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Daily News - Wednesday, 16 July 2014

President meets Ban Ki-moon
President Danilo Medina has confirmed that the collaboration between the Dominican Republic and the United Nations is strengthening in areas such as the fight against poverty, climate change, food supply and education, amongst others. He made the comments on occasion of the visit of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday, 15 July 2014. Ban Ki-moon has come for a two-day visit. Ki-Moon and his wife arrived yesterday on board a UN helicopter that landed at the Ministry of Defense after 6pm.

Medina and Ki-moon met at the Presidency for an hour on Tuesday. The Presidency reported the meeting had served to confirm that they shared goals and ideas such as working for the good of the people, especially those who had the least, and to build a more prosperous and fair society.

The Presidency reported that President Medina briefed Secretary General Ki-moon on work under the National Development Strategy and the actions that his government had carried out to achieve its goals. Concerns on climate change were presented, as the Dominican Republic is in a region that is very vulnerable to natural disasters. Also discussed were the objectives of the surprise weekend visits to help fight poverty in rural communities.

Medina thanked the United Nations Development Program (PNUD) for helping with the visits by carrying out a study to ascertain their impact and asked Ban Ki-Moon for the support of the UN in reducing teenage pregnancies in the country. He also asked for help in the education area.

Speaking to the Dominican people at the Presidential Palace, Ki-moon highlighted as "very positive" actions taken by the Dominican government to provide identification to Haitian migrants living and working in the country with the adoption of the National Foreigner Legalization Plan in November 2013. He recognized the problem of the large mass of Haitian immigrants entering the country and said the efforts to regularize these persons are essential and require the cooperation of both countries. He concluded by encouraging the Dominican government to resolve what he described as the stateless situation of Dominican-born descendants of Haitians living in the Dominican Republic in order to protect human rights. He said that the recent bilateral initiatives between Haiti and the Dominican Republic are highly commendable.

Speaking to senators and deputies at the General Assembly on Wednesday, 16 July 2014, Ki-moon again stressed the interest of the United Nations that the Dominican government grant Dominican nationality to descendants of Haitians that claim they have been born in the Dominican Republic and that do not qualify according to Constitutional Court Ruling 168-13. The ruling confirmed an earlier sentence of the Supreme Court of Justice in 2005 whereby immigrants are required to have had legal residence in the Dominican Republic for Dominican nationality to be granted to their descendants born in the country.

Read more:



Exports increase 6% in first half 2014
Speaking at a lunch hosted by the Dominican Exporters'Association (ADOEXPO), Jean Alain Rodriguez, director of the Center for Export and Investment in the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) said that exports registered a growth of 6% from January to July 2014.

He said that there were still challenges to overcome but the country had become more competitive and every day its products were accepted more and more in the international markets. He mentioned that there were 3,150 product lines being exported to 73 countries.

In regards to attracting direct foreign investment in the country, Rodriguez said that he expected this year's level to be similar to last year when it was around US$2 billion.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.listindiario.com/economia-and-negocios/2014/7/15/329925/ExportacionesRD-crecen-6

Puerto Rico exports 94% more this year to DR
Puerto Rica's Institute of Statistics indicates that exports to the Dominican Republic in 2014 were US$381.87 million, up from US$196.75 for the same first five months of the year. The difference of US$185 million is a 94% increase.

Read more in Spanish: http://elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=382950

Bilateral trade with Taiwan: US$146 million in 2013
The Embassy of Taiwan in the Dominican Republic reports that bilateral trade was US$146 million in 2013. This includes Taiwan exports of US$115 million (up 6% compared to 2012) and Dominican exports of US$31 million, as reported in Diario Libre.

European Union highlights donations to the Dominican Republic
According to Antonio Vargas Hernandez from the General Agency for Multilateral Cooperation (Digecoom) and Antonia Calvo, political advisor to the European Union delegation in the Dominican Republic, the European Union will make available for the Dominican Republic, EUR72 million as part of the program of non-refundable cooperation as laid down in the 11th European Development Fund (11-FED). They made the comments during a breakfast at Listin Diario yesterday, 15 July 2014.

The above-mentioned amount is in addition to the country's share of the EUR350 million allotted to the Caribbean region, including EUR140 million for investments in the Caribbean.

The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy is scheduled to visit on Monday, 21 July 2014 to commemorate 25 years of relations between the EU and the Dominican Republic. The European Union spokespeople highlighted during this time European countries have contributed more than US$1 billion in cooperation.


National Business Registry to be polled this year
The National Statistics Office (ONE) announced the start of data capture for the National Business Registry. Business data for both formal and informal businesses will be included. The registry development has a budget of RD$90 million. Pablo Tactuk, director of ONE explained the intention is to provide a current database on Dominican business establishments and companies for the support to government policies and presidential plans to back micro, small and medium-sized businesses.


What's holding up the start of ProCompetencia?
The president of the Herrera Industrial Association, Victor Castro criticized that the government has sent to the Senate names of replacements for members of the board of the ProCompetencia organization (Comision Nacional de la Defensa de la Competencia) when it has not yet named the executive director that would get the kickstart operations at the government entity. Board members are known to make hundreds of thousands in wages despite the organization not yet serving its role as competition regulator.

Castro said that the replacement of the board members is legal, but does nothing to contribute to making ProCompetencia operational.

"What's the mystery? What forces are stopping that organization from starting to operate? Who benefits when ProCompetencia is but a burden on taxpayers that have to pay the high salaries of its board and the entity that is limited to workshops, social events, and travel," demanded Castro.




