NEWS NOVEMBER 2008

Forum of Biarritz

BIARRITZ, France. – Dominican president Leonel Fernandez today demanded that all countries, and not only those of the G20, participate in the international financial system’s reform, which should be “more just and more equal,” and to fight in the first place the speculative phenomena.

The Head of State, who participated in the first session of the Forum of Biarritz (in France’s Basque Country), said the new international financial system must include all countries, in a criticism of the November 15 summit in Washington, that will gather those of the G20, and which groups the seven richer (G7) and some of the large emergent economies.

Fernandez railed against the phenomena of speculation that, in his view, are behind the latest food and energy crises, which he said have caused “immense, incalculable damage on the economies of nations, as well as the « suffering » of its citizens”.

“We’re at the expense of it occurring once again in the not very distant future,” he cautioned, since the same speculation mechanisms are in the United States real estate crisis, turned quickly into a financial crisis.

“That has brought an undeniable fact of a generalized distrust,”in a system he described as “a casino economy” in particular because the operators in the petroleum or raw material futures markets no longer work with a physical product, rather with “paper.”

Dominican Republic Live, 03.11.08

WORLD: Latin America Indifferent Over U.S. Election, Poll Reveals


Latin America indifferent over U.S. election, poll revealsObama has the most support in the Dominican Republic, with 52 percent

Washington.– Two in three Latin Americans either don’t care who wins Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election or don’t think the outcome will matter, according to a survey in 18 countries.

The poll found that 29 percent of Latin Americans think a victory by Democrat Barack Obama would be better for the region while 8 percent prefer Republican John McCain. The rest essentially don’t know or don’t care: 29 percent did not believe either candidate was a superior choice for Latin America, while 31 percent said they did not know.

The poll by Chile-based Latinobarometro also found that one in three Latin Americans think Washington will not pay more attention to the region, regardless of who wins.

“They believe that the U.S. election will not produce any change in Latin America “said Marta Lagos, Latinobarometro’s director.”The most important finding, I think, is that the United States is losing power in Latin America.”

As for which candidate would be best for Latin America, Obama had the most support in the Dominican Republic, with 52 percent, followed by Costa Rica with 43 percent, Brazil and Uruguay with 41 percent each and Argentina with 36 percent.

McCain was strongest in Colombia, Washington’s closest ally in the region, with 19 percent, followed by El Salvador with 16 percent..

Dominican Republic Live, 04.11.08

Dominican Republic, Qatar Sign Pacts on Tourism, Energy


Dominican Republic, Qatar sign pacts on tourism, energyBilateral committee

Dominican Republic and Qatar today signed three letters of intent in the areas of tourism, energy and ministerial cooperation, in a ceremony with Dominican foreign minister Carlos Morales Troncoso, and his par Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jabir Al Thani, who’s also Prime Minister of Qatar.

Dominican president Leonel Fernández and the Qatar Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani were also present during the pact’s signature, by which the two governments formed a bilateral committee to explore the possibility that the emirate becomes a supplier of natural gas to Caribbean nation, and from there supply the United States, where Qatar markets 50 percent of its natural gas.

Morales said the agreements on energy are important because from 2010 onwards, Qatar will supply 35 percent of the world’s natural gas demand.

Dominican Republic Live, 05.11.08

France Wants to Boost 130M Euro Yearly


France wants to boost 130M Euro yearlyTrade with Dominican Republic

France ambassador Roland Dubertrand said his country is interested in boosting trade with the Dominican Republic, as part of the economic association agreement with Europe, signed October 15.

He said trade between the two nations is of around the 130 million Euros per year. hydroelectric dam constructions. year

The diplomat visited Central Bank governor Héctor Valdez Albizu, to speak about topics of interest for both nations, especially Dominican Republic’s economic performance and the perspective of foreign investment in this country.

Dubertrand’s meeting with Valdez is part of a series of visits since he assumed the French embassy two months ago. “We know the Central Bank is a key institution in the life of the country, and we’re very interested in its analyses on this world-wide financial crisis and how to face it; I believe this is very important for every one.”

