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Daily News - 29 September 2000

Hosting of 2003 Santo Domingo Pan Am Games confirmed
Minister of Sports Cesar Cedeño confirmed that the Dominican government is in the process of making the US$25 million deposit-guarantee for the hosting of the Pan Am Games in 2003. If Santo Domingo declines the site, the country would be penalized with this amount. Puerto Rican journalist Ray Garriga told the Listín Diario that the deadline for making the payment is 1 October 2000. Sports Minister Cedeño says in Hoy newspaper that all is under control. He emphasized that President Mejía is a strong supporter of the Games.

Dominican Airlines building to go to Environment
The Ministry of Environment will be granted the Av. Jiménez Moya (south of Winston Churchill Ave.) building, the former headquarters of Dominicana Airlines, the state airline. Minister Frank Moya Pons won the bid for the building that was also sought by other government departments, including the Ministry of Sports.

Mejía gets a lift with Prime Minister Chretien
Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chretien invited President Hipólito Mejía to join him on the Canadian Air Force jet for the two-hour flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica. This was a first time that the heads of state of both countries held a bilateral talk. El Siglo newspaper said that Mejía was invited to fly with Chretien after the later cancelled his participation in the Jamaica summit.
Both were scheduled to attend the Canada-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government Meeting in Jamaica, on September 29 after participating in the Canada-Central American Heads of Government meeting on September 28 in Guatemala.
In Guatemala, regional leaders had explored ways that Canada could strengthen trade and investment links with Central America. Prime Minister Chretien had to cancel his participation in the Jamaica summit after being informed of the death of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. He returned to Canada after landing in Montego Bay. "I think in a moment like that the prime minister has to be with all Canadians," Chretien told reporters at a hastily arranged press conference only minutes after his plane touched down in Montego Bay from Guatemala.
President Mejía traveled on that flight with Minister of Foreign Relations Hugo Tolentino Dipp, the appointed Dominican ambassador in Canada, Eduardo Fernández and his military and protocol aides. Minister of Industry & Commerce Angel Lockward was also part of the presidential committee but flew to Jamaica on the private jet that had brought President Mejía to Guatemala.
International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew and Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa, David Kilgour accompanied the Canadian Prime Minister.
Both the Central American and Caribbean meetings with the Canadian Prime Minister were seen as an opportunity to exchange views on hemispheric issues with regional leaders and, in particular to consult them on the upcoming Summit of the Americas taking place in Quebec City next April.
Negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas, democratic development and good governance, and debt-related issues were discussed in Guatemala.
Caribbean leaders, including host Prime Minister P J Patterson, were already gathered in Montego Bay for today's summit, held biennially to review the long-standing relationship between Ottawa and the Caribbean.
With Chretien's departure, the regional leaders would still meet among themselves today to discuss a range of issues.
It was not clear if any of the members of Chretien's party would stay in Montego Bay for discussions with the regional heads of government.

Haiti: main topic discussed with Chretien
Hoy newspaper sources say that most of the talk between Chretien and Mejía focused on projects that could be developed on the frontier between the DR and Haiti. "Everyone talks about the Haitian problem, but it is we Dominicans who have to carry the burden of this very serious problem," President Mejía told El Siglo. "Those people [the Haitians] are hungry and in misery, and all the world talks of Haiti, and it is just that talk, talk and talk," he said.
Also discussed between the two heads of state were Canadian travel and investment to the DR. A Canadian company was one of the companies that participated in the Rosario Mining tender that was suspended by the past administration. El Siglo newspaper pointed out that President Mejía also requested that the government of Canada open a Canadian consulate in the DR.

Recycling plant proposed for Santo Domingo
The Municipality of Santo Domingo has been offered a RD$1,881 million donation ($133 million Euros) to install a garbage recycling plant. The plant would produce compost, power and other by-products of garbage. It would also generate 300 jobs. The project has the support of Santo Domingo Mayor Johnny Ventura.
A feasibility study showed that the composition of Dominican garbage is:
Organic matter 44.09%
Paper and cardboard 21.16%
Glass 6.08%
Plastic 10.57%
Metals 4.12%
Others 13.18%.

