti; Export and Investment Center Director Eddy Martine and the ex Ambassador in Washington Roberto Saladín.

M. Fernández also headed a separate meeting with members of the Hispanic Investment Committee, of the United States Chamber of Commerce, representing retail chairs, banks, finances, telecoms, hotes, entertainment, pharmaceuticals, waste recycling and services.

Some of the participants already have companies in the Dominican Republic, while others said they want to learn of the country’s investment climate and legal security.

Among the participants were Douglas Llapen, of the telecom Turitel; David Teller, of Empire Bank; Israel Rosenblum, of the company REPDSA and Abraham Greenfield, president of the company Dollar Phone.

Fernandez highlighted Dominican Republic’s current macroeconomic stability and institutional vigor, which in his view has become a destination for safe and profitable investments.

The chief executive noted the comparative advantages through the Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and Central America (DR-CAFTA), the Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) and other pacts to bolster commerce.

Dominican Republic Live, 20.05.11

Leonel Fernández Returned Last Night From New York

He arrived at the Las Americas International Airport

Dominican president Leonel Fernández arrived last night from New York, where since Thursday he had held meetings with authorities and business leaders interested in investing in the country.

Fernández held meetings with several business leaders, among them Robert L. Johnson, founding president of RLJ Companies, with investments in the hotel and finance sectors worldwide, and with the New York Chamber of Commerce.

The Head of State arrived on a private flight at 8:46 p.m., accompanied by his son Omar Leonel Fernandez and the Presidency’s Press director Rafael Núñez and other officials, and was received in the Las Americas International Airport by a delegation headed by Armed Forces minister Joaquin Virgilio Perez.

Dominican Republic Live, 23.05.11

Dominican Flag on Top of  World’s Highest Mountain

Dominican flag on Everest summitDominicans reached the Everest summit

The Dominican expedition to climb Mount Everest is on its way back home after two of its members

 

reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain.

The International Mountain Guide expedition support company announced that yesterday, the teams celebrated the conquest of the Everest.The team is known locally as the “Grupo Excelsior”.

In the early hours of Saturday May 21 (local time), Karim Mella became the first Dominican to conquer Mount Everest and post the Dominican flag at the top.

Next was Ivan Gomez. A third team member, Federico Jovine, did not make it after experiencing technical problems with his oxygen mask.

He was 300 meters from the top. The south side climb of the mountain, up 8,850 meters (29,035 feet) began on 28 March and the men, who were accompanied by a doctor, Julio de Pena, are now on their way down.

Dominican Republic Live, 24.05.11
Dominican agricultural enterprises to conquer the French market
Trip of the Dominican-French Chamber of Commerce to Rungis, FranceJean Marc Harion heads the commission

The Dominican-French Chamber of Commerce (CCDF) joined a mission of 26 companies, clusters and cooperatives of the agricultural and agro-industrial sector, which left the country for France, to promote business opportunities and new markets.

As part of the trade mission there will be business meetings with important French buyers, ensuring the growth and diversification of national agricultural exports to France.

The main products that are exported are: organic bananas, pineapples, avocados, mangoes, ginger, milk, spices, greenhouse vegetables, and fruit pulp.

The trade mission is led by the businessman Jean Marc Harion, president of the CCDF, Jesús Moreno, vice treasurer of the Chamber, and Patrick Lebrun, head of Economic Services of the French Embassy in the country.

The initiative receives the support of companies such as: Banco Popular, Orange Dominicana, Helados Bon, Junta Agroempresarial Dominicana (JAD), Grupo Accor and Hostal Nicolás de Ovando, Casa de Campo and Hotel Santo Domingo and Air France.

This business trip is the fourth version to be made in the country, as a joint initiative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Center for Export and Investment of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) and the Dominican-French Chamber of Commerce (CCDF).

It also receives the support of the National Competitiveness Council (CNC), the Ministry of Agriculture (MA), the FAO and the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Paris.

