Local November 16, 2023 | 8:04 am

The Dominican Republic energizes its relations with the Caribbean region

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Republic has strengthened its ties with Caribbean nations through increased diplomatic engagement and mutual cooperation. This includes political discussions, expanded trade, and high-level official visits. Notably, President Irfaan Ali of Guyana and President Chandrikapersad “Chan” Santokhi of Suriname visited the Dominican Republic, and Prime Minister of Jamaica met with Dominican President Luis Abinader.

Recently, Jamaican Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, visited Santo Domingo, where several agreements were signed with her Dominican counterpart, Roberto Álvarez. Similar cooperation agreements were made with Ali and Santokhi, exploring opportunities for the Dominican Republic to participate in the energy resources of these South American countries.

Suriname and Guyana’s oil discoveries have boosted their economies, increasing demand for Dominican products like food and light manufacturing. Beyond improving relations with the Caribbean, the Dominican diplomatic effort seeks common positions in organizations like the Organization of American States and the United Nations.

Diplomatic progress has been made in Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, and Guyana, with efforts to collaborate on a regional policy towards Haiti. Jamaica’s strong regional influence in the Caribbean Community (Caricom) is a key focus.

The Dominican Republic’s engagement with Caricom, which Haiti is part of, may be discussed in future meetings between Premier Andrew Michael Holness and President Abinader.

Minister Johnson Smith and Álvarez signed agreements, including a Framework Cooperation Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding between their respective diplomatic academies.

ProDominicana, under the leadership of Biviana Riveiro Disla, is working to increase exports to the Caribbean region and enhance access for Dominican products.

Trade between the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean has seen significant growth, with exports reaching over $5.5 billion in the last three years and a total trade value of $6.78 billion in 2022, marking a 14.1% increase compared to 2021.

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