President Medina meets US congressmen
Isidro Santana: Rising debt is of concern
Money in circulation decreases
Tunnels and elevated sections to close
More soldiers sent to border
Santiago mayor withholds salaries
Businesses protest the lack of parking in Colonial City
Power distributors gain from drop in fuel prices
David Tawei Lee tells why DR should stick it out with Taiwan
Robert Copley is US temporary ambassador
Metaldom to move to make way for housing project
Over 25,000 murdered in twelve years
Dominican UN diplomat took bribes
Fentanyl drug being manufactured in the DR
Sahara dust and humidity makes for hot summer days



President Medina meets US congressmen
Nine congressmen from the United States, headed by Dominican-born representative Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), met on Saturday, 22 July 2017 with President Danilo Medina to discuss drug trafficking in the region and public security in the Dominican Republic, along with other important issues.

The group of senators, who will also go to Haiti, Colombia and Peru, belong to the Sub-Committee for External Affairs for the Western Hemisphere that manages political relations between the United States and other countries in the region.

Espaillat said that they would see how the Dominican Republic and the US could work together to stop drug and human trafficking.

http://almomento.net/congresistas-eu...a-en-rd/336412


Isidro Santana: Rising debt is of concern
Minister of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPyD) Isidro Santana, during a recent speech, acknowledged the rising public debt in the Dominican Republic. In his talk, entitled, “Challenges for the Sustainability of the Dominican Economy” during the International Congress on Finances and Auditing (CIFA 2017) sponsored from 20-23 July by the Dominican Association of Commercial Banks (ABA), Santana said that the debt is at 38.3% of the GDP and the government intends to keep it at that level. “We are not presenting any risk situation, but it would be irresponsible if I as Minister of Economy said that that level of indebtedness is not of concern,” he stated.

He observed that there is a growing conviction that political governance and macroeconomic stability will depend on a new negotiated fiscal pact within the different sectors of the country. Santana said the government will need to communicate to citizens the importance of efficient and rational management of resources. He said the forthcoming fiscal pact needs to guarantee the financial sustainability of the government, bring forth a clear idea of simplifying the tax system, and propose a rational system for incentives with a focus on sustainable development.

http://www.listindiario.com/economia...-y-preocupante


Money in circulation decreases
According to the Central Bank, the amount of money in circulation in the country has dropped by 9.1% compared to this same time last year. Money in circulation is at RD$107.2 billion on 17 July 2017 down from RD$118.01 billion at the end of last year.

In Santiago, businessmen are saying that the lack of cash is affecting their capacity to meet rising operating costs.

Economists say that the fall in disposable money is a reflection of the international environment and the efforts of the Central Bank to ensure that the situation does not lead to a profound economic recession.

Economist Henri Hebrard, said that the Central Bank is obsessed with controlling interest rates and this has led to a restrictive monetary policy.

https://www.diariolibre.com/economia...-ano-DM7691511


Tunnels and elevated sections to close
The Ministry of Public Works has announced that through 28 July 2017 tunnels and elevated road sections in Greater Santo Domingo will be closed for maintenance.

On Tuesday 25 July, the stretch of road near the intersection of Av. John F. Kennedy with Av. Máximo Gómez will be closed from 10:30pm to 5am. On Wednesday, 26 July, the elevated section on Av. Luperón with 30 de Mayo Highway (at kilometer 12) will be closed at the same time, and on Thursday, 27th the elevated section of 30 de Mayo Highway will be closed in both directions.

On Friday, 28th the Las Americas tunnel will be closed overnight.

The cleaning, washing the walls, checking the electricity and structure and maintenance of the drains will be carried out.

The Ministry of Public Works apologizes for any inconveniences.

http://listindiario.com/la-republica...ados-desde-hoy


More soldiers sent to border
Defense Minister Lieutenant General Ruben Dario Paulino Sem says 895 soldiers were recently deployed to reinforce Operation Shield at the border with Haiti. The soldiers were sent to the border area from Montecristi to Pedernales to reduce those trying to enter the country illegally.

In addition, the Defense Ministry and the Haitian National Police, together with the Haitian Embassy in this country, have begun a round of meetings to coordinate security at the border. The meetings are headed by the Minister of Defense Paulino Sem, in with the participation of Haitian Ambassador Idalbert Pierre-Jean and General Michael-Ange Gedeón, head of the Haitian National Police.

