NEWS APRIL 2008

Air Dominicana Waiting For its First Airplane

Air Dominicana

Air Dominicana PlaneFlights to the United States, Mexico and South America

Everything is getting ready for the new airline Air Dominicana to begin operations in May with flights to the United States, Mexico and South America, to later expand to other destinations, in what government officials and business leaders say it’s vital for the growth of tourism.

The first airplane, a Boeing 737 with a capacity of 180 passengers, is in the middle of a checking process in E

urope before a series of test flights from April 24 – 30.

The second airplane is supposed to arrive in the Dominican Republic in May. Air Dominicana will contribute to remarkably diversify the tourism offer and to increase the number of visitors.

According to some sources, foreign investors own 47 percent of the new carrier’s shares, the State has 30 percent, and local investors 23 percent.

Dominican Republic Live, 01.04.08

Tourism and Real Estate Guide The Foreign Investments in Dominican Republic

Banco Central
Graphic for foreign investments in Dominican RepublicA growth of 43%

A growth of 43% in 2007 motivated by tourism and real estate, the direct foreign investment (IED) grew by 43% last year while going from 1,183.4 million U $ dollars in 2006 to 1,698 million.

While during the two last years (of 2005 to 2007), the direct foreign investment grew by 60% compared to the period 2002-2004, according to a report of the Center of Export and Investment of Dominican Republic (CEI-RD).

In the sectors of greater growth with regard to the foreign investment one finds tourism, with important projects like Cap Cana, the hotels Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Westin Rocco Ki, Macao Caribe Beach, among others.

The direct foreign investment also benefited from a good growth in the sector of telecommunications, one of the most dynamic.

The investments in this sector correspond to the companies Claro-Codetel, Orange Dominicana, Tricom and Centennial.

The renewable energy sectors, frank zones, mining industry, the financier, the commercial ones, the construction and the centers of contacts or Call Centers are also good opportunities for the direct foreign investment.

The countries of origin of the investments are the United States, principal commercial partner of the Dominican Republic, with a participation of 1,946.4 million U $ from 2002 to 2006.

As well as Spain, Canada, Grand Cayman, England, Switzerland, Holland and France, according to the report of the CEI-RD.

In 2003, there was a reduction in the investments, but since 2005 confidence in the country returned from the American investors.

Dominican Republic Live, 01.04.08

Medical operation in Miches

Miches
Social AssistanceOperations which change lives

MICHES.- A group of Dominican doctors operated 86 inhabitants of Miches who suffered from various pathologies, thus providing the solution to health problems without any cost for the patients.

The operation extended during five intense days and was coordinated by the Presidential Commission on the Objectives of the Millenium and the Sustainable Development (COPDES), the Office of the First Lady, the Secretariat of Public Health and the Social Assistance (SESPAS), the doctors belonging to Medical Ministry International, the Committee for the Tourist Development and Conservation of the Natural resources of Miches (CONATURA), the Eastern Ecological Foundation and by the members of the Community.

Many pathologies were operated, which, because of their advanced state, harmed the productivity and the quality of life not only of the patients, but also of their entourage.

The smiles were the motivation of the members of these institutions to continue to join their efforts in order to be able to repeat this type of mission.

While the operation proceeded during Semana Santa Reflexiva 2008, the personnel of the Community took care of the patients for their transfer, to keep them company and in other cases by making gifts of money, of housing and meal.

Such was the case of General Bernardo Santana Páez, ex Chef of the National police force and coming from Miches, who offered housing to the doctors and to their collaborators, and of SESPAS with the sending of an ambulance and of ancillary medical equipment.

At the end of the day, the Community expressed its gratitude to everybody to have devoted these days off to support a noble cause.

Dominican Republic Live, 02.04.08

Improvement Of Health and Education Systems

ChildrenThe « keys » of new PLD governmentCentral Bank

MIAMI, Florida. – President Leonel Fernández said that the reinforcement of the Dominican health system, the improvement of the quality of education and the promotion of the investments will constitute the « key points » of the new government of the Party of the Dominican Liberation.

Fernández, who terminated this Thursday a political tour in Miami, made this speech within the framework of a visit to the León Medical Center (a first aid center).

He stressed that his government works to obtain the reinforcement of the Social Security system, so that the Dominicans can receive better care, as well in the public as in private centers.

Interviewed by local journalists, Fernández explained that the experiment of the health center visited could be used as example for the model of social security recently implemented in Dominican Republic.

For the Dominican agent, a strategic alliance with this city would be used to benefit from the experiment from the health system of Miami, which enjoys a great prestige in the United States.

He explained that education in Dominican Republic is to be renewed, because the objectives tend towards academic excellence, in order to optimize Dominican human resources. The Head of the State stressed that education is a basic point in the vision of development applied in this moment in Dominican Republic.

