Economy February 9, 2018 | 2:34 pm

Trump’s Dominican Republic plans draw media interest: reports

Cap Cana.

Santo Domingo.- The international press has set its sights on the Trump Organization’s interests in the Dominican Republic and on the plans which US president Donald Trump could be hatching in the Caribbean country, local and foreign media report.

US outlet Fast Company on Wednesday published a story which notes that despite the US president’s pledge to suppress business dealings while in office, his company is about to ink agreements with a developer for projects in the booming resort region of Punta Cana, on the Dominican East coast.

The outlet refers to the Cap Cana Project, which made headlines in the last two months, after news that the Tourism Ministry approved the construction of condos of up to 22 stories, in an area zoned to no higher than five.

The approval results from the government’s amendment to the Punta Cana, Bávaro-Macao Tourism Territorial Zoning Plan, which faces stiff opposition from Dominican Republic’s powerful Hotels and Tourism Association (Asonahores).

Fast Company quoted statements by the Trump Organization’s lawyers, in which they insist that it’s not a new agreement, and instead, “is consistent with an existing license agreement that the company signed with a local developer in 2007.”

This agreement was signed in 2007 with the Cap Cana Group, of the Hazoury family to develop Trump Farallón Estates at Cap Cana, on over 30,000 square meters, featuring a golf course, condo-hotel, beach club, villas, residences and apartments with ocean view.

In 2012 however a US$5.8 million lawsuit filed by Trump against the, which claimed the Cap Cana Group’s failure to pay for the use of his name in the project, was disclosed.

But at the end of 2017, the visit by Trump’s son Eric to Cap Cana, as well as statements by the brothers Ricardo and Fernando Hazoury, affirmed that the relationship “remains incredibly strong, especially with Eric, who has led the project from its conception.”

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