Economy May 13, 2015 | 7:33 am

World Bank hosts talks on Dominican Republic-Haiti border projects

Washington.- The Quisqueya Binational Economic Council (CEBQ), which represents employers in the Dominican Republic and Haiti and aims to develop projects in various parts of the border between the two countries, on Tuesday discussed the initiative at World Bank Group headquarters, with ideas voiced by representatives from the multilateral entity, local business leaders, members of various organizations related to the issue and members of the delegation of Dominican Week in the United States (SemDomUSA), taking place until May 15 in Washington DC and New York.

Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC vice president for Global Client Services, of the World Bank Group, hailed the Quisqueya initiative and lauded the private sector’s involvement with a view to create jobs to develop both countries. "The importance of creating new jobs and income opportunities for people of the island cannot be underestimated," he said. He noted the IFC’s actions in Dominican Republic and Haiti. "We believe it’s a good initiative because it’s the only way to make things better."

A video was also presented that showed the most relevant details of the CEBQ proposal, after which Marc Ricart, of ICIF, listed the project’s essence in detail, which has the support of the governments of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which is seen as the binational initiative’s first public-private partnership.

Dominican business leaders Juan B. Vicini, of VICINI group, and Fernando Capellan, president of Grupo M and Haitian consultant Paolo Chilosi, all CEBQ members, provided detailed information of a platform of action at the border area to implement projects in manufacturing, energy, agriculture and sustainable tourism.

Dominican ambassador to the US Jose Tomas Perez and Washington counterpart James W. Brewster also attended the event, along with Deputy Foreign minister César Dargam, among others.

In an emailed statement, Brewster said the initiative has brought significant challenges for both parties since in his view it’s easier to motorize ties by getting to know the country. "Together we can take advantage of many opportunities and the project is good for that."

Perez meanwhile lauded the initiative as a new path of effective collaboration. "Creating jobs and education is the only thing that can help the development of both countries."