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As part of attempts to reactivate its free trade zones, the Dominican Republic has authorized nine companies to set up shop, generating investments of US$16mn.
The investments are projected to create 810 jobs and foreign exchange earnings of more than US$11bn, according to local media. The free trade zone council (CNZFE) has also approved the development of two parks in San Cristóbal and Tamboril. The Tegis and the Industrial Tamboril 2 park will generate almost 7,000 jobs and more than US$9bn in foreign exchange income.
The Dominican Republic has 74 such free trade zones already.
The nine companies that received authorization include Arpa Technologies and Stodom Group, in San Pedro de Macorís; Tabacalera El Artista, in La Vega; Industrias Navales Dominicanas, in Andrés Boca Chica; Hispaniola & Compañía, in Bani; Green Wheels One, in Bonao; Dunn & Foster Dominicana, in Navarrete, and Maridom and BBC Factury, in the Tamboril Santiago free zone.
Local daily Listin Diario quoted industry and trade minister Victor Bisonó as saying, “these new companies, in addition to the thousands of jobs created, are the result of the effective articulation of the plan to relaunch the free trade zone sector.”
These zones have focused on tobacco, plastics, medical devices and electrical materials. Call centers will be developed in the Thoughtfocus services zone.
The Dominican Republic is party to five free trade agreements including DR-CAFTA with Central American countries and the economic partnership agreement with the US. Caribbean trade is facilitated via Caricom.
According to a recent central bank report, GDP will grow 5.5-6% this year. Earlier this month, budget director José Rijo Presbot called for tax reform to secure at least 2bn pesos (US$34.5mn), or 3.5% of GDP.