In addition to border security, the high-ranking officers discussed transnational crime, deforestation, drug trafficking, terrorism, and illegal immigration, not just of Haitians but also Cubans, Colombians and others.

http://hoy.com.do/ejercito-envia-cer...iza-con-haiti/


Santiago mayor withholds salaries
Santiago Mayor Abel Martínez has ordered the retention of the salaries of nine councilors and the deputy mayor as they supposedly have not presented their list of assets as laid down in Law 311-14.

Those to have their salaries retained are deputy mayor Esmeraldina Vargas Pimentel and councilors Amarilis del Carmen Baret Martínez, Nelson Manuel Abreu, Carlos Juan Liz Reyes, Dilcia Dalila Ramona Rodríguez, Fausto Antonio Corniel Rodríguez, Regina de los Angeles Núñez Caraballo, Tomás Eduardo Belliard Díaz and Cecilia Altagracia Espinal.

Martinez explained that he had warned the officials several months ago that they must submit their list of assets on time. The Mayor even provided legal assistance to officials so that they could file the proper documents.

It should be noted that in previous city administrations, the ex mayor, Gilberto Serulle, ex deputy mayor María Caridad Fermín Espaillat and 36 ex councilors failed to comply with reporting of their statements of worth.

http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/07/2...s-vicealcadesa


Businesses protest the lack of parking in Colonial City
On Monday 24 July 2017, dozens of owners of businesses located on Arzobispo Meriño Street in the Colonial City protested against the ban on parking vehicles on that street being imposed by the Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET).

The protesters stopped traffic and chanted at AMET who, they say, is making them lose clients, stating that the ban on parking has been in place for over a year and has hurt business.

https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...nial-XF7698572


Power distributors gain from drop in fuel prices
Power distributors are reporting profits of up to 154%, says Manuel Cabral, executive vice president of the Dominican Electricity Industry Association (Adie).

It is interesting to note that electricity tariffs have not dropped despite fuel prices having declined 30%. Cabral said the Edes buy energy at 11.9 US cents from the power generators to sell it to their clients at 16.9 US cents. He said this yields very “substantial” earnings, he said speaking on La Super 7 en la Mañana radio talk show on 107.7FM. He explained 60% of the power is purchased on the spot market now that the Madrid Accord has expired.

Nevertheless, despite the high earnings, the power distributors increasingly programmed blackouts throughout their service areas. Cabral said that during the first four months of the year, the power distributors did not supply around 12% of the real demand. He mentioned EdeEste with a decline in supply of 13.27% delivered 3.8 hours of blackouts a day, while EdeSur and EdeNorte with average demand of 12% supplied 3.1 hours of blackouts.

http://www.7dias.com.do/economia/201...egun-adie.html


David Tawei Lee tells why DR should stick it out with Taiwan
Visiting Foreign Minister of the Republic of China (Taiwan) David Tawei Lee, in a meeting with the press, argued that it is in the best interest of the Dominican Republic to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan versus China. He argued that if the DR opens diplomatic ties with continental China it would have to accept “thousands and thousands” of immigrants from that country.

Another con of switching to continental China would be that the DR would be one of 175 countries with which China has diplomatic relations. He said Taiwan has diplomatic ties with only 20 countries and can value these relations.

David Tawei Lee expressed his conviction that diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the Dominican Republic would continue. “The cooperation and development assistance to the Dominican Republic from Taiwan are not offered by large countries”. Lee reminded reporters that Taiwan and the Dominican Republic have enjoyed 60 productive years of engagement.

He said he is aware of China’s offers for the construction of basic infrastructure. But he said the Chinese bring their own workers for these projects. He observed the case of Costa Rica, where continental China offered to help with the installation of a petroleum refinery and after nine years the project still has not been completed. He said China also promised help with expansion of roads, but this has not happened either. He said Costa Rica had a US$49 million surplus in trade with China, and a year after the establishing of relations with continental China, it has a US$2.1 billion deficit.

In the meeting with the press, Tawei Lee was accompanied by Chon Lin, director for Central America and the Caribbean for the Ministry of Foreign Relations of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Taiwan ambassador Valentino Tang.

