Free Zones are booming in the Dominican Republic
SD. The investments and the creation of jobs in the free zone sector are going “full speed ahead,” and this is shown by the numbers released yesterday during a joint activity between the National Council and the Dominican Association of Free Zones (CNZFE – Adozona), which show that in 2014 investments in the sector grew by 10.22% and the jobs generated increased by 6.6% in relation to 2013.
This growth and good performance of the free zones contrasts with the salary (RD$7,220 per month) that they pay the majority of their employees, who totaled, at the close of 2014, some 153,342, spread out in the conglomerate of this type of company all over the national territory. In spite of the fact that the information revealed by the CNZFE and Adozona show that this sector has maintained a positive performance for the fifth consecutive year, and that they contributed RD$60 billion in local expenditures, their workers, who are an essential part of this growth, can barely cover 57.5% of the cost of the family food basket in the first quintile of the economy with the salary of RD$37.87 per hour which they receive.
During the presentation of the yearly report on the free zone sector, in which the executive director of the CNZFE, Luisa Fernandez, together with the president of Adozona, José Tomas Contreras and the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Marcelo Puello also took part, they stressed the significant advances obtained in this area of the Dominican economy in 2014. These included the installation of new projects and the diversification of their productive operations. “As we can observe, the free zones of our country have been evolving, growing and diversifying themselves. Our contributions to the economy continue to increase. Last year, just in payments for Social Security and services, the free zone companies paid out RD$9.447 billion pesos,” said Contreras.
With all these positive numbers that the sector has had, the representative of the owners of the free zones was asked if it was possible that those good results might translate into better salaries for their workers, and this was the answer given by Contreras: “That is correct, as you say the minimum salary of the free zone is situated at RD$7,220 pesos, a minimum salary which today is under discussion, and those of us in the Dominican Association of Free Zones are very confident that when the negotiations are concluded in the National Salary Committee, this will translate into better salaries for our workers.”
Nevertheless, Contreras said that salary improvement of the employees in the free zones should come about in an order in which the businessmen do not lose their competitive edge, which at the same time is what permits them to maintain these jobs.
In his statements, the Adozona president also said that the expectations for growth for this year are very good because according to what he said 2015 started out on a very “good footing.”
April 21, 2015
Category: DR News |