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Daily News - 12 October 2000

President Mejía favors cranking up economy again
President Mejía is in favor of reducing restrictions on money in circulation. Banking and business sectors have complained that the restrictive government monetary policy is slowing down the economy to be point of starting a recession. Mejía says that the Central Bank is studying different measures that would maintain the macroeconomic stability, but would allow interest rates to drop from the highs they are at now. This would be a relief for business sectors. President Mejía also urged Ramón Alburquerque (PRD-Monte Plata) as president of the Senate to move on the economic reform bills.
According to the Central Bank from year-end 1999 to August 2000 money in circulation declined from RD$28,846,190,851.89 to RD$26,419,026,872.48.

Ocean Survey Vessel to study coastal waters
The US Environmental Protection Agency and the United Nations Environmental Program are sponsoring the visit of the Ocean Survey Vessel (OSV) Peter W. Anderson to southeastern coastal waters. For a photo of the ship, see http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/coastal/Anderson/Anderson.html
The Anderson is fitted with over-the-side sampling equipment for monitoring water quality. It will survey the coastal waters in Santo Domingo and along the southeastern coast up to San Pedro de Macorís. Scientists on board the ship will prepare a diagnosis of the problems and guide for environmental studies for the coastal waters. 22 Dominican and foreign experts will participate in the study for which 15 stations have been set up. These include 10 experts from the US Environmental Protection Agency, five from the Ministry of Environment, four from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, two from the DR Navy and one from the United Nations Environmental Program.
In Santo Domingo six stations will be set up: one at the Ozama river mouth, three in Guibia, one in front of Metaldom, another near the Haina river mouth, another facing the National Aquarium and another in front of the Las Americas International Airport. Other stations are in the Bay of Andres, Boca Chica where the waters in front of the sugar mill area will be monitored, as well as those in front of the Santo Domingo Yacht Club, the coral reef in front of Boca Chica beach, the Boca Chica beach lagoon, and the eastern part of the bay. Other stations are scheduled for the province of San Pedro de Macorís where the waters of Playa Caribe, Juan Dolio, La Esperanza and Marota, as well as the proximity of the Higuamo river mouth will be evaluated. The visit of the Anderson is part of the Caribbean Environmental Program sponsored by the United Nations.

Most "pollitos" were not allotted to cab drivers
The government commission in charge of revising the allotment of the yellow cabs known as "pollitos" (little chickens) reports that 639 of the 999 Nissan Serena vehicles allotted by the past PLD government went to persons that did not qualify. To qualify one had to be a taxi driver. The beneficiaries of the vehicles received very favorable financial conditions. The rationale was to replace broken down taxi cars that are circulating on city streets. The PRD transport authorities claim that the vehicles were given out for political reasons and now want to redistribute the vehicles.

New French diplomatic officers
Ambassador of France Francois Xavier Deniau presented the consul Christian Reigneaud, deputy economic and trade counselor, Joelle Bonnet-Malbete and new attaché for French language cooperation, Martine Cerdan. Xavier Deniau said that the increase in number of employees of the French Embassy is unusual for the French government but was necessary given the expansion of the Dominican economy and trade and cultural relations between France and the Dominican Republic. Mrs. Cerdan will coordinate a program whereby 500 Dominicans will receive training to be able to become better French language teachers in public schools. Deniau says that the decline in the Euro versus the US dollar makes French imports more attractive to the DR market.