Dominican Republic Live, 25.05.11

The Ambassador of the United States Highlights Dominican Republic Growth

May 2011

Beach in Dominican RepublicEducation and energy are the country’s most important challenges

The ambassador of the United States in the country said yesterday that the Dominican Republic has made impressive progress, and highlighted the growth of the local economy.

However, he said the country should face some important challenges in education, the Rule of Law and electric energy.

Raul H. Yzaguirre spoke during to the monthly luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce, and he also congratulated President Leonel Fernandez for his support of the anti-corruption participatory initiative, which he said could become an international model for fighting corruption.

The diplomat said that the Dominican Republic has overcome better than many other countries the global economic crisis, but maintaining growth and making it more fair and sustainable is a challenge.

He declared that the free trade agreement has brought the Dominican Republic and his country closer as business partners. He cited the fact that « Dominicana » is taking on an important role in the region and that the United States is committed to the country.

Concerning the challenges, Mr. Yzaguirre considers that the most important problem that faces the Dominican Republic is that of education, with low levels in mathematics, in spite of high rates of economic growth, beyond what you would expect of the rate of educational achievements.

Another of the challenges is the issue of energy, and he said that the first thing that should be done is to guarantee those that consume energy pay for it, and that the government should only subsidize the poor families, although he recognized that it would be a difficult process, but one that merits the support of the business community.

Dominican Republic Live, 26.05.11

Caribbean Tourism Bourse to Promote Dominican Tourism

May 2011

From June 16th to 18th, 2011

The 15th edition of the Caribbean Tourism Bourse BTC will take place from June 16 to 18, in Dominican Fiesta Hotel Convention Center. It’s one of the country’s top venues to promote tourism in nontraditional markets and business opportunities in the sector.

An alliance with the Real Estate Tourism & Marina Expo will also be a novelty this year, with a special area set aside for developers and investors to address specialized topics.

The event details were announced to the press and industry representatives by BTC president Luis Felipe Aquino, who noted that the activities will be developed by the specific tourism activities of cruises, business and conventions, golf, adventure and cultural, among others.

The week of trade show activities, which will bring together exhibitors and product supplies with the services intermediaries, and a Business Circle in withlocal and international tour operators.

Dominican Republic Live, 27.05.11

The Country Commemorates the 50th Anniversary of  Trujillo Death

May 2011

He remained 31 years in power

This May 30th, Dominican Republic mark with several activities the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, whose almost 31 year reign of terror came to a bloody end in the darkness of the capital’s seaside highway in 1961.

On the night of May 30, 1961, he was shot dead on Avenida George Washington in Santo Domingo during an ambush planned by Modesto Diaz, Salvador Estrella Sadhalá, Antonio de la Maza, Amado García Guerrero, Manuel Cáceres Michel (Tunti), Juan Tomás Diaz, Roberto Pastoriza, Luis Amiama Tió, Antonio Imbert Barrera, Pedro Livio Cedeño, and Huáscar Tejeda.

The main activity will be held in the monument built where the dictator was gunned down, headed by the Foundation Heroes of May 30, with the only survivor, Major General Antonio Imbert Barrera, again expected to attend.

The Government also inaugurated the Museum of the Resistance, created “to compile, organize, preserve, investigate and exhibit the properties of the nation’s legacy, in the struggle against the Trujillo Era dictatorship (1930-1961) and the bloodiest regime of the Americas”.

Dominican Republic Live, 30.05.11

El Rio-Jarabacoa Road Reconstruction Advance at Good Pace

May 2011

With an investment of more than 71 million dollars

The Public Works Ministry advances in the reconstruction of the El Rio-Jarabacoa road in central La Vega province, with an investment of 71 million dollars, which will allow travel to nearby Constanza.

The new 27 kilometers long, two lane highway is 6.6 meters wide is being built under an accelerated design and construction formula, which takes into account its unstable slopes and deficient drainage.

The company Odebrecht heads the road’s reconstruction work, while RV Consultores Internacionales S.R.L., (COINSA) is responsible for the supervision of the works.

Dominican Republic Live, 31.05.11

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