Economy October 21, 2023 | 11:45 am

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Moving forward to break dependency

Roberto Álvarez, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign Minister urges to diversify export markets to the Caribbean, prioritize border development projects, and strengthen the legal framework.

Foreign Minister Roberto Alvarez affirmed that the Dominican Republic must move towards breaking its dependence on cheap labor in feasible economic sectors by investing, for example, in the automation of manual work.

He referred to the issue when describing it during a conference at the luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic (AMCHAMDR). He urged diversification of export markets to the Caribbean, prioritizing border development projects, especially those of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development, and strengthening the legal framework to fight illegal migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

“We desire a vigorous, fair and transparent commercial exchange with Haiti and safe, orderly and regular immigration. But we have to accept the reality that for quite some time the Dominican State will bear the brunt of the burden to take effective measures in the bilateral relationship,” Alvarez said. He added that we cannot respond to this moment out of frustration. “We must make the necessary sacrifices to have an institutional, fair and transparent relationship with Haiti,” he said.

“This must be a moment of inflection for us as well. The porosity of the border that facilitates unpunished crime demands a radical change. It is imperative to build a new border order: democratic, fair and institutional. This implies breaking with the harmful private interests on both sides of the border that benefit from illegal smuggling of goods, trafficking of drugs, arms and migrants, human trafficking and other crimes,” said Alvarez.

The Foreign Minister stressed that Mirex is focused on strengthening relations with Caribbean countries, is expanding its diplomatic presence in the region, has signed agreements in various areas, and participates in high-level meetings. He mentioned the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Guyana, Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and Jamaica.

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