Spam bill approved by Congress
The Chamber of Deputies passed the final reading needed for congressional approval of a bill to regulate Internet spam in the Dominican Republic. The initiative by deputy Victor Sanchez had already been approved in the Senate. The bill that had been discussed since 2011 now moves to the Presidency for its signing into law and publishing.


Santiago businessmen reject another municipality
Business associations of Santiago rejected that the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill that would create the new Municipality of Santiago West. This means millions of more to pay wages and other unproductive costs for the province. The Association of Industries of the Northern Region (Airen), the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago and the Free Zone Corporation, the Council for the Strategic Development of Santiago, the Association for Developemtn(Apedi), Association of Industries of Santiago (ACIS) and Association of Free Zones all rejected the bill during a press conference yesterday, 15 July 2014. The bill was drafted by legislator Altagracia Gonzalez and would create a new urban government bureaucracy costing taxpayers millions that would be paid for unproductive jobs.

The businessmen say that by further dividing the city government of Santiago nothing will be achieved towards resolving the communities' real problems. The businessmen called for awaiting the passing of the National Land Use Bill that is being prepared by the Presidency and the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development.

Read more in Spanish: http://www.diariolibre.com/noticias/2014/07/16/i702211_empresariado-santiago-rechaza-nuevo-municipio.html

Government officials could face jail for illicit wealth
The Senate and Chamber of Deputies have approved a proposal by Senator Charlie Mariotti that those government officials who do not make a legal declaration as to their wealth will be punished by jail and it will now pass to the Executive Board for approval.

The proposal establishes sentences of four to ten years in jail for those officials who gain wealth illicitly and those who make false statements as to their wealth of one to two years in jail.


New party to submit paperwork
Andres Bautista, president of the new Majority Revolutionary Party (PRM) has announced that the documentation to accredit the name of the party, its colors and symbols will be deposited in the Central Electoral Court (JCE).

He said that the PRM now has more than 90% of the militants from the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD), who decided to leave it as they could not "continue playing Miguel Vargas' game". Miguel Vargas is the president of the PRD.

Speaking on El Dia program, Andres Bautista said that their presidential candidate will be chosen by consensus.


Blackouts in Santo Domingo
There have been blackouts of up to 15 hours across many areas of Greater Santo Domingo that has led to several protests with residents burning tires in the streets.

The areas affected include Herrera, Los Girasoles, Los Rios, Gala housing project, Los Jardines del Norte, La Yaguita, Manoguayabo, Bayona, Los Alcarrizos, Alameda, Pantoja and Los Girasoles.

Residents have been asking for an explanation from EdeSur power distribution company as to why they have no electricity from 7am until nightfall and sometimes until midnight.

Shopkeepers say that their costs are increasing as they have to use generators.

There are also complaints from those who have blackouts of six and eight hours a day in Villa Juana, Villa Francisca, Villa Consuelo, San Carlos, Villa Maria and Maria Auxiliadora.

In Santo Domingo East the black outs are lasting ten hours a day in Villa Carmen, Los Trinitarios, Juan Pablo Duarte, Bello Campo, Invivienda, Villa Faro, Villa Morada and Los Tres Brazos, amongst others and residents are also complaining that the Eastern Electricity Distribution Company, EdeEste, is not updating its daily timetable of when the blackouts will be.


Navy catches another yola
The Dominican Navy (Armada) has announced that yesterday, 15 July, they arrested 74 people on board an illegal boat transporting people to Puerto Rico.

Navy spokesman, Captain Juan Pablo Sandoval Garcia, said that the two Cubans and 72 Haitians were arrested in the area of Bayahibe and Boca de Chavon in La Romana province.

Sandoval Garcia said they were looking for two people known as Machon and Wilson who apparently organized the trip.

Since January this year, the Dominican Navy has confiscated 83 boats and arrested 829 people, including 536 Haitians, 213 Dominicans and 71 Cubans.


Tropical wave approaching
The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) has said that there will be showers today with electrical storms, but it mostly it will be hot and dry during the daytime.

From Friday afternoon rains are forecast for the Caribbean coastline due to a tropical wave currently located to the east of the Lesser Antilles.

Read more in Spanish: http://onamet.gov.do

Julia Guzman at Quinta Dominica
One of the most promising Dominican young artists, painter and photographer Julia Guzman is exhibiting at the Quinta Dominica in Colonial Santo Domingo. Her works are known as Finissage. The closing of the exhibit is scheduled for 17 July at 8pm at Padre Billini No. 202, Colonial City.

Jose Garcia Cordero exhibits at Casa de Teatro
See the works of famous Dominican painter Jose Garcia Cordero at Casa de Teatro. The exhibit opens Wednesday, 23 July 2014. The artist resides in France.

His exhibit is named "XXXXX Exhibition of Jose Garcia Cordero." Casa de Teatro is at Calle Arzobispo Merino 110, Colonial City. Tel 809 686-7840.

El Salvador participates in 8th International Theater Festival
The 8th Santo Domingo International Theater Festival presents the El Salvador plays: "Los del Quinto Piso" and "Respuestas para un Menu" at the Sala Ravelo of the National Theater on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 and Wednesday, 23 July 2014. 7pm. Tickets: RD$100.

Teatro Gayumba presents: El Quijote no existe
As part of the 8th Santo Domingo International Theater Festival, the Dominican group Teatro Gayumba presents "El Quijote no existe" on Thursday, 24 July at the Sala Ravelo of the National Theater. 7pm. Tickets: RD$100.

For more on ongoing and upcoming events, see http://www.dr1.com/calendar

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