Dominican exports up to Europe after Brexit
A challenging trade situation has turned positive for the Dominican Republic. Dominican ambassador to the United Kingdom, Federico Cuello has described how Dominican export markets have shifted to mainland Europe after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, saying that the country gained when national exporters successfully sought new markets for their products in order to maintain the present advantages offered by the European Partnership Agreement (EPA) that enables the tax-free entry of Dominican produce to Europe Union countries.
With Brexit, a separate trade agreement with the UK will need to be reached. Cuello stressed the continuing importance of the UK market for Dominican exporters. He said the UK imports more than the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Germany. He made his comments at a conference that focused on the implications of Brexit for Dominican producers, exportable farm supply and the sugar market at the Dominican Sugar Institute (Inazucar) headquarters.
The Dominican ambassador said that while Dominican exports to the UK made up 17% of total exports to Europe at the end of 2015, for the third quarter of 2016, and following the