US Envoy again warns of pitfalls from Govt. corruption
Santo Domingo.- United States ambassador Robin Bernstein on Wed. said security, trade, investment, education and disaster prevention are her priorities.
She said citizen security is a shared challenge, and her main responsibility is to guarantee the safety of the more than three million American tourists who visit the country each year.
The diplomat said the United States has invested in the Dominican Republic US$120.0 million, of the US$500.0 million since 2010 as part the Caribbean Security Initiative.
She warned of the long term consequences on US investments if the Dominican Republic fails to focus on improving its laws, transparency and its anti-corruption efforts.
Bernstein noted that to attract US companies to do business and invest in the Dominican Republic, the government needs to do its part and maintain an attractive, stable and predictable investment climate. “The rule of law and zero tolerance towards corruption are essential to continue attracting American business investment.”
The US ambassador warned that commercial investments will suffer if improvements aren’t made in security and education and decrease risks from natural disasters. “We have about a dozen federal agencies directly involved with local efforts to fight drug trafficking, prevent crime and strengthen institutions.”
Speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon, the US envoy acknowledged that the Dominican Republic has become a growth model for the region, but reiterated that it needs security, disaster preparedness and education. “Underneath all that is the awareness that modern capital wants stability and the rule of law.”