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Saturday, December 28, 2019

Dominican Republic: A door in the Caribbean towards development

By Brigitte Saint Hilaire Ricart.

There is a country in the world placed on the same path of the Sun” … That is the way that the national poet Pedro Mir begins his masterful poem, and I am pleased to share with you that there is a country in the Caribbean that is a door towards development, and that country is the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is one of the countries in the region that maintains a high social and political stability, an ongoing industrial development and a constantly growing economy, that often exceeds the growth of other countries in the region, which makes the Dominican Republic very attractive for foreign investment.

Our president, Danilo Medina has strengthened the country’s public institutions, has been socially committed to those who are in need for support and has given the opportunities to informal producers and small business to develop in order to create a more just and balanced society. He has created the infrastructure that a country needs to get out of underdevelopment, supporting farmers and local producers and promoting the construction of low-cost housing, not leaving behind the very important task of giving foreign investors the confidence to continue investing in Tourism and Free Zones companies.

President Medina visiting a plantation.

About four years ago Mr. Pim Van Ballekom, Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), visited President Danilo Medina and highlighted the favorable climate for foreign investment in our country; and for that given trust and the country ongoing development, the headquarters of the European Bank of investments for the Caribbean is located in the Dominican Republic since 2017.

Other international financial institutions such as Scotiabank, which is the international bank of Canada and a leading provider of financial services, highlight that the Dominican Republic has a growing economy with great opportunities for investors from all over the world.

The president of Scotiabank, Mr. Brian Porter, held a meeting last July with the Dominican president, and valued the favorable investment climate in our country and agreed on the construction of two large industrial plants in the Industrial Park of Las Americas, where will be located the Scotiabank customer service centers for the whole region, representing the creation of almost two thousand jobs to the country.

Our greatest strength as a country is that the Dominican Republic is one of the most preferred destination for tourism because of its beauty, its privileged geographical location, favorable weather and the warmth of the people. The country has crystalline water beaches, high mountain ranges, fertile valleys and amazing mangroves, which makes The Dominican Republic a paradise vacation destiny.

In Punta Cana, one of the most exclusive destinations of the country, which is located in the east side of the island, in the past three months have been inaugurated four hotels providing more than 2,500 rooms to the tourism industry. The president of the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara hotels, Bruce Wardinsky, valued the Dominican Republic not only as a great tourist destination, but also as a great investment option because of its huge development and trust generated by this amazing Caribbean country.

In the last seven years we have received 44 million tourists, that means that more tourists have been received than in the previous 30 years all together. We are the country that receives the most tourists in the whole Caribbean and that generates the most currency throughout the region. By 2020 we will receive more tourists than the 52 countries together of the African Continent, for which 13,829 new hotel rooms are being built.

Dominican Republic is the opening door to development in the Caribbean, we are a strong and resilient destination, a benchmark of progress for other nations in the region, that progress and development can be see and can be measured, it is tangible. Having this position as a country also gives us the challenge to always feel motivated by the good and accurate economic and social care measures that our president Danilo Medina has implemented, and to always work hard and look forward to the future in order to have the vision to be ahead in all circumstances.

This is and always will be the virtue that gives us as a country the confidence that foreign investors need.

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The author is Minister Counselor of the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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