Economy March 15, 2016 | 10:59 am

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Puerto Rican, Dominican industries eye regional economic bloc

Santo Domingo.- Industrialists from Puerto Rico and theDominican Republic met in the country on Monday to discuss the productive chainand kick off an initiative aimed at creating a regional economic bloc includingCuba and other Caribbean nations.

"In fact we’re planning joint missions to othercountries to achieve what we call the Caribbean Bloc,” said Dominican IndustriesAssociation (AIRD) executive vice president Circe Almánzar. “In other words, howto link the Hispanic Caribbean together to bring higher added value and greaterstrength which can supplement our non-competitive industries."

For his part, Puerto Rico Industries Association (AIPR)president Carlos Rivera Velez said the productive chain seeks to create a sustainableeconomy in the long-term.

"We brought several areas of opportunities through theyears in which Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico have cooperated in themanufacturing area, where there are still many opportunities in themanufacturing sector," Rivera said, noting that Dominicans can leverage theUSA label to accesss the US market.

He said other areas of opportunities for the two countriesare also within the DR-CAFTA, in Puerto Rico’s service sector, in engineeringand maintenance and research and development, among others.

The AIPR and AIRD representatives, who met yesterday todefine the areas to work together to bolster business ties and create jobs inboth countries, agreed to meet again next June.

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