Government invites Cuban companies to promote exports. Achieves a 63.5% increase in 2015.

The CEI-RD’s, leading export strategy, includes a high level, multi sector, Cuban commercial mission which is currently visiting the DR in order to purchase Dominican products and facilitate mutual supply chains.

Santo Domingo. Under the coordination of the Export and Investment Center of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD, for its initials in Spanish), and with the backing of the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba and various Dominican business associations, a commercial mission made up of 33 important Cuban Companies, linked to the industrial, construction, agriculture and service sectors, as well as the health, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology sectors, is currently visiting the country, interested in Dominican products and in establishing new business relations. The mission is part of the government’s strategy to promote exports.

The Cuban government’s multi sector delegation came to the country in response to an invitation from the CEI-RD in order to complete a work agenda from the 23 to the 25 of this month, which includes the coordination of more than 300 business meetings by the government between Cuban companies and Dominican exporters, the idea being that, finalizing new contracts will act as a catalyst to increase exports.

The Dominican Government’s Strategic Plan, implemented by the CEI-RD during the past 4 years, has included the analysis and study of the Cuban market, several visits and business sessions in the country, and in Cuba, the negotiating and signing of cooperation agreements with the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, and ProCuba, Dominican businessmen commercial missions to Cuba, and the active participation of Dominican exporters at the 2012-2015 FIHAV Fair, with positive results, achieving an increase of over 63%  in 2015 exports.

The agenda prepared for the Cuban and Dominican businessmen began on Monday the 23rd, at 9 a.m., with an initial seminar in the CEI-RD auditorium, during which, export incentive talks and important business meetings between Cuban investors and CEI-RD technicians were carried out, together with hundreds of local businessmen in their particular area of interest, contacts with business representatives of relevant sectors, and with Dominican government authorities, in an attempt to achieve concrete bilateral trade objectives.

Opening remarks were delivered by the Executive Director of the CEI-RD, Dr. Jean Rodríguez, while welcoming and words of appreciation were spoken by Escipión Oliveira, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency and Mrs. Odalys Seijo García, Vice president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba, respectively.

During his address, the Executive Director of the CEI-RD, Dr. Jean Rodríguez, emphasized our government’s interest in strengthening the presence of Dominican products in the Cuban Market, highlighting efforts that have been undertaken to date, and specially inviting all Dominican Producers and exporters to continue by our side in this event which represents business opportunities which will benefit our country, by creating jobs due to an increase in production and exports.

Commercial exchange

He stated that Cuba is among the top 20 commercial export partners of the Dominican Republic, this commercial exchange is evident – he explained- in the total amount of commercial exchange between the two countries during the 2011-2015 period, which rose to the amount of USD$385.88 Million, with an average rate of growth of 8.5%, rising from USD$61.70 Million in 2011 to USD$92.89 Million in 2015.

He pointed out that, as of 2015, the total amount of Dominican exports to Cuba (including Free Zones) was USD$ 54.16 Million, which represented an increase of 63.5% in respect to 2014, with important  products such as beer, pig feed, spices and other foods, among others.

“It’s important to point out that, in addition, since 2014 we have been exporting new goods which include hair products, deodorant, and plastic and cardboard items, which also are part of the main products exported to Cuba, and like we’ve said before, are proof of the diversity of our export goods”, emphasized Rodriguez.

On that same note, the head of the CEI-RD specified that other Dominican products with potential in the Cuban market have been identified, which due to their importance and demand in that country, represent attractive business opportunities for both countries, among which he cited unprocessed tobacco leaves or leaf tobacco, tobacco waste, chocolate and foodstuff containing cocoa, fresh, preserved or cooked bird eggs with their shells, medical instruments or devices, baked goods and cookies, paper ware, fruit juice, and china.

Investments and Supply Chain

Due to the interest of both Cuban and Dominican companies of carrying out joint supply chain investments, the Executive Director of the CEI-RD, Dr. Jean Rodríguez, pointed out that the government is working in that direction, and that “our work teams have identified supply chain market  and export niches, with the goal of developing a joint production between the Dominican Republic and Cuba, which we believe would be very beneficial for our investments and exports, while inviting the businessmen to participate in these crucial initiatives”, proposed Rodríguez. While adding, “It’s worth noting that this mission of Cuban businessmen takes place at a historic time for the history of that nation, which is undergoing a process of economic and commercial development and growth without precedent in the recent history of the country, and we should all see this moment as a great opportunity for growing together” the Director of the CEI-RD pointed out.

He invited national producers in pertinent areas to quickly contact the CEI-RD, express their interest and show their exporting capacity to Cuba, with the aim of coordinating additional meetings with the visiting Cuban firms.