Minister Lee argued the Dominican Republic and Taiwan are two small island countries. He said Taiwan is offering assistance for promoting medium-sized and small business through a new program with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Small Business.

Minister Lee said that trade between the two countries is at US$166 million and is growing. He says Taiwan companies are seeing possibilities of installing themselves in Dajabon for exports to the United States. They are looking into investing in the improvements in the Manzanillo Port in Manzanillo from where the Dajabón goods would be exported.

At the start of his visit, Minister Lee visited the president of the Senate Reinaldo Pared Perez and representatives of the Permanent Commission of Foreign Relations of the Senate, the Taiwan-sponsored Centro de Atención Integral para la Discapacidad (CAID) program, and the Ministry of Foreign Relations. At the Ministry of Foreign Relations he was received by deputy minister of multilateral foreign policy, Vinicio Alfonso Tobal and toured the installations of the Edificio de Tecnologia, that was built with funds donated by Taiwan.

Minister Lee said that his country is interested in continuing its cooperation with the Dominican Republic on rice production, construction of the Centro de Capacitacion Vocacional, the Taiwan Hospital, the training for the Parque de Alta Tecnologia and the 911 Emergency System.

http://elnacional.com.do/canciller-d...ciones-con-rd/
http://eldia.com.do/canciller-taiwan...a-continental/
https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...idad-NF7700852


Robert Copley is US temporary ambassador
The Trump administration has named Robert Eugene Copley as the new chargé d’affaires at the US Embasy in the Dominican Republic. He replaces Patrick Dunn. The chargé d’affaires serves as temporary ambassador.
Copley joined the US foreign service in 1998. He has served in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Previously, he served eight years in the Marines.
Prior to his appointment to the Dominican Republic he was the deputy director of the Narcotics Program in Bogotá, Colombia. He arrived with his wife Yanira.

The US ambassadorial position has been vacant since former Ambassador James Brewster resigned at the start of the administration of President Donald Trump.

https://do.usembassy.gov/es/la-embaj...o-de-negocios/


India business opportunities workshop
The Embassy and Consulate of India, and the India Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic Inc., are inviting to a Seminar on Business Opportunities between India and the Dominican Republic. The event will take place at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel on Av. Tiradentes on Tuesday, 8 August 2017 at 8:30am.

Ambassador of India Tsewang Namgyal, dually accredited to Cuba, is coming from Havana for the event. He will speak on the India Business Scenario. Also speaking will be Sailesh Prasad, representative of the Exim Bank of India, who will explain the India business promotion policies.

During the seminar, the report “Market Study on Dominican Opportunities for Indian Exporters” will be presented.

To participate in the event, please confirm attendance before 4 August 2017 by calling the India Chamber of Commerce at Tel 809 379-6034 or emailing info@indiaccrd.com


Metaldom to move to make way for housing project
The Dominican Metallurgical (METALDOM) will move from their present location in southwest Santo Domingo to make room for a major residential development project that will add around 2,000 apartment units for middle and upper middle class families.

The 194,000 square meters area is located facing the Caribbean Sea between Autopista 30 de Mayo, Av. Núñez de Cáceres and Av. Independencia.

Metaldom merged with the Gerdau Company, the largest metal works firm in Central America and the Caribbean. While production was discontinued at the Malecón site, Gerdau-Metaldom operates industrial parks in Km 22 of Duarte Highway and another in La Isabela.

As reported in the Listín Diario and Diario Libre, the residential project is awaiting approval from the National District City Hall. The project has been entrusted to Architect Cristóbal Valdez.

Gerdau-Metaldom executive president, Carlos Valiente, said once approval is received the construction should start in six months. He said the project contemplates many green recreational areas.
According to Diario Libre newspaper, the new urban project is just waiting for approval from the National District City Hall. In addition to Gerdau-Metaldom, other participants in the project are Inicia and Terra, among others.
http://almomento.net/metaldom-sera-c...dencial/336400
http://www.listindiario.com/economia...ea-residencial


Over 25,000 murdered in twelve years
According to statistics presented by the Attorney General’s Office, during the last twelve years and three months at least 26,760 people have been murdered in the country. Most of the murders were attributed to fights, violent actions and shootouts.