New Mexican-Dominican Chamber of Commerce
The Mexican-Dominican Chamber of Commerce was recently formed in Santo Domingo and its first board sworn in. The chamber will promote trade between Mexico and the DR and assist Mexican companies that are interested in investing in the DR.
The honorary president of the Chamber is Mexican Ambassador Mireya Terán. Board members are:
Manuel Corripio Alonso, president
Alejandro Santelises, vice president
Pilar Cañas, vice president
Miguel Angel Treviño, vice president
Diego Arias, treasurer
Andrés Marranzini, secretary
Atahualpa Domínguez, international director
Marcos Antonio Sánchez, executive director
Nurys Presvot de Michell, adjunct executive director
Juan Periche, member

Tricom sells 26.5% of its shares to Telefónica de España
Tricom announced that Motorola sold 26.5% of its shares in the Dominican telecommunications company to Telefónica de España. This move is part of a Motorola divestment of its participation in telecommunication companies in Mexico, Israel, Brazil and Honduras. The announcement was made by vice president of public relations Adriano Miguel Tejada who said the operation is still pending approval of the corresponding organizations in each country.
He said the sale will not affect the normal operations of Tricom. Tricom principal shareholder is the Grupo Financiero Nacional of Santo Domingo that also owns Bancrédito bank, La Nacional insurance company, Rumbo newsweekly magazine among other companies. In 1993, Tricom became the first Dominican company to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Tricom has been expanding into Central America, starting with Panama this year. Its plans are to leverage its competitive experience and strategic asset base, primarily its state-of-the-art switching facilities and international fiber optic submarine cable systems, in order to provide wide-range telecommunications services to attractive markets within the Central American and Caribbean regions. Tricom offers an integrated digital wireless communication network based on iDEN® Motorola technology in Central America. Tricom has become the seventh wireless provider to adopt this technology in Latin America.
Tricom recently announced it has acquired capacity on Global Crossing Ltd.'s Mid-Atlantic Crossing (MAC) fiber optic submarine cable system, connecting the eastern United States and the Caribbean. This is in line with the company strategy of expanding into selected Central American and Caribbean markets.
The added capacity completes Tricom's U.S. Eastern seaboard network and enables the company to accelerate its plans to establish a PoP (point-of-presence) in South Florida by the end of this year. It also is intended to improve connectivity to major the Caribbean and US cities.
For more information on Tricom, see
http://www.tricom.net

Adozona supports change of work hours
The president of the Dominican Association of Free Zones, Fernando Capellán is in favor of modifying the weekly work schedule. Capellán favors the government authorizing companies to be able to hire free zone employees for four-day 11-hour shifts. Separate personnel would be employed on the remaining three days. The advantage of this schedule is that employees could participate in training sessions on the fifth day or have a working day off to carry out their personal business.

Colorado Springs meeting crucial for DR Pan Am Games
The DR needs a go ahead of the Executive Committee of the Pan American Sports Organization that will meet in Colorado Springs, USA on 21 October. The Dominican Olympic Committee is finalizing a report on the Dominican Pan Am Games that will be presented at the assembly. News reports say that president of the organization, Mexican Mario Vásquez Raña will use all his influence to lead the executive committee to believe the DR will fail and thus should not be confirmed as host of the 2003 Games. DR won the site of the games competing against Guadalajara, Mexico. Dr. José Joaquín Puello, leading organizer and president of the Dominican Olympic Committee says that the construction of facilities and hosting of the games is not a problem. He said where the country has to work most is in the preparation of the Dominican delegation that will compete in the event. Nevertheless, he is optimistic the country will win 50 medals in the Santo Domingo Pan Am Games.
Dr. Puello said that recent statements by the Finance Committee of the Senate could work against the DR. The Finance committee opposed the DR taking out a US$200 million loan to build sport venues and the athletes' village.
Dr. Puello told the press he is optimistic that the Pan American Sports Organization will be satisfied with the report to be presented by the Dominican organizing committee.

First indoor pool to be built at Juan Pablo Duarte Center
On occasion of the hosting of the 2003 Santo Domingo Pan American Sports Games, the first 50 meter indoor swimming pool will be built in the DR. The facility will go up at the side of the present Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center swimming pool and will comply with all requirements of the International Swimming Federation and the Pan American Sports Organization. The old pool will be renovated and used for training sessions of the Dominican team. Lillian Jacobs de Solano, president of the Dominican Swimming Federation said that the 50-meter pool under construction at the UASD, the state university, will be used for qualifying heats during the Pan Am Games. The finals will take place at the new indoor pool.


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