By its proximity with the Dominican territory, the State of Florida will continue to play a fundamental role in the exchange with the country, because the volume of businesses reaches 8 billion dollars and that the objective is to continue to increase it.

He expressed that his administration promotes the sector of construction through initiatives like that of the funds of pensions for the construction of residences for the professionals of the sector, as well as the implementation of a system of concessions for great public works. Benjamín León, president of Medical León Center, said that Fernández is the Dominican agent who more promotes the free enterprise and the climate of peace and investment in the area.

“I congratulate president Fernández for the role he played at the time of the XX Rio Summit, which took place recently in Santo Domingo”, he also expressed.

Dominican Republic Live,04.04.08

Airline Companies Want to Fly to Dominican Republic

Avianca
Airplane Airline companiesMexicana, Delta Air Lines and Avianca

The Mexicana de Aviación, Delta Air Lines, of the United States; and Avianca, of Colombia, companies are seeking to obtain new roads towards and from the Dominican Republic, informed the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation (IDAC).

The director of IDAC, José Tomás Pérez, explained that although Delta Air Lines has already roads established in the airport of Las Américas from Santo Domingo to Miami and New York, he asked an authorization to the institution to operate from the Dominican capital to Atlanta.

“Independently of the air lines, we study requests made by other companies of air transport which may find it beneficial to fly to and from the country. The companies asking for an authorization are coming from several countries” , specified Pérez.

In the same way, the manager of IDAC underlined these demands for indicating that that will stimulate the tourism growth.

Dominican Republic Live, by Dusan Piña V., 07.04.08

Project of Bio Diesel Production in Dominican Republic

alternative Energies Dominican Republic
Bio diesel Sixty thousand annual tons

MADRID. – A project of production of bio diesel in Dominican Republic will be presented in April 11 in Santo Domingo, at the time of a ceremony to which will assist authorities of this country and representatives of the University King Juan Carlos and other Spanish collaborator organizations.

The presentation of the project will be made by the Spanish company Globalia.

The goal is to collaborate on the development of the zone by the auto provisioning of energy obtained from the natural resources of the country, without causing loss to the food chain, informed sources of the company.

The project implies the production of 60.000 annual tons of bio diesel in Dominican Republic, and will be represented by Globasol (pertaining to the Spanish group Globalia) which just received a prize in the Latin-American Forum of Leadership which took place in Miami (United States).

The project of Globasol integrates all the phases of the process, from the raw material, produced by energy agro local cultures, to the production of bio fuel and to the marketing on the Caribbean market, without forgetting the sustainable development of the environment.

The president of the company, Juan Hidalgo; the general manager, Javier Hidalgo; the general manager of Globasol, Daniel Suárez and the director of the division of Bio fuels, Vicente Galindo will attend the ceremony of initiation of the project.

Dominican Republic Live, 08.04.08

Dominican Capital Residents Ignore Call to Strike

Call by the Alternative Social Forum

Residents of the Dominican capital largely ignored the call to strike by the groups in the Alternative Social Forum (FSA), while president Leonel Fernández last night met with the heads of the Armed Forces, National Police and National Investigation Department (DNI), reportedly to talk about topics related with the walkout slated for today.

Traffic in the main areas of Santo Domingo is normal, though there are more police and traffic agents, as even military troops have been deployed in key intersections.

Yesterday, political parties, social organizations and business groups issued statements to the press either to support or reject the announced strike, but all agree in requesting that the organizers carry out peaceful manifestations.

Dominican Republic Live,09.04.08

Experts Predict 8 Hurricanes in The Atlantic

Hurricane
Atmospheric trends and hurricane 15 named storms

ScienceDaily (PRESS RELEASE). — The Colorado State University forecast team upgraded its early season forecast today from the Bahamas Weather Conference, saying the U.S. Atlantic basin will likely experience a well above-average hurricane season.

“Current oceanic and atmospheric trends indicate that we will likely have an active Atlantic basin hurricane season,” said William Gray, who is beginning his 25th year forecasting hurricanes at Colorado State University.

The team’s forecast now anticipates 15 named storms forming in the Atlantic basin between June 1 and Nov. 30. Eight of the storms are predicted to become hurricanes, and of those eight, four are expected to develop into intense or major hurricanes (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. Long-term averages are 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 intense hurricanes per year.

“Based on our latest forecast, the probability of a major hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline is 69 percent compared with the last-century average of 52 percent,” said Phil Klotzbach of the Colorado State hurricane forecast team. “We are calling for a very active hurricane season this year, but not as active as the 2004 and 2005 seasons.”

Last year two Tropical Storms, Olga and Noel, caused at least 45 deaths and damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic Live, 10.04.08

Dominican Republic Back to Normal

santo Domingo
Street of Santo Domingo Strike leaves 7 hurt

SANTO DOMINGO .- The country returned to normal after the Alternative Social Forum (ASF) lifted the 24-hour strike, to demand a lower cost of living, a change of the Hydrocarbons Law, among other grievances.

