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Daily News - Friday, 24 October 2014

Navarro calls for investment fund for Haiti & DR
Foreign Minister Andres Navarro believes that an investment fund should be created for bi-national projects between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He told government and business representatives taking part in the Quisqueya Business Summit in Port-au-Prince yesterday, Thursday 23 October 2014, that the fund would serve as a financial instrument for the private sector to invest in bi-national projects. He said that a list should be prepared of priority investments that would support farming and industry in both nations, create jobs and promote joint competitiveness, while keeping in line with environmental considerations.

"The Dominican government reaffirms that our doors are always open to listen and cooperate with responsible and courageous businesspeople who are interested in investing in sustainable and profitable job creation where people can work with dignity," he said. He mentioned the case of the Companie Developpment Industriel (Dodevi) that has generated more than 40,000 jobs on the border with Haiti.

The meeting to explore business opportunities, which was also attended by Prime Minister of Haiti Laurent Lamothe, was held as a follow up to bi-national talks.


DR government on IAHRC ruling: poorly timed, biased and inappropriate
The Dominican government has rejected the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling that condemns the country for violating the rights of the children of undocumented foreigners. In a statement read out by government spokesman Roberto Rodriguez Marchena yesterday, Thursday 23 October 2014, the Medina administration described the ruling as "poorly timed, biased and inappropriate."

The statement outlining the Dominican government response says that the country adheres to Article 1 of the Convention of The Hague that empowers each state to regulate and define, according to its law who its nationals are".

"This principal pillar of international law, is non-negotiable for the Dominican government," it states in its reply to the IAHCR judgment that recommended the country amend the Constitution and legal standards to enable Dominican nationality to be granted to the descendants of undocumented immigrants who have allegedly been victims of rights violations.

The Dominican government said that it believes that the recent IAHCR ruling refers to events dating back to 1999-2000 and ignores many circumstances, including the implementation of an integrated plan for the legalization of all people who live in the Dominican Republic. He said that recent events show the DR has the firm will to modernize and improve its legal framework.

Constitutional Court Ruling 168-13 ordered the Dominican government implement the National Foreign Legalization Plan. The Medina administration subsequently passed a bill that granted a fast-track procedure to Dominican nationality for select foreigners who had been already granted Dominican documentation. The Medina administration also maintained an open dialogue with the Haitian government for the legalization of its citizens living in the Dominican Republic. The Haitian government has opened four consulates in the Dominican Republic to help with the legalization process.

In the document, the Dominican government says that the authorities have the duty to defend Dominican sovereignty, maintain political and social stability and foster a climate of peaceful coexistence.

"Ultimately, we firmly believe that the roadmap we have set is the right way to achieve our goal, which has always been and will be the same: to build a country without exclusion and without discrimination, in which human rights and fundamental respect for the laws go hand in hand with the same purpose: promoting the happiness of people."


Economy grows 7%, business sales up 7.6%
Central Bank governor Hector Valdez Albizu reports that the Dominican economy has grown by 7% from January to September 2014, second only to Panama in Latin America. Valdez gave the keynote speech as part of the celebration of the 67th anniversary of the Central Bank yesterday, Thursday 23 October 2014. He said that sectors showing the highest growth were mining 24.1%, construction 10.7%, hotels, bars and restaurants 8.2%, health 8.2%, finance and insurance 7.8%, education 6.7%, manufacturing 5.7%, transport 5.6%, farming 5.4% and commerce 5%, as reported in Listin Diario.

Valdez said that the growth of the economy and increases of sales reported by businesses are similar. He said companies reported sales increases of 7.6% from January to August 2014 to the Tax Agency (DGII). The Central Bank governor said that the combination of sustained economic growth, increased job creation and low inflation have led to a reduction in poverty over the past two years. He said data shows that 534,139 people or 6% have come out of poverty during this period.

Meanwhile, an editorial column in today's Hoy newspaper, Friday 24 October 2014, states that what is needed now is an improvement in the quality of government spending to ensure that the trickle-down effect of the economic bonanza is fairer. He called on the government to invest in vital services such as health and drinking water services, the creation of quality jobs, and for the purchasing power of wages to be increased.




Foreign investment up 20% in first half year
Foreign Direct Investment in the Dominican Republic was up 20% at a time when on average it was down 23% in Latin America, according to statistics for the first half of the year provided by Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

ECLA says that the FDI to the Dominican Republic from January to June was US$1,175 million, or 20% more than the US$982 million recorded for the same period in 2013.


DR trade with France worth US$629.1 million in past five years
Jean Alain Rodriguez, executive director of the Center for Exports and Investment (CEI-RD), says that trade between France and the Dominican Republic totaled US$629.10 million over the past five years. Exports in the first eight months of the year from the DR to France came to US$21.64 million, mainly medical equipment, gold, cigars, apparel, footwear, jewelry and oils, as reported in Hoy.