The average number of deaths between 2005 and 2016 is 2,147 a year with the peaks being in 2010 when 2,472 were killed and 2005 when 2,403 died. This year, 2017 during the last three months there have been 406 cases of homicide; 343 men and 63 women.

The Citizen Security Observatory (OSC-RD) projects that the final number of homicides at the end of the years will be 16 per 100,000 inhabitants. Up to the same date in 2016 there were 402 homicides and the year closed also with a rate of 16 per 100,000 population.

In 2016, Dominican Republic was in fifth place in the ranking of homicides for the region and along Puerto Rico with a rate of 20 per 100,000 population, Mexico has 16.2, Costa Rica 11.8, and Bolivia with 10.8 according to data from the Center for the Investigation of Organized Crime in Latin America and the Caribbean.

First and second positions were taken by El Salvador (81.2); Venezuela and Honduras with 59 each.

In 2015 Dominican Republic the rate was 16.78; in 2014 it was 17.42.
http://listindiario.com/la-republica...ica-dominicana


Dominican UN diplomat took bribes
A suspended Dominican UN diplomat has testified in a US court that a Chinese billionaire paid him up to US$50,000 monthly in return for help securing a contract to build a UN conference center. Francis Lorenzo, the former UN deputy foreign minister from the Dominican Republic, also confirmed that billionaire Ng Lap Jeng funneled a further US$300,000 to the former UN General Assembly president John Ashe.

Between 2010 and 2015, Ng paid the two UN officials approximately US$2 million in bribes, who in return secured approval for the multibillion-dollar construction of a conference center in Ng’s native Macau that would work with developing countries.

Lorenzo testified, however, that Ng planned to build the center to boost the value of a related complex of apartments, offices, a casino and hotel, which he also intended to develop.

Lorenzo reportedly explained how, within months of first meeting Ng in 2009, the billionaire agreed to supplement Lorenzo’s US$72,000 UN salary with a monthly payment of US$20,000 to serve as president of Ng’s new media outlet South-South News.

Later, Ng reportedly began paying him an additional US$30,000 per month to push through UN approval for the center’s construction. After it was approved, the billionaire then bought a US$3.2 million apartment in Manhattan for Lorenzo to live in.

Lorenzo also admitted to laundering the proceeds through bank accounts in the names of his siblings in the Dominican Republic to avoid paying US taxes.

When asked why he never referred to this money as bribes in meetings with prosecutors, he supposedly replied: "I wasn’t familiar with the term."

Lorenzo, who pleaded guilty, faces up to 78 years in prison.

https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/6761-...se-billionaire


Fentanyl drug being manufactured in the DR
The deputy director of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Puerto Rico says that fentanyl drugs are being manufactured in the Dominican Republic. Israel Alicea of the DEA described the drug as more damaging than heroine and morphine.

Fentanyl is an opioid medication and a narcotic. It is used as part of anesthesia to help prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedures. For the individual abusing the drug outside a hospital, this is highly dangerous, as the difference between a therapeutic dose and a deadly dose is described as very small. As with any opiate, the main symptoms of fentanyl abuse are euphoria, drowsiness, lethargy and mellowness. Fentanyl very quickly creates a tolerance to high doses, so a dose that is adequate for the intended high one week will probably not create that intended high even a few days later.

A recent article in the New York Times states that over the past three years, fentanyl has been popping up in drug seizures across the country. The newspaper writes that most of the time, the drug is sold on the street as heroin or drug traffickers are using it to make cheap counterfeit prescription opioids. It also explains that fentanyls are showing up in cocaine that is contributing to an increase in cocaine-related overdoses.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...than-ever.html
http://elnacional.com.do/afirman-en-...oga-fentanilo/


Sahara dust and humidity makes for hot summer days
The weather service (Onamet) explains that Sahara dust in the Caribbean area and warm winds blowing in from the east and southeast will bring hot summer weather for most of the country. Some rain showers may occur in the northeast, southeast, Central mountain range, and border towns, but for the most part Tuesday, 25 July 2017, will be another hot summer day. As of Wednesday, more rains are forecast with the passing of a tropical wave entering from the northeast. All flood alerts with the exception of a green alert for San Juan de la Maguana, have been discontinued.

http://www.onamet.gob.do