On Thursday, 2 December 2021, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico signed a Joint Declaration for Strategic Alliance. The statement calls for strengthening trade, cultural, sports, and cooperation, among other areas of mutual interest.
Visiting Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi signed the agreement with President Luis Abinader. Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez and Puerto Rico Secretary of State Omar Marrero were present for the ceremony at the Presidential Palace.
President Abinader said the signing is a push ahead for bilateral relations. He said staff in both countries would work to update and adapt specific agreements on trade, agriculture, education, environment and health for mutual benefit.
“It is in this context that we meet today to renew and reaffirm our ties and commitments to promote prosperity and human values, through mechanisms of cooperation and exchange, aiming at the development of bilateral trade, investment and tourism, among other priorities,” said President Abinader.
He called Puerto Rico “the first natural border that the country has with the United States”, the country’s main trading partner. Trade with Puerto Rico is around US$500 million a year, 10% of Dominican exports to the US market and 5% of total exports.
“Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico have a deep and broad historical relationship of friendship that has benefited both peoples. Over time, we have forged strong, close and lasting ties that allow us to move forward on agendas of common interest,” said President Abinader.
President Abinader said the economic and commercial complementarity between the two nations, the presence of an important Dominican diaspora, the DR-Cafta Agreement and the recent H2-B visa facilities, places the two peoples in an extremely favorable economic situation that can be exploited to the fullest.
The governor of Puerto Rico said that this agreement reaffirms the value of working together towards their shared goals. “Today is a great day for our peoples, Puerto Rican and Dominicans. Today we reaffirm our brotherhood and spirit of collaboration in search of progress and the common welfare of our people,” Pierluisi said.
The Joint Declaration for Strategic Partnership replaces the 2009 Aguadilla Agreement. The parties will work to provide an updated framework, taking into account the changing reality of a post-Covid-19 world. Since 1985 more than 30 agreements have been signed in cooperation, security, trade, agriculture, education, culture, environment, and others.
Pierluisi said that both parties recognize the importance of permanent dialogue, consultation and coordination mechanisms, including through the Dominican Republic-Puerto Rico Joint Commission.
Pierluisi came to back a Puerto Rican trade mission that is in the country to look into new opportunities with Dominican business people. The Governor of Puerto Rico stressed that alliances are the key to success in today’s globalized world.
He maintained that there is no doubt that as the years go by, both peoples grow closer, interconnect and grow more because of the brotherhood that has successfully developed.
On the other hand, Pierluisi spoke of the need to work together to combat crime and drug trafficking for the security of the people.
Antoliano Peralta, Legal Advisor of the Executive Branch, read the summary of the signing of the Joint Declaration that seeks to encourage the complementarity of both economies, promoting manufacturing, agricultural technology, services and other initiatives that generate jobs for both partners.
Also present at the activity for the Dominican Republic were José Ignacio Paliza, Administrative Minister of the Presidency and former President Hipólito Mejía.
3 December 2021