Economy October 14, 2015 | 8:44 am

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Unheeded warning brought trade deficit: Ex Conep president

Santo Domingo.- Fromthe moment of the hampered negotiation for the Central America-US (DR-CAFTA) freetrade agreement emerged and the DominicanRepublic failed to take appropriate action after it was signed, the country losta great opportunity to become more competitive, said former National Business Council (Conep) president LisandroMacarrulla on Tuesday.

He also noted thatall the warnings over the agreement made by the business organization at thetime, "we are living them."

"Actually ourexperience in trade with all Central American countries has been quite negativeand even with the United States itself. I think that Dominican Republic lost agreat opportunity to be more competitive from the moment the country failed to negotiatewell, and from the moment that having negotiated, didn’t do the proper job forexports to increase and improve the trade balance," he said.

Participating in the panel"Role of free enterprise in Dominican Republic´s future,"

Macarrulla saiddespite that the country´s current trade balance is "a bit more balanced"due to low oil prices, “which is a temporary situation,” the country will havea balance of payments deficit “probably soon,” which in his view is "is trulyalarming and unsustainable"

Balance of trade withthe US

The country´s importsfrom the US reached US$7.9 billion last year, while exports topped US$3.4 billion,a difference of nearly US$4.5 billion.

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