DR exports to United Arab Emirates soar to US$12.5 billion: avocados and pitahayas debut

One of the great advantages of the Dominican Republic is its geographical location. It serves as a commercial bridge to the Caribbean region, as well as to the rest of the American continent and other countries in the world.

This strategic factor led the Dominican government to establish, in 2020, the National Plan for the Promotion of Exports (PNFE), an initiative that seeks to consolidate the country’s leadership in the region in terms of exports and the attraction of greater economic resources. This plan includes, above all, a commitment to the agricultural sector, so that government programs include the promotion of production, both for the local market and for export.

This initiative has begun to bear “fruit”. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic (MIREX), Roberto Álvarez, confirmed that a shipment of Dominican avocados, pitahayas and pineapples was exported to the United Arab Emirates for commercialization, being the first time that the first two products mentioned above reach that country.

Thanks to the Dominican company YSM Capital S.R.L. and the Emirati company Blue Bay Trade, Piñas Bonita, Ocoa Avocados and Tropihaya pitahayas are now available for sale on the shelves of the multinational conglomerate LuLu Hypermarkets, one of the largest retail chains in Asia and the largest in the Middle East.

In this way, the Dominican Republic exported pineapples to this destination for the first time in two consecutive years, 2020 and 2021, while in avocados and pitahayas, the country had not registered an export of these products to the United Arab Emirates, until now.

Thanks to its different production areas, altitudes and varieties, our country has avocados available all year round, making it the second largest producer of this fruit internationally, ranking only behind Mexico.

According to pre-pandemic data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in 2019 Dominican production reached a total of 661,626 tons, representing 9% of world production and its export reached a sum in excess of US$60 million.

Dominican pineapple is exported to markets such as the United States and Europe, especially Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands, and to the Caribbean, but the main export of this item is to Israel, with an amount close to US$3.6 million per year.

The cultivation of pitahaya has been significantly promoted in the Dominican Republic by the authorities of the agricultural sector, with the aim of increasing exports through diversification. Currently, this tropical fruit of Asian origin is highly competitive, in high demand in international markets and according to the country’s authorities, the planting of this fruit has been diversified and distributed throughout the different provinces. There are around 600 tareas planted, which could generate an annual production of approximately RD$19.8 million.

Since 2013, Dominican exports to the United Arab Emirates have increased from US$2.311 million in 2013 to around US$12.5 billion in 2020. In terms of products, the main products concentrate 80.42% of the total, with coffee and raw tobacco standing out.

In this way, MIREX, through the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in the United Arab Emirates, headed by Ambassador Julio Simón Castaños, continues to carry out actions in line with the promotion of Dominican exports, foreign trade and foreign direct investment, one of the lines of action identified as a priority in the new Dominican foreign policy. (by Rodrigo Muñoz and Kirsis Díaz)

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