Economy December 15, 2023 | 8:22 am

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USAID announces $1.4 million donation to boost Dominican Republic’s trade

Santo Domingo.- During her recent visit to the Dominican Republic, USAID Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman announced a significant $1.4 million donation from the United States Government to support the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF) in the country. This initiative aims to enhance trade and nearshoring opportunities through collaborative efforts between public and private sectors.

The announcement came at an event hosted by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and MSMEs, attended by Minister Víctor Bisonó and representatives from nine local entities spanning both sectors. The public sector’s participation includes key governmental bodies like the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and MSMEs, the General Directorate of Customs, ProIndustria, ProDominicana, and the National Council of Export Free Zones. Representing the private sector are the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic, ADOZONA, ADOEXPO, and CODOPYME.

Minister Bisonó highlighted the project’s potential to foster economic and social development in the Dominican Republic, made possible by USAID’s funding. Coleman expressed enthusiasm about the new partnership, emphasizing its role in improving business opportunities and driving sustainable economic growth in the nation.

This initiative particularly focuses on empowering micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), including women-led businesses, to exploit nearshoring opportunities and enhance their role in global trade. It aims to forge commercial ties between local SMEs and free zone companies, offering support in achieving trade facilitation certification.

Coleman’s visit included significant meetings with President Luis Abinader, Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Álvarez, and Presidency Minister Joel Santos, discussing bilateral cooperation and emergency preparedness. The visit also involved Scott Nathan, the executive director of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, discussing investment opportunities in the Dominican Republic.

The USAID Deputy Administrator also engaged with local civil society organizations, addressing various societal issues. This visit follows a prior announcement in April 2023 by Wendy Sherman, then Deputy Secretary of State, about a $6 million donation to promote economic development in the Dominican Republic’s northwest region through nearshoring industries.

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