Economy January 13, 2015 | 12:02 pm

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Puerto Rico ‘not a foreign land’ for Dominican leader

Santo Domingo.- President Danilo Medina arrived Tuesday in Puerto Rico where he aims to bolster relations between the two Caribbean nations, especially the economy and security.

"We don’t feel that we’re arriving in foreign land," said Medina upon landed at San Juan’s Airport, where he stressed the "close relationship" between Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.

"The struggles of both peoples have been similar," Medina said standing at the tarmac after hearing the two anthems, and cited Puerto Rican philosopher and teacher Eugenio María de Hostos, the only foreigner buried in the pantheon for Dominican patriots.

Medina also noted the deep friendship between the late Puerto Rican leader Luis Muñoz Marín and Dominican Juan Bosch. "They were great friends and great fighters for democracy and the development of both peoples."

He said the two territories "which are so close can’t be so far away," to justify the start of "a new relationship" that will materialize today with the signing of nine bilateral agreements.

Puerto Rico governor Alejandro García received Medina at the plane’s door and thanked him for coming with the biggest official delegation ever received on the Caribbean island.

Garcia said Puerto Rico aims to grant Dominican Republic its favorite nation status as part of the plans to expand trade relations in the Caribbean and Latin America, while Santo Domingo considers the Commonwealth the gateway to the US

Twelve ministers accompany Medina , whose agenda include formalizing the agreements reached after months of work by teams of both nations on economic development, security, education and the environment, among others. Medina is slated to return to his country today.

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