Dominican Republic Live, 06.11.08

Fernandez: « Electricity is First Challenge »


Fernandez: « Electricity is first challenge »Promises of the Sheik

Sheik Mohamed Bin Zayed al Nahyan, the prime minister of the Abu-Dhabi government, promised yesterday that his government would assist the Dominican Republic in finding the definitive solutions to the energy problems it faces.

During the meeting at the Royal Palace that lasted for more than an hour, the heir apparent of the UAE showed a lot of interest in the problem that most affected the Dominican Republic.

President Fernandez, accompanied by his wife Margarita Cedeno, told the prince that the biggest challenge that the country is facing is the solution of its energy crisis, to which the prime minister of the Abu-Dhabi government said that his government was in a position to invest in this field in the Dominican Republic.

Fernandez and a small group of associates went to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, where they were met by the Prime Minister and heir apparent, Abdala bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Fernandez was accompanied by Chancellor Carlos Morales Troncoso, the Presidential Minister Cesar Pina Toribio and the Administrative Minister of the Presidency, Luis Manuel Bonetti.

Dominican Republic Live, 07.11.08

All Foreigners Will Get an ID Card


All foreigners will get an ID cardDominican official says

Interior and Police minister Franklin Almeyda said a plan to regularize the situation of the foreigners who live in the country will start next year, issuing them an identity card (cédula) with biometric registry.

The official said the foreigner-registry plan includes conducting a census to determine the number of foreigners who live in Dominican territory and is slated to start in the first four months in 2009, but with the possibility of extending the entire

Almeyda argued that the Immigration Law’s regulation shouldn’t be passed until a reform Constitution defines the Dominican nationality.

“This is subject of all nationalities in that we have to create control and a regularization to define migratory policies, the regulation on the topic is concluded and presented, we’re expecting that the Constitution is approved, because it defines what’s the nationality.”

Dominican Republic Live, 10.11.08

The Central Electoral Board Not in Agreement With the Interior Ministry


The Central Electoral Board not in agreement with the Interior MinistryControversies about cédulas

The Central Electoral Board (JCE) announced this Monday to the Ministry of Interior and Police (SEIP) that it doesn’t have faculty to give ID cards to illegal foreigners.

The president of the JCE, Julio César Castaños, reacted to the announcement of the holder of the SEIP, Franklin Almeyda, as ID cards would be given to undocumented people coming from other countries.

Interviewed at the time of the « Hoy Mismo » program of Color Visión, Castaños recalled to the Minister of Interior and Police Department that one could not give cédulas to the illegal people in the country and that it was the task of the General Direction of Migration to regularize their situation.

He explained that to provide a person with ID documents, the General Law on Migration, approved 4 years ago, has to be applied.

Almeyda announced that he would set up in 2009 a plan to regularize the situation of foreigners who live in the country, by giving them an ID document through the means of a biometric register.

The holder said that he had in his files a register plan for the foreigners, which includes the realization of a census to determine the quantity of foreigners living in the Dominican territory.

Castaños ensured that the JCE was the only entity authorized to give an ID card to the citizens and added that the work of this organization was to deliver cédulas to the the under-18s, the foreigners living legally in the country, the adult persons of majority age and the police officers and soldiers.

Dominican Republic Live, by Ramón Gonzalez, 11.11.08

US $93 Million Loan Approved


US $93 million loan approvedTo buy 8 Brazilian combat planes

SANTO DOMINGO.– The Chamber of Deputies, with 87 votes in favor and 11 against, and without the vote of the opposition PRD party, yesterday approved the US $93 million loan to buy eight Super Tucano airplanes from Brazil.

Eleven deputies of the ruling PLD party voted against the piece and one abstained.

 

The Senate already passed the financing agreement September 16 and will be sent to president Leonel Fernandez who’s expected to quickly sign it into law, since he has expressed the need to provide the country with an effective weapon to force down planes suspected of carrying drugs into Dominican airspace.