Since 7 a.m. traffic of private and passenger vehicles has been normal around country.

Schools and universities reopened whereas the Dominican capital’s streets and avenues were busy with vendors offering a wide variety of items.

The ASF said yesterday’s protest was a success, while the Government called it a failure.

At least seven people were injured by gunfire during the protest, one in the capital and the rest in various locations in the Cibao.

Dominican Republic Live,10.04.08

Vote-count « a Holy mission », Dominican Electoral Chief Says

Julio Cesar Castanos Guzman
Julio Cesar CastañosPresidential election

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) will conduct a faithful vote count as if were « a holy mission » in the May 16 presidential elections, said yesterday its president Julio Cesar Castaños, who also guaranteed the tally’s fairness.

The electoral judge said none of the JCE’s nine members will waver in their duty, and advised them that in the electoral process’ clarity and transparency, their honor, those of their families and their professional careers are at stake

Castaños, speaking to mark the JCE’s 85th anniversary with religious leaders, judges, diplomats and delegates of the political parties present, said the electoral court will count every vote and will be just and strong in its task.

Dominican Republic Live,11.04.08

Fairmont Joins Dominican Republic

Roco Ki Resort
Punta Cana Beach225 rooms in Rõco Ki

Fairmont will develop a hotel and residences within Roco Ki, a luxury residential and resort community in the Punta Cana region of the Dominican Republic.

Fairmont Roco Ki will entail a 255-room hotel; Fairmont Residences; Fairmont Heritage Place, a private residence club; several restaurants and bars; 17,500 square feet of meeting space, a Willow Stream Spa; a fitness area; and pool and beach facilities.

Opening is scheduled for 2010.

Dominican Republic Live,15.04.08

New Dominican Airline’s Inaugural Flight Set for May 2

Plane Air Dominicana
Plane Dominican airline’sAir Dominicana first take off

Tourism minister Felix Jimenez said the new airline Air Dominicana’s first flight will take off from Las Americas Airport on May 2, with president Leonel Fernandez in the inaugural flight, scheduled to cross part of the country’s territory.

“The airplane comes from Majorca, Spain and will arrive next week for test flights and will take off at 10 a.m. on the 2nd from Las Americas towards a nearby destination, so the President can go and return within two-and-a-half or three hours”, he said, and that to carry out this historical flight media directors and tourism industry leaders, among others have also been invited.

Jiménez said 70 percent of Air Dominicana’s shares are privately held, and the remaining 30 percent belong to the Dominican State.

He said 14 of the new carrier’s 16 pilots are Dominicans, who’ve been trained in Miami’s Panam Academy.

According to Spanish newspaper Terra, the carrier’s routed is Punta Cana (east)-Colombia-Venezuela, using a Boeing B737.

Dominican Republic Live, 17.04.08

Presidential Summit Between Central America and Dominican RepublicPresidential Summit
Samuel Santos and Carlos Morales TroncosoPresidential Summit About Food Security Will Take Place in Nicaragua

The countries of Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico and Venezuela were invited to take part in a presidential summit to define a regional strategy in order to improve the food production and distribution at a right price.

This conclave will take place on next May 7, in Managua, Nicaragua.

To prepare this summit on food safety, a meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the participating countries will take place on Saturday April26, in Santo Domingo.

As explained by the Secretary of the Foreign Relations, Carlos Morales Troncoso and his counterpart of the Republic of Nicaragua, Samuel Santos, the search for solutions in front of the current food crisis will have to focus on the optimization of the national production and the auto provisioning.

The Dominican and Nicaraguan chancellors, who gave a press conference to the National Palace, reiterated the interdependent support with the sister republic of Haiti and announced that this country was also invited to participate to this summit.

They moreover informed that their respective countries decided to start again the tourist cooperation agreement. Especially by underlining the sharing of experience and by exploring the starting of a program of multi destinations tourism.

At the time of his official visit in Dominican Republic, the Nicaraguan chancellor met with his Dominican counterpart and they covered subjects of common interest among which the Latin-American situation and the reinforcement of the bilateral relations between these two nations.

The two ministers underlined the excellent friendship which characterize the relations between Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, with the need for stimulating greater levels of co-operation and exchange, by using in a pragmatic way the bilateral mechanisms present in the agreements and the treaties in force between the two countries.

Dominican Republic Live, 18.04.08

The Central Bank Places 100 Million US $

Central BankMeasures to adapt the market demand

The Central Bank will place 100 million US dollars on the market to deal with the needs for external payments corresponding mainly to the imports of products forming part of the family basket.

