Dominican Republic marks 179 years of independence
The embassy of the Dominican Republic (DR) commemorated the 179th anniversary of the independence of its country (February 17), with a reception at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, Port of Spain, last Thursday.
Dominican ambassador Wellington Bencosme, in his words, highlighted the long history between the two nations.
Bencosme said Trinidad and Tobago and his country share fundamental values, challenges and opportunities, and important historical and cultural affinities, with solid commercial relations and ample growth potential.
He said his government aspires to expand, highlighting the recent growth of Dominican exports to TT and the investments of local companies in his country.
"TT and the Dominican Republic have a long history of strong diplomatic relations, which dates to 1968, shortly after TT became independent.
"On the commercial front, ours is a solid relationship with much greater potential for growth. For the period 2015-2021, the Dominican Republic and TT bilateral trade was approximately US$2,184 million, for an average of US$300 million per year – about 90 per cent corresponding to imports of goods from TT, mainly LNG, urea, and other petrochemicals, and products based on cereal – making TT the DR's main Caricom trading partner as it pertains to imports."
Bencosme said the other ten per cent were exports from the Dominican Republic to this country, including many of the bananas, avocadoes, other fruits and vegetables in local supermarkets, non-alcoholic beverages, sauces and polymer products.
He said this year there are several important initiatives on trade and investment, such as a commercial mission to the DR by the TT Manufacturers Association (TTMA) in May, and a Webinar Series entitled Doing Business with the Rest of the World by the TT Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) in March.
"We aspire to expand our trade and investment links, and as a catalyst to this end we need to work decisively on the key issue of connectivity between our countries," said Bencosme.
"A direct flight between Santo Domingo and Port of Spain would only take on hour and 40 minutes. Can you imagine how much further we can grow bilateral relation in all areas, including commerce, culture, tourism, and co-operation, with that level of connectivity?
"I envision thousands of Dominicans visiting this beautiful country, and enjoying all it has to offer including its diversity, cultural richness, education, business opportunities, soca and calypso, the steelpan and Carnival, to name a few. Likewise, I see large numbers of Trinbagonians enjoying our country; the natural hospitality of Dominicans; places like the Colonial City, Punta Cana, Samaná, and Puerto Plata, world-known destinations."
Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon, the acting Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs, and mayor of Port of Spain Joel Martinez were present .
The event included a carnival character (
diablo cojuelo), live entertainment to the rhythms of merengue and bachata, and handicraft souvenirs.
"Dominican Republic marks 179 years of independence"