British Embassy hosts ‘The Best of Scotch’ bash
Santo Domingo.- The British Embassy in Santo Domingo held "The Best of Scotch" bash last week in the Hotel JW Marriott,
"Best Scotch Whisky" was an exclusive event with the major trading partners of the importers and distributors present in Dominican Republic as special guests.
Invitations were also extended to the closest collaborators of the British Embassy.
WELCOME SPEECH BY HMA STEVEN FISHER AT “THE BEST OF SCOTCH WHISKY” EVENT, HOTEL MARRIOT, SANTO DOMINGO
(Originally delivered in Spanish)
Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends of the British Embassy, Lovers of Scotch Whisky!
I think this includes everyone, but if you don’t fall within any of these categories it is possible that you are in the wrong party.
Good evening and a warm welcome to our event modestly titled “The Best of Scotch Whisky”. We are delighted that you could accompany us.
As far as whisky goes, Dominican Republic is the 5th largest market in Latin America.
In 2014 whisky exports to the DR were valued at £18 million, up 30% on 2013. This represents more than a third of total UK exports to this country. And that is why I am immensely grateful to the Scottish people who last September voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. As you can imagine, it is never a pleasant task for an Ambassador to have to report to his government that during his mandate exports fell by more than 35%. So I thank the Scottish voters for saving me from this sorry task.
I have good news for all of you and for those marvellous thirsty Dominicans who consume some 16,000 bottles of Scotch whisky per day. One of the DR’s leading neurosurgeons informed me just this week that whisky was good for one’s health. Many of us already knew this, of course, but it always very pleasing when science lines up behind our argument.
Scotch whisky is a fine, delicate product. Like all delicate things it requires care and protection. That is why, representing the interests of the UK’s Scotch Whisky Association and the exporters, we are working with the Government of the DR to help them approve a law which gives an appropriate, precise definition to Scotch whisky. We are encouraged by progress in the negotiations and believe that a just definition can be achieved soon so long as there is political will. We also welcome recent positive signs of progress against contraband and falsification and urge the Dominican authorities – the government, customs and the Attorney General’s Department – to adopt a strong and consistent policy against these crimes. That is how to protect the interests of Dominican consumers.
The companies represented here and the brands they import to the DR truly represent some of the best Scotch Whiskies. Pernod Ricard brings us Chivas and Glenlivet. Bacardi brings Dewar’s and Aberfeldy. Thanks to Diageo we can enjoy Johnnie Walker, Old Parr and Buchanan. Hipermarcas brings us Glenfiddich and Balvenie. Finally we are grateful for the presence of Brugal and Company with The MacAllan. With so many whiskies to enjoy and such a short time in which to do so, I am acutely conscious of the fact that the last things anyone wants is to stand listening to me speak for longer than is absolutely necessary. So I am coming to the end.
We thank you once more for joining us and for supporting this event. For those sufficiently fortunate to have a chauffeur or a designated driver (and a light agenda at work tomorrow) I say Salud! Cheers! Slangivar!
Enjoy the Best of Scotch Whisky!
• Bacardi Dominicana / Dewar’s
• United Brands / Johnnie Walker
• Pernod Ricard / Chivas
• Hyper-Marks / Glenfiddich
• Brugal / Edrington Group / The Macallan