Traders propose free trade zones on the border With Haiti
Santo Domingo.- Dominican merchants are increasingly concerned about the ongoing border issues with Haiti and have proposed the creation of a free trade zone at the border to facilitate trade while protecting local products. Iván García, President of the Dominican Federation of Merchants (FDC), emphasized the need for the necessary infrastructure to allow Haitians and traders from other countries to enter the free trade zone directly, reducing the need for them to enter Dominican border towns.
The proposal has gained support from other merchants who believe that Haiti is an unreliable trade partner and that a free trade zone on the border could accommodate traders from various countries, including Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and others.
With low sales reported in border areas due to the border closure between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, merchants are experiencing significant losses. Antonio Cruz Rojas, President of the National Council of Merchants and Entrepreneurs of the Dominican Republic (Conacerd), noted that many small and medium-sized enterprises have seen their sales drop by more than 50%, leading to layoffs and financial challenges.
Additionally, merchants are concerned about the delay in approving imports of agricultural products for mass consumption in preparation for the holiday season. Without prompt action from authorities, there is a risk of price increases and shortages, especially for products like garlic, rice, onion, and potatoes, which are high in demand during the holiday season. They hope that the government will authorize quotas to stabilize prices and ensure adequate supply during the festive season.