Economy September 7, 2016 | 9:48 am

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Puerto Rico crisis won’t hurt Dominican exports: Agro leader

Santo Domingo.- DominicanRepublic exports to Puerto Rico topped US$605.5 million in 2015, according to PuertoRico’s Trade and Export Company, while the "Island of Enchantment" exportsUS$732 million to the Hispaniola nation.

The figures reveal the San Juan-Santo Domingo close ties ontrade, for which the Trade and Export Company ranks Dominican Republic the 10thdestination for their exports, a sign of relief at times of instability with PuertoRico’s "unpayable" US$70.0 billion debt.

Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD) executive president OsmarBenitez, said the Puerto Rican market is essential to maintain a balance in theDominican agro-export sector for three reasons; the proximity of the islandwith the Dominican coast, cultural affinities shared by Puerto Ricans andDominicans, and the Ferry’s shipping capacity, halted a few weeks ago.

"You put a container on the ferry at eight in theevening and the products arrive at six o’clock, it doesn’t see the sun and alsothose containers are refrigerated, you find the advantage that the weatherkeeps it even better," Benitez said, quoted by He notedthat Puerto Rico imports 85% of its food.

The agro leader said he doesn’t expect much of an impact fromPuerto Rico’s crisis, since in his view, "they won’t stop eating food,which is the niche where our producers come through and have supplied thisexcellent market for decades."

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