Opinion September 23, 2020 | 10:24 am

A hurdle to foreign investment in the Dominican Republic

By Fernando González Nicolás

The purpose of this article to draw attention to a case that is hindering the attraction of foreign investment, is damaging the international image of the Dominican Republic and is affecting Dominican relations with the Caribbean region.

We refer to the case of the confiscation that they made to an investor from the Commonwealth. An initial investment of 10 million dollars was confiscated from the indicated investor and he was not compensated. The latter had planned to invest in an electrical project which would solve the fate of the solid waste generated by the City of Santo Domingo.

Due to poor handling of the case, the following harmful consequences were created for the Dominican Republic.

  1. The investor sued the Dominican State for 300 million dollars in international courts.
  2. The investor paralyzed a series of investments that had been planned in the country.
  3. Due to the respect and influence that the investor enjoys in the Caribbean region, the case has an impact in the Caribbean Community, CARICOM.

The significance of the case is due to the influence of the investor involved. For example, at present the investor has a capital that amounts to 2.6 billion dollars and is classified as the 24th millionaire in Canada. In the Caribbean he is the largest individual investor in Jamaica. In 2016, he was appointed by the Government of Jamaica, President of the Council for Economic Growth of that country.

This private investor in conjunction with the Prime Minister of Jamaica has managed to recover the Jamaican economy to places of development not seen in recent times. A few days ago the Prime Minister of Jamaica was reelected to continue leading that country.

The sad thing with this case is that its serious consequences have gone unnoticed.

However, in our understanding the new authorities in Dominican Republic have an opportunity to reverse the situation of the indicated aforementioned case.

We hope the situation can be corrected since the new Dominican Government led by President Luis Abinader, has a well-established policy to respect legal security and promote foreign investment to Dominican Republic.

The author is President of the Roundtable of Commonwealth Countries in Dominican Republic