Branch for its and this form to carry out the agreement financing with Bank National Economic and Social Development to buy the pursuit airplanes Super Tucano AT-26, made by the company Embraer.

Dominican Republic Live, 12.11.08

Dominican Republic and United Arab Emirates establish diplomatic ties


Dominican Republic and United Arab Emirates establish diplomatic tiesA legation will be installed as soon as possible

New York.- The Dominican Republic yesterday established diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven states located in the southeast of the Arabian peninsula in the Persian Gulf, whose main source of income is petroleum.

Foreign Relations minister Carlos Morales signed the agreement for the Dominican State, whereas for the United Arab Emirates signed his par, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who’s also Prime Minister of Abu Dhabi, one of the seven Emirates.

The signature of the communiqué takes place four days after president Leonel Fernandez met with United Arab Emirates crown prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Dominican Republic Live, 13.11.08

Government « Shells » out cash


Government « Shells » out cashDominican Petroleum Refinery

The Dominican government has announced that it will give the Shell Company US $110 million next week to finalize the purchase of Shell’s stake in the Dominican Petroleum Refinery (REFIDOMSA).

Hacienda Minister Vicente Bengoa also announced that the government would pay energy generators US $23 million.

The government owes the generators an estimated US $430 million.

State- run Electricity Companies (CDEEE) vice president Radhames Segura said that as well as the US $174 million the government promised to pay the energy generators, the government would provide US $100 million in liquid assets and an added US $30 million to purchase fuel for the generators.

Segura says the fuel will be purchased on credit, at a lower rate than had been previously purchased. He failed to expand on this detail.

Dominican Republic Live, 14.11.06

Thousands of Extra Cops on the Streets For the Holidays


Thousands of extra cops on the streets for the holidaysSafe Christmas Operation

The National Police begins Operation Safe Christmas today, aimed at protecting the population from holdups and assaults during the holiday festivities, said its spokesman colonel Nelson Rosario.

The official said important details will be announced on the operation today Monday, in a ceremony slated for the Police headquarters esplanade.

He said around 10,000 extra agents will be in the streets to patrol the most vulnerable areas, especially in the business districts.

Rosario said as the holidays draw nearer, the number of agents will increase. “We guarantee the citizen security in the entire country, and each citizen can be calm in those days, because all the police agents will be in the streets, protecting the lives and properties of the citizens.”

Dominican Republic Live, 17.11.08

Analyze of the International Crisis and Financial Prospects


Analyze of the International crisis and financial prospectsInternational financial guests

President Leonel Fernández will direct on next Saturday November 22 and Sunday 23 the “Emergent World Financial Order and its Prospects for the Area” Summit, to face the international financial crisis, event which will take place in a tourist complex of the East of the country, according to sources of the National Palace.

It was informed that the official announcement of the event would be made on Wednesday, at the time of a press conference, by the secretary of the Economy, Planning and Development, Juan Temístocles Montas.

It was said that international financial people who will analyze the current crisis which affects the global economy and its influence in the area of America, will attend the Summit, to which the presidents of the region were invited.

Among the participants, there are the American financier Georges Soro, President of Soro Fundation Management; Joseph Tiflis, Nobel Prize of Economy and the former Minister of Finances of Chile, Nicolás Izaguirre.

The event, proposed by President Fernández, will begin on November 22 in the Casa de Campo tourist complex.

One does not know yet if all the invited Presidents confirmed their presence, according to the information source of the Government.

Dominican Republic Live, 18.11.08

Modification of the Dominican Social Security System


Modification of the Dominican Social Security System5% of pension funds to higher education

The Senate approved a modification of Article 96 of Law 87-01 that created the Dominican Social Security System. The modification will permit 5% of the pension funds to become funded debts that will be used exclusively to finance technical and higher educations for Dominican citizens.

