The new facilities of the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the WTO and UNCTAD will be inaugurated.
Within the framework of the Fifth Trade Policy Review of the Dominican Republic being held at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 24 and 26 January 2023, Ambassador Dr. José R. Sánchez-Fung, Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the WTO, in presenting the report prepared by the Dominican Government, highlighted the climate of stability, economic growth and transparency currently enjoyed by the country.
The sessions held at the WTO are chaired by Ambassador Dr. Athaliah Lesiba Molokomme, Permanent Representative of Botswana to the WTO and acting chairperson of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body. Ambassador María L. Pagán, Permanent Representative of the United States to the WTO, participated as rapporteur on the reports of the Dominican Government and the WTO Secretariat.
The Dominican Republic was represented by a delegation composed of Ambassador Dr. José R. Sánchez-Fung (head of the delegation), together with Dr. Manuel Díaz Franjul, Director of Trade Negotiations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Rafael Núñez, in charge of Multilateral Trade Negotiations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officials from various government institutions involved in WTO issues, and members of the permanent representation of the Dominican Republic to the WTO.
The sessions were attended by ambassadors and delegates from the different countries accredited to the WTO.
In his presentation, Ambassador Sanchez-Fung referred to the challenges for humanity and the global economy, generated as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which also affected the Dominican Republic.
He highlighted that in the year 2021 the real GDP of the Dominican Republic reached a remarkable inter-annual growth of 12.3%, a figure higher than the official projections for the end of that year. When compared to the Latin American region, this result placed the Dominican Republic as one of the countries with the best relative performance with respect to the pre-pandemic. Likewise, in the January-September 2022 period, the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) registered an accumulated inter-annual expansion of 5.4 %. This result is a reflection of the resilience of the Dominican economy and the effectiveness of the monetary and fiscal policy measures implemented in a timely manner, in the face of the prevailing conditions of the international environment that has been impacted since 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, such as the disruption of the supply chain, as well as the recent geopolitical conflicts and the persistence of inflationary pressures.
He emphasized that one of the main priorities of the Dominican Government is to achieve a maximum level of transparency in the execution of the Dominican State, at the level of all its institutions. In this sense, in the last two years important measures have been taken to establish procedures and controls that harmonize compliance with the regulations in force in the area of public spending, among which are the Transactional Portal of the Computerized System for the Management of State Procurement and Contracting, the Program for Regulatory Compliance in Public Contracting, and the Preventive and Reactive Alert System, among others.
Another action that shows the Dominican Government’s commitment to transparency is the active efforts since May 2022 and the request to join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement, which was accepted. The Dominican Republic has been an Observer Member of the WTO Government Procurement Committee since September 20, 2022, becoming the first Observer from the Caribbean region.
On the other hand, Ambassador Sanchez-Fung also referred to the external sector, the recovery of tourism, the National Vaccination Plan against COVID-19, the stability and soundness of the Dominican financial system, the increase in foreign direct investment, the fiscal outlook, the Payment Systems and Cybersecurity, the success of the social programs implemented by the Dominican Government, the favorable performance of national exports and free zones, and the importance of the National Development Strategy 2030.
He also highlighted the agricultural trade policy, trade facilitation, the 24-hour Goods Clearance Initiative, the “Exporta +” program, the Foreign Trade Single Window Initiative (VUCE), the creation of the Intellectual Property Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, the work carried out by ProDominicana, and the Dominican Republic’s trade agenda for the coming years, among others.
Finally, she reiterated the Dominican Republic’s commitment to transparency and its obligations within the framework of the WTO, international organizations and multilateralism.
In her remarks, Ambassador Pagán (USA) highlighted the Dominican Republic’s efforts with respect to:
- Economic resilience and economic policy management during the period under review;
- The people-centered approach to economic growth;
- The work done by the Dominican Republic in the WTO that complements its efforts in terms of trade policy.
Within the framework of the Fifth Trade Policy Review of the Dominican Republic, the inauguration of the new facilities of the Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), located in the city of Geneva, will also take place. These new facilities are strategically located, in a modern building, in the same area where all the International Organizations based in Geneva are located, and many of the diplomatic missions accredited to the WTO, UN and other organizations.
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