Government organizes national event to strengthen SME exports

The Dominican Government held the national event “More Caribbean trade-strengthening SME exports to the Caribbean”, which was held at the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic (ProDominicana).

The activity, organized by the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development, through the Vice-Ministry of International Cooperation (Vimici), was aimed at promoting and informing on SME exports to the Caribbean market. In addition, to disseminate existing initiatives on the subject, highlighting strategic opportunities and addressing the challenges faced by SMEs in their export efforts in the Caribbean region.

The opening of the national event was led by the ministers of Economy, Planning and Development, Pável Isa Contreras, and of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes, Víctor Bisonó, as well as the director of the National Competitiveness Council (CNC), Peter Prazmowski, and the executive director of ProDominicana, Biviana Riveiro Disla, who delivered the welcoming remarks. The general director of Customs, Eduardo Sanz Lovatón, was in charge of the closing and conclusions. Also in the role of organizers were Deputy Ministers Olaya Dotel, from the Ministry of Economy, and Vilma Arbaje, from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

The activity, aimed at SMEs, clusters and cooperatives, was attended by government institutions, entities linked to the maritime and air logistics sector, trade associations, chambers of commerce, customs agents, non-profit associations and free trade zones.

Minister Pavel Isa Contreras said that the Government is working on a strategy to promote exports of MSMEs, to achieve a greater diversification of markets, since “depending on a few markets can be risky in a changing economic environment, and increasing exports becomes a driving strategy for national development, which must be supported by the creation of solid trade and cooperation agreements with Caribbean countries”.

Biviana Riveiro, executive director of ProDominicana, indicated that, “in the last 5 years, the Dominican Republic has positioned itself as the main economy, with the largest trade exchange of the insular Caribbean with the world, accumulating figures in excess of USD 173.4 billion. At the same time, for the period 2019-2022, the country accumulated a trade exchange with the Caribbean for more than USD 9,120 million, of which Dominican exports represent 78%. Likewise, from ProDominicana we have worked tirelessly and executed a comprehensive strategy that included participation in 24 trade fairs and trade missions, working closely with our Caribbean brothers”.

Minister Víctor -Ito- Bisonó reiterated the increase in exports of Dominican products to the Caribbean. He highlighted the case of Trinidad and Tobago and the creation of the “National Strategy for the Export of Modern Services”, which will strengthen non-traditional services, such as communication and technology.

The event included the conference “The Caribbean, a market of opportunities”, which offered SMEs a comprehensive overview of the various trade opportunities available in the Caribbean market. There were also interactive panels on “Market Access in the Caribbean Region” and “Logistics and Transportation from the Dominican Republic to the Caribbean Market. This event allowed for the exchange of knowledge and experiences with the purpose of stimulating sustainable growth in this sector.

Caribbean Trade Connectivity Initiative

The Vice Ministry of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development has created a committee to strengthen SME exports to the Caribbean market, taking advantage of the commercial opportunity that this region offers to be its main supplier in times of crisis and at the same time strengthen our positioning as a logistics hub.

The objective is to create synergies, exchange information, generate and follow up on agreements between the institutions involved in policies to support these companies. It seeks to promote inter-institutional coordination and the management of cooperation resources without creating new institutional structures.

The purpose of the initiative is to address the difficulty of the limited market and the short life of SMEs in the context of trade connectivity with the Caribbean market.

The focus of the project is on eight Caribbean countries selected by the institutions that make up the Strategic Committee: Curaçao, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Suriname, Aruba, Turks and Caicos Islands.

Context

The international insertion of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) generates positive impacts on productivity levels, the adoption of innovation mechanisms, the quality of jobs and the competitiveness of the countries of origin.

The Dominican Republic has promoted the development of exports through free zone parks and trade agreements such as the Free Trade Agreement between the country, Central America and the United States (DR-CAFTA), the CARIFORUM-European Union Agreement (EPA), the Free Trade Agreement between the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean Community (TLCARICOM), the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, and the Panama-Dominican Republic Partial Scope Agreement.

Source: Presidencia.gob.do

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