Economy February 16, 2016 | 12:35 pm

World Bank promotes cleaner production in the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- The International Finance Corporation (IFC),the private sector entity of the World Bank Group, the European Union, the EnvironmentMinistry and the Industry and Commerce Ministry on Tuesday hosted a workshop topresent suggestions from a diagnosis to promote cleaner production in DominicanRepublic’s small and medium business (SMEs).

The diagnosis has focused on SMEs since the 500,000 smalland medium businesses are a key driver of the economy; create jobs andessential goods. While the individual impact of these companies is low comparedto large companies, the cumulative environmental impact of the SME sector isimportant. SMEs account for 54% (2.2 million) of jobs in the country.

The diagnosis has been conducted over the past 11 monthswith input from 85 public and private institutions. It’s expected to contributeto improve environmental sustainability and competitiveness for the SME sector,and to share information and opportunities for improvement.

"Like many Caribbean islands, the Dominican Republiccould be particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change," saidGuillermo Villanueva, representative of IFC in the Dominican Republic.

"The public and private sectors can meet thischallenge together, working to encourage the sustainable and efficient use ofnatural resources. This includes the spread of information to educate thepublic and the private sector, the technical strengthening of SMEs and thedevelopment of major sources of credit for the financing of new technologiesfor cleaner production. "

European Union

"The development policy of the European Union promotesthe transformation towards an inclusive green economy that generates growth,employment and help reduce poverty through sustainable management of naturalresources," said Florence Van Houtte, head of the European Union’s CooperationDelegation in the country.

The diagnosis aims to improve environmental sustainabilityand competitiveness among small and medium businesses in the DominicanRepublic.

Through the strategy of Cleaner Production the work identifiedopportunities to promote more efficient use of energy, raw materials and water,and reduce the production of waste and pollution.

According to the diagnostic results the followingrecommendations:

• To encourage cleaner production activities in the SMEsector, we need to ensure increased funding through mechanisms such as creditguarantee funds and establishing credit windows in public and private financialinstitutions. Greater recognition of the potential demand for this type offunding is also required, which could encourage financial institutions toprovide these mechanisms.

• The Voluntary Agreements on Sustainable Production betweenthe public and private sector are important in promoting cleaner production andthe creation of internal standards base. Furthermore these agreements should bestrengthened by incorporating baseline data and defining roles andresponsibilities of the parties involved, among other areas identified in thediagnosis.

• Political will at the highest levels of government andcoordination among key institutions would give confidence to the businesssector to highlight cleaner production in their business strategies. To achievegreater impact in the framework of the National Policy on SustainableConsumption and Production limited resources should be directed and focused toindustries and businesses.

Contacts:

In Santo Domingo:

Alejandra De La Paz,World Bank

Phone: (809) 566-6815, Ext 343.

Email: adelapaz@worldbank.org

In Washington:

Vanessa Bauza, IFC

Phone: +1 (202) 458-1603

Email: vbauza@ifc.org

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