The BC informed that these resources will be placed trough the Banco de Reservas and that the call was made to the financial and exchange organizations, to the economic agents and the public in general.

The BC explains that these measures will make possible to adapt the market demand, which in pre electoral period and in a seasonal way, tends to rise by creating not desired inflationary pressures, situation that they try to correct through an effective control of the monetary aggregates.

It means that this decision will also contribute to mitigate the impact which the oil prices, currently on historical levels, have, on the costs of transport, which affect the internal prices of the basic products, mainly agricultural.

In the same manner, this placement of currencies will also contribute to reduce the costs of other importation products like corn, sorghum, soy and dried milk, which also underwent frequent increases on the international markets.

With the adoption of these measures, the BC reiterates its compromise with the price stability and the control of inflation as principal objective and necessary condition to maintain the macro-economic stability.

Dominican Republic Live, 22.04.08

More Than One Million Tourists in Dominican Republic

Dominican Beach8% more tourists in 2008 first trimester

During the first quarter of this year, Dominican Republic recorded the arrival of 1.114.313 tourists, 8% more than during the same period in 2007.

The holiday makers are mainly arriving from the United States, Canada and South America, new markets which recorded the greatest growth during this period with a percentage in rise going from 10.9% to 36.6%.

The secretary of Tourism, Felix Jiménez, also quoted Russia as being one of the new countries traveling to Dominican Republic, with a doubled growth as well as Mexico, with a growth of 12%.

Dominican Republic Live, 22.04.08

More Than Three Thousand People Displaced Following The Tornado

Tornado Republica Dominicana
725 houses destroyed

The director of the Emergencies Operations Center (COE), Juan Méndez García, communicated that the number of people displaced increased to three thousand 625 and that 725 houses were destroyed or damaged by the strong rains and the hail which affected the provinces of La Vega, San Pedro de Macorís, San Francisco and Valverde on last Sunday. Méndez García said that all the displaced people are accommodated in their families or in friend’s houses.

By presenting today the preliminary report of the damage, he stressed that green and red alarm levels are maintained for several provinces of the Cibao and the East, because of the impact of the tornadoes and of a low pressure located on the North-East which will continue to influence the weather. “We expect an increase of cloudiness as from midday with the presence of scattered downpours accompanied by thunder and the possibility of wind gusts, more frequent in the North, North-east, South-east, Valle del Cibao and the Border areas” he indicated.

Green alert level is issued for the provinces of Puerto Plata, Santiago, Samaná, María Trinidad Sánchez (especially Río San Juan and Nagua) and Espaillat (Gaspar Hernández and Moca), Duarte (especially el Bajo Yuna), Hato Mayor, El Seibo and San Pedro de Macorís, while the red alert is issued for the Province of La Vega.

As for the damage, he said that in San Pedro de Macorís, 13 residences were seriously affected, while the lines of power transmission and electric distribution were restored at 100 %.

The damage on the cultures, specifically rice, banana and vegetables, are in recovery process, while the electric posts in La Vega are for the moment repaired at 30%.

As for the education system, it operates again at 100%.

Dominican Republic Live, by Deyanira Polanco, 23.04.08

Dominican Republic: Business Optimism

Santo Domingo
Bank of Dominican Republic Foreign and local companies are bullish

Miami.- Foreign and local companies are bullish on the Dominican Republic, although with a caveat – that President Leonel Fernandez from the PLD party is re-elected in May, according to Latin Business Chronicle. “If the PLD is elected and there is an oil and foreign exchange stability, I would say the business outlook is good,” says Miguel Barletta, president of Grupo Ambar, which distributes popular brands like Nissan and Chevrolet in the country.

Fernando Garcia, vice president for Latin America for U.S.-based American Power Conversion (APC), agrees. “The administration of Leonel Fernandez is definitely betting on technology and aiming to convert the Dominican Republic into a link between the United States and Latin America,” he says. “The measures it is taking is definitely being felt on the streets”.

Garcia is referring to the turnaround of the economy since Fernandez asumed office in August 2004 after inheriting falling GDP and Latin America’s highest inflation rate. GDP growth has gone from falling 1.9 percent in 2003 (the last full year before Fernandez took over) to 8.5 percent growth last year. The average GDP growth during Fernandez’ administration has been 8.3 percent. By comparison, the average GDP under Fernandez’ predecessor, Hipolito Mejia, was a dismal 1.8 percent, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of data for 2001-04 and 2005-08 from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Inflation has also improved markedly under Fernandez. Last year it reached 6.1 percent, which compares with 51.4 percent in 2004, the worst in Latin America at the time. The average inflation rate under Fernandez has been 6.0 percent. That compares with 23.3 percent under Mejia from the PRD party. A return to PRD would be ill-fated, Garcia warns.

Dominican Republic Live, from Latin Business Chronicle, 24.04.08

 

 

 

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