Exports of the tobacco producing sector exceed US$1.3 billion, informed yesterday the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes (MICM), Víctor (Ito) Bisonó, after pondering the growth of this sector of the economy, which has managed to position itself in the world market.
When the current government took office in August 2020, it was barely US$900 million, said the official, while participating in the Weekly Luncheon of the Corripio Communications Group.
In order to strengthen the sector, the Tobacco Industry Relaunching Committee was created, integrated by representatives of the public and private sectors, he recalled. According to the Minister, one billion pesos in zero-rate financing has been provided through the Agricultural Bank.
According to what was explained, 60 percent of the tobacco consumed in the United States is produced in the Dominican Republic.
Likewise, 85 percent of the tobacco exported is destined for the United States.
He informed that the jobs generated by the tobacco industry in the free trade zones amount to 40,728 direct jobs, of which 24,581 correspond to women and 16,147 to men.
There are 142 companies operating in Dominican territory, he added.
Among the localities with free zone factories dedicated to tobacco production are Moca, Espaillat province; La Vega, Santiago, San Pedro de Macorís, Monseñor Nouel, Montecristi, Peravia, Sánchez Ramírez and Santo Domingo province.
At the meeting, Ito Bisonó was accompanied by the country’s main tobacco exporters, including Philipp Schumacher, managing director at Inetab-Kaubeck; Henke Kelner, president of Procigar; Ciro Cascella, CEO of Arturo Fuentes and Radhamés Rodríguez, president of the Dominican Association of Cigars and Tobacco (Adocitab).
Daniel Liranzo, director of the National Free Zone Council, also participated.
They spoke about the process of tobacco harvesting up to the elaboration of cigars, totally by hand and in a natural way, guaranteeing a premium product, managing to place it in the world market and to displace other traditional countries such as Cuba.
They assured that Dominican tobacco does not cause damage to health as it is mistakenly believed.