The full Senate accepted the favorable report presented by the Permanent Commission on Social Security, Labor and Pensions that is chaired by Prim Pujals.

The initiative was written by deputies Jose Ricardo Taveras, Pelegrin Castillo and Eugenio Cedeno.

The modification allows the National Council on social Security (CNSS) to watch over the Pension Fund Administrators (AFPs) and assure that they put that 5% of their reserve funds in financial institutions or in funds that guarantee the minimum return needed by the affiliates.

The legislation says “By means of the present law, it is understood that financing of technological and higher education, is the availability and specialization of these funds to directly finance the students whose grades, appropriately validated by the competent authorities of the Dominican educational system, comply with the requisites demanded by the centers of higher or technical education in order to enter a course of study.”

Preferably, the money will be used for courses that promote innovation and scientific and technological development. The investments should be done with the objective of getting a good return that increases the individual accounts of the persons affiliated with the system, within the norms and limits established by the complementary regulations.

The law will have its rules and regulations worked out and approved by the CNSS, according to the legislation.

Dominican Republic Live, 19.11.08

Budget Talks Start Today

Budget talks start todayPresident Leonel Fernandez will head up a meeting of the National Development Council

The meeting will talk about and analyze the budget requests of each of the Ministries, autonomous organizations and the decentralized entities of the government.

The meeting of the Ministers, administrators and director generals of the different state dependencies is slated for 9 o’clock this morning in the Council of Government Room.

The estimate amount of the 2009 budget has not been released.

Minister of the hacienda Vicente Bengoa said at the beginning of the week that the budget proposal has not been submitted to the Congress for approval because it had to be recalculated due to the world financial crisis, in spite of the fact that the senators and deputies were asking for in with enough time for proper analysis.

Bengoa pointed out that the Central Bank and the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Development, institutions in charge of working out the budget, had to make some changes.

It is expected that during the meeting Fernandez will discuss some aspects related to the requests from the different ministries, such as Education and Public Works.

Provincial governors and city mayors are also calling for increased funding.

At the same time, the nurses and doctors are demanding salary increases.The 2008 National Budget was RD $300,8107,600,000, of which RD $264 billion were generated internally and RD $36 billion came from outside sources.

Dominican Republic Live, 20.11.08

WTO Speaks in Praise of Dominican Growth


But criticizes the shortage of key reforms

Geneva, Nov 24 – The World Trade Organization (WTO) made the praise of the growth of the Dominican Republic but criticized the lack of reforms in key sectors of its economy.

The secretariat of the WTO concluded during November some examination of the marketing policies of the Dominican Republic, an analysis which had not been made since the last revision of 2002.

Economists of the WTO stressed that during the period 2002-2007, the Dominican economy underwent a growth at a real rate annual average of 5.8 percent.

The report also underlines that the receipt per capital reached the four thousand 406 dollars in 2007, “but that 30 percent of the population continue to live under the poverty line”. Experts of the WTO speak in praise that the Dominican Republic continued with the liberalization of its trade mode and mention several positive steps like the simplification of the customs procedures, the reduction of the tariffs, the elimination of the surtaxes to the importation and of the taxes to the exportation and the adoption of new legislations on public recruiting, the policy of competition and on intellectual property laws.

However, the report criticizes “disparities within the framework of the incentive fields” and, especially, “the persistent inefficiency of the sectors like the electricity, which is transformed into an obstacle for the sustainable improvement of the life level.”

With regard to the stimulation of some sectors, the WTO considers “that perhaps a revision is justified” to help agricultural activities and to increase their transparency and to decrease their impact on the consumers and the payers.

“It would be important to consider the clear long-term benefits for the country and their programs, for their possible rationalization to reduce their tax costs and to avoid distortions in the distribution of the resources” , the text adds.

Regarding electricity, the economists believe that the sector is plunged in a deep crisis “and that to exceed it is one of the main economical challenge of the country.”