Rodriguez added that registered French investment in the country from 2000 to June 2014 was worth US$867 million, mainly in telecommunications, tourism, commerce, real estate, free zones, transport, energy and pharmaceuticals.

Rodriguez was attending in a business forum part of the France Week organized by the French Chamber of Commerce and the Embassy of France. France Week continues at the National Library in Plaza de la Cultura throughout the weekend of 25-26 October 2014.


Truckers block Puerto Plata highway for three hours
The failure of the Dominican government to reduce the dominance of transport unions was again evident yesterday, Thursday 23 October 2014 when truckers blocked the main highway into Puerto Plata for three hours.

The Sindicato de Camioneros y Furgoneros de Puerto Plata parked their vehicles on strategic spots of the highway from the early hours on Thursday in support of the Federacion Nacional de Transporte Dominicano (Fenatrado), the country's largest trucking union, which is challenging the demands of a smaller union of truckers from Boca Chica at the Multimodal Port in Andres, Boca Chica.

The truckers also blocked work at the Multimodal Port in Andres, Boca Chica.


Shippers Association enraged at government's passivity towards truckers
The Dominican Republic Shippers Association (ANRD) is calling for the government to intervene to end the monopoly of the trucking unions. ANRD president Teddy Heinsen said that the monopoly exercised by the unions undermines business competitiveness.

In a press release, the ANRD said: "The union members cannot decide to strike, clog access to the port entryways, create tensions, threats and more, affect the fluidity that is key to a logistics chain of this business, without anyone doing anything about it."

The ANRD called for importers to unite and demand their right to free hiring of transport services, and the port terminals to take on their commitment to deliver cargo to the transporters named by the importers when they meet the established requirements.


Silvio Rodriguez and Maridalia Hernandez concert in Bani
The Ministry of Culture has announced that Cuban singer/songwriter Silvio Rodriguez will be taking part in the 250th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the city of Bani. Dominican singer Maridalia Hernandez is another star of the evening. The concert is scheduled for 6pm tomorrow, Saturday 25 October 2014 at the Luis Maria Herrera stadium in Bani.

Minister of Culture Jose Antonio Rodriguez said that Silvio Rodriguez is coming to commemorate the land where General Maximo Gomez was born. The general is one of the heroes of Cuban independence from Spain in 1895.

Rodriguez is expected to sing many of his greatest hits, including: 'Ojala', 'Tu fantasma', 'Adonde van' and 'Mi unicornio azul'.

Bani is also be hosting the 10th Regional Peravia Book Fair dedicated to journalist Rafael Herrera, a native of Bani who was director of the Listin Diario in its heyday. The book fair will continue through 2 November at the Marcos A. Cabral city park.

Los temores con Cuquin
Comedians Irving Alberti, Luis Jose German and Kenny Grullon have joined Cuquin Victoria to present: "Lo mejor de los temores con Cuquin" at Escenario 360 at the Galeria 360 shopping mall in Santo Domingo at 9pm tomorrow evening, Saturday, 25 October 2014. Musical direction: Pachy Carrasco. Tickets are for sale at uepa.com or MovieMax/Uepa in Santo Domingo. RD$1,300 VIP and RD$1,000 general admission.

Arawak Drawing Festival
Check out the illustrations at the Fundacion de Arte Arawak's Annual Drawing Festival this coming Sunday, 26 October 2014 from 10am to 6pm. Galeria de Arte Arawak. Calle Polibio Diaz 11, Santo Domingo.

6-year old girl exhibits drawings
Child prodigy Janibeth Mendez Perez presents her first individual art exhibition at the Fundacion Manuel del Cabral near Plaza Espana in Santo Domingo's Colonial City. See 50 drawings by this six-year old girl wonder who has been drawing since she was two. Her brother Jonathan is another young talent who at the age of three held an exhibition of 39 of his artworks at the Trampolin Children's Museum in 2010.

Halloween at Sans Souci
DJs Jack Novak, Michael Woods and Erick Morillo will be playing electronic music at the Sans Souci Marina, Av. Del Puerto, Santo Domingo at 9pm this evening, Friday, 24 October 2014. Tel 809 732-0230.

Humor por las 4 esquinas at Escenario 360
Comedians Felipe Polanco, Boruga, Ceddy Garcia and Juan Carlos Pichardo Jr. are appearing together for an evening of comedy at the Galeria 360's Escenario 360 show hall in Santo Domingo on Wednesday 29 October, 5, 12 and 19 November 2014. 8:30pm. Tickets: RD$600 at the door n the price includes two Macorix rum drinks and a ticket for a raffle for cava at the end of the evening.

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

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