Canada free trade pact could boost US$200M exports by 100%
Santo Domingo.- . Dominican-Canadian Chamber of Commerce president Eduardo Dominguez on Monday said he awaits the government to apply the needed tweaks to forge a Canada-Dominican Republic free trade pact, which he affirms will benefit the country.
He said some products manufactured partly in the United States and Mexico and finally assembled in Dominican Republic could enter three markets duty free, and stressed that it would be an opening to Canada’s nearly 40 million people and to an economy he notes is healthier than the U.S., the UK or even Germany.
The business leader notes that despite rounds of talks, efforts for the pact with Canada were suspended on protests by industrial sectors which complained of a “feast of free trade agreements,” and which could’ve been harmful at that time. “The (Dominican) government had to make a number of adjustments to improve competitiveness in order to compete with other countries.”
Dominguez the country needs to improve the cost of electricity to compete with Central America, where energy costs less, and other “distortions” affecting foreign investment. He said the cost of labor’s benefits is high, for which the Labor Code needs to be amended.
He said one advantage for Dominican exports is Canada’s nine months of winter, for which it’s willing to pay more for farm products than the U.S. “It’s more convenient for us to open up more to the Canadian market.”
Exports of US$200 million
Dominguez added that a trade pact with Canada could boost Dominican Republic’s current exports of around US$200 million to that country by as much as100%.
Canada ambassador Georges Boissé stressed Ottawa’s good relations with Santo Domingo, noting that around 750,000 Canadian tourists visit the country each year.
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