Dominican Republic Live, 24.11.08

The Sse of IP is Massive, Dominican Telecom Chief Says

A conventional telephone can be connected with this technology

With nearly 50,900 lines Dominican Republic just like other countries, began the massive use of the Internet Protocol (IP) technology or the converter device (ATA), that when connected allows the use of a conventional telephone anywhere the world.

Dominican Telecom Institute (Indotel) president Jose Rafael Vargas’ statement is in his report to start the regulatory agency’s new management and work projections for the 2008-2012 period. “This service, using IP technology also began to be provided in Dominican Republic, consisting in the use of telephones with Internet Protocol, through which its computer with Internet access is turned into a telephone with assigned number, or through an ATA device, which is an adapter or converter.”

He said a conventional telephone can be connected with this technology, “an

d this way we’ll be able to take our telephone with a Dominican number to any part of the world or rural area where there’s Internet access and to make and receive calls as if we were home.”

Vargas said the new service providers CODETEL, Dgtec, Skymax, Tricom and Trilogy, say it’s already begun to show an interesting growth, reporting nearly 50,900 lines to September 30.

Dominican Republic Live, 25.11.08

No Civilians With Guns Until January


From December 1rst

The Ministry of the Interior and of the Police published an announcement yesterday that prohibits the civilian population from carrying firearms from 1 December, next Monday, until 1 January 2009. The idea is to reduce crime and promote « living without violence » among the population during the Christmas season.

The resolution says that violations will bring about the definitive revocation of the license to own and carry a hand gun during the one month period.

The suspension does not include the transfer from one place to another of the weapon. Nonetheless, the weapon should be stored and not available for use.

Dominican Republic Live, 26.11.08

The Government will Deliver Food to More Than 350Tthousand Families

An investment of 120 million pesos

BREAKING NEWS: Santo Domingo, R.D. – the Government, through the “comedores ecónomicos” of the State will invest 120 million pesos in the execution of an ambitious program of food delivery to 350 thousand poor families for the Christmas season.

This task is part of the mandate of President Leonel Fernández, which required that the « comedores ecónomicos » deliver to the marginal sectors of the country sufficient food to be able to respect the word « To eat is fundamental ».

The program of food distribution will be carried out sometimes in the presence of president Leonel Fernández and in a joint way with the Social Plan of the Presidency.

This food delivery will be repeated in a continuous way; operations which will take place in various districts of all the country.

All the products which are used come from national producers with an aim of supporting the national economy.

The bags contain rice, black and red beans, oil, tomato puree, salami, spices, spaghettis and other products for the pregnant women and the elderly people.

President Fernández also will make that all the victims of the recent natural phenomena which caused damage and floods in various sectors of Distrito Nacional, Santo Domingo and in dozen communes and provinces of the country like San Jose Ocoa, Puerto Plata, Santiago, La Vega, Nagua, San Cristóbal, Azua, Barahona, Baní, El Seibo, Hato Mayor and Samaná, among other cities, also receive food supply.

Dominican Republic Live, 27.11.08

Dominican Government Has US $100M to Tackle Dollar Speculators

Between 50 and 100 million dollars will injected to the market

BREAKING NEWS: Central banker (BC) Héctor Valdez Albizu revealed yesterday said the monetary policy will be relaxed starting February.

He said that today between 50 and 100 million dollars will injected to the market to lower the pressure to boost the exchange rate, which he said has jumped without monetary or fiscal reasons.

He clarified that there’ll be neither a fiscal adjustment nor tax increase, that wasn’t discussed with the Monetary Fund, because the government spending established in the Budget will be adjusted instead.

Valdez said although next year’s external conditions will be difficult, the economy’s solid foundations and an effective coordination between fiscal and monetary policy “will let the country navigate turbulent waters.”

As to the dollar, the official advised “those who are accumulating it and the commercial banks, who have decided to assume their own positions, betting on situations that I can’t explain, are doing bad business and are going to be left with them, because as tomorrow (Friday) we’re going to act.”

Dominican Republic Live, 28.11.08

 

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