Economy November 6, 2023 | 10:40 am

Buy car in DR

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.

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November 6, 2023 10:58 am

Haiti is a unreliable partner. Dominican republic needs to wake up. Haiti is trying to bring down the Dominican republic.

joaquin lukoki
November 6, 2023 11:40 am

When I said that the DR has way more to lose than Haiti, people here were calling me mad…I know the DR is not full of xenophobic people (far from it) but like everywherelse, the bad apples are the ones making ore noise… People needs to understand that sure, Jamaica, and so are other markets but what does the DR sell that those countries can not easily source elsewhere…? This is why closing the border was a very short sighted bad move.I remember the government was talking about finding other trading partners in the Bahamas, Cuba and Jamaica… Why no more talk about it? Because it is not that easy, those countries already have suppliers and you need to be very good and affordable to convince them to change… why is basic business logic so hard for some people…?

November 6, 2023 12:05 pm
Reply to  joaquin lukoki

It is not basic logic is pure laziness’ of the Dominican govt and its producers. The fact is that Haiti has been cesspool for more then twenty years. you cannot be in business with anyone who is not reliable. That’s the bottom line.

joaquin lukoki
November 6, 2023 2:05 pm
Reply to  Cristobal

How someone who constantly buy your products every years for 20+ years and brings you $3 billions in surplus (basically one of the only venue the DR brings money in with tourism), how can you call that one unreliable…? this is just pointing finger for people not to see the real culprit… Who closed the border…? A country who always buy and PAY ON TIME is reliable.

but watch my word, this is just the begining, I said it last month on this website that the DR will be the one asking to open the border, that this border closure will lead to layoff and this is just the begining, you wwill feel the paint all the way to Santo domingo. And you bcan brag all you want about no more haitian means more jobs for diminican, while this is true but it will also hurt your economy, let me explain :

Why do foreigners buy properties in the DR…? Price. Bottom line… PRICE. Let us say that Dominicans stqart working in constructions and now earn more, building will thus cost way more to build and thus will be much higher and foreigners won’t see it as a good investement anymore… Just ask your self this question : Why it is only on the Dominican side that the border needs to open…? If you had a business you wpould have known that it is way easier to find a supplier than to find a customer.

Platano Frito
November 6, 2023 7:21 pm

Haiti is a trade surplus for the Dominican and accounts for 10 %GDP on the import/export market. 10% may not sound like much but if your community or town is along that frontier border. It could be 100% of your economy. Those are the numbers,

November 6, 2023 7:32 pm
Reply to  Platano Frito

. If you Continue to rely on unstable government as Haiti. It’s going to get worse . The Dominican government should help the border towns with new markets. It won’t happen overnight and you will still have to trade with Haiti in the meantime. Haiti is going get worse before it gets better. It doesn’t take fortune teller to see where Haiti going.

Dave Lopes
November 7, 2023 8:04 pm

DR is free to open any type of trading zone on its territory, but Haiti should not participate in any of it. Haiti’s future should be away from the border and towards our western coast and ports. As a Haitian, I see no benefit to Haiti in any trade with DR. Seal the border permanently to all movements of people and goods. I don’t even see the benefit of even having diplomatic relations.

November 7, 2023 10:50 pm
Reply to  Dave Lopes

As a Dominican I totally agree.