US ambassador in Dominican Week
US Ambassador in the DR Charles Manatt lauded Dominican business and political leaders for the advances they have made in strengthening democracy and spurring the phenomenal 8% annual economic growth rate the country has experienced in recent years. At a luncheon for U.S. and Dominican business people and politicians at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Manatt shared his views on the successful Dominican elections this past August, as well as developments regarding CBI enhancement and a project for a major new port, all of which will contribute to positioning the Dominican Republic as a regional commercial hub. The luncheon, hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce of Santo Domingo, was held in conjunction with Dominican Week activities (http://www.rvhb.com/dominican.htm). Ambassador Manatt also highlighted the Dominican Republic's potential as a regional commercial hub due to its geographic location, its commercial and cultural ties with the U.S.
Ambassador Manatt called the attention of US businessmen that the start of the CBI enhancement legislation, extending benefits of the NAFTA trade agreement to the Caribbean, means new opportunities for US business to sell machinery, raw materials and many other potential imports. Eighty-five percent of clothing currently manufactured in the Dominican Republic is made with U.S.-produced textiles, and 60% of all consumer goods sold on the island originate in the U.S. The Dominican Republic's free trade zone sector, where textile manufacturers operate, is poised to increase significantly and to compete successfully in the region. The legislation is expected to create 35,000 new jobs in the DR.
Furthermore, Ambasador Manatt highlighted the start of construction of the CSX World Terminal and Caucedo Development multimodal port in Santo Domingo. For more information on this project, see the news brief at

Museo del Larimar opens in Colonial City
Museo del Larimar opened at Isabel la Católica No. 54. Entrepreneur Jorge Caridad, who also successfully operates the Museo del Ambar since 1998 in Santo Domingo, developed this new museum. Caridad owns one of the leading gift shop/jewelry stores in the area. The museums give shoppers a perspective on what they are buying.

Here comes Centennial
Centennial Corporation is making its move in the Dominican telecommunications market. Centennial Dominicana seeks to grab market share from giant Codetel and Tricom. The company is offering cellular phones with the minute costing RD$3.70. No monthly payments are being charged. Those purchasing the plan get caller ID and voice mail. The company says that during the introductory period, calls made to the US and Puerto Rico will cost the same as domestic calls. For more information call 1-200-7500 or visit their offices at Av. Maximo Gómez, Av. Winston Churchill, Carretera Mella, and Av. Isabel Aguiar.

Hotel Embajador pool area not off limits
Ventura Serra, chief executive of Occidental Hoteles in the Dominican Republic, said that the pool area and adjacent gardens of the Embajador Hotel hotel are definitely not off limits to visitors to the hotel. He said that the use of the pool and tennis facilities is restricted to those that are not guests or members of the hotel club, but the adjacent areas would continue to be open to the general public. He explained that it would be counterproductive to limit visitor access to the pool area as the hotel cafeteria and the Restaurante Jardin are accessed through the lobby door to the pool. He called the DR1 Daily News to explain that any measures taken by the management of the hotel to restrict access to the pool area would be revoked as "this is not possible." For more on this story, see http://www.dr1.com/daily/news092500.shtml

Boca Chica to get more night life
Minister of Tourism Ramón Alfredo Bordas announced that Boca Chica beach will soon become a nighttime destination. El Siglo newspaper reports that Margarita Pérez de Alvarez, speaking for the Minister, announced that the government plans to condition the area with beach and streetlights, and security personnel. "We would like the beach businesses to stay open at night because the beach empties out and people go to the town," she said.

Hurricane Joyce downgraded to tropical storm category
It's been a cloudy, albeit sunny day in Santo Domingo. But forecasts are for more rain this weekend.
It is unsure whether Hurricane Joyce now downgraded to Tropical Storm Joyce will continue on a WSW track or will begin a WNW track. The switch to a WNW could bring it to the Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic area. Weather forecasters say that this hurricane has followed an unusual route. It should be monitored closely.

Also see the DR1 Calendar of Events

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