Dominican Republic-Spain relations, an opportunity

Victor O. Bisonó Haza

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With Spain we are united a centuries-old relationship, of a cultural and social nature, fostered through commercial agreements, which reflect a mutual trust that transcends various historical periods in the last 100 years.

In a challenging time like the current one, relationships like ours acquire greater relevance in the face of the need to reactivate economies deal with the ravages of a changing pandemic such as Covid-19, and its economic, social and political ramifications. Hence our approach, as dominican government, has been reaffirm the alliance with Spain and refound the future that unites us.

The data confirm the success of this alliance. The flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) received from Spain averages a participation of 8.7% of the total FDI flow received by the Dominican Republic for the period 2015 – 2019, reaching US $ 394.30 million in 2019, with a fairly diversified investment matrix of Spanish origin: from recent investments in a water plant in recyclable packaging from society Ly Company Caribe and in a 50 megawatt solar plant supplied by the TSK company, up to the local presence of renowned Spanish academic institutions, such as the CEF-UDIMA educational group.

The figures are clear. There is no better time to shore up this relationship than now. We are a country with a resilient economy. For this 2021, a growth of the Dominican economy of 5.5% is expected, according to forecasts by the International Monetary Fund. Similarly, the Bank of America, according to recent analysis, has revised the projection of Dominican growth from 7.9% to 10%.

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This is no accident. The 16 dIn August 2020, the Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) came to power for the first time in its history, hand in hand with the president Luis Abinader,
ending a 16-year hegemony of the Dominican Liberation Party. With the change of leadership, comes a new vision of greater openness to foreign direct investment, the improvement of the investment climate and infrastructure, so that companies from all over the world see in a timely manner the return of their bet by having chosen to the Dominican Republic as a destination for your investment.

The economic projection made by international organizations of our economy, above the average for Latin America and the Caribbean, which does not exceed 4.4%, is explained by a combination of factors. On the one hand, the vaccination process in the country, which will have ended successfully before the end of 2021, as one of the few countries in the region to do so, according to The New York Times. On the other, the efforts of President Abinader, focused on social protection, investment in health and opening up to new investments, as well as towards the recovery of existing ones with an ambitious effort in the industrialization of the Dominican Republic, this being declared a national priority by Presidential Decree 588-20.

Consequence of the above, hand in hand with the private sector and under the leadership of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes, Work is being done on the implementation of a National Industrialization Plan, supported by zero bureaucracy, to enhance the competitiveness of all productive sectors, make the industrial sector more efficient and increase Dominican exports. This plan seeks to unite the international promotion policy and improve tax regulation, promote productive chains, implement a new strategy for technical education and training, and strengthen industrial infrastructure.

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As a country, we have bet on innovation. An example of this is the start of production programs for various items required to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), reactivating companies while responding to current needs. This, in turn, allows us to show that 100% of the jobs in free zones have been recovered and more than 6,800 new jobs have been created in these first months of government.

For seven consecutive months we have experienced historical records in exports from free zones and in general in the country’s exports. Finally, large multinationals have made the decision to relocate part of their global operations in our country, making the “nearshoring” a reality in the Dominican industry, to consolidate the next great step of our economy: to be the logistics HUB of the Caribbean, and why not, of Latin America.

The Dominican Republic has positioned itself as the ideal platform for the internationalization of Spanish industry in the thriving American continent. For a Spanish company to think about growing in our region, it must carefully consider where to install its base of operations. Our country, with its mature industrial and logistics ecosystems (connectivity, best logistics infrastructures in the region, geographical location, among others) is positioned as the ideal option, added to the historical and cultural ties that already unite our nations.

The Dominican Republic continues to be synonymous with opportunities and good investment. Spain can count on a friendly and allied nation, of common purposes and of mutual benefit for both peoples. We are with open arms.

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Victor O. Bisonó Haza is Minister of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes of the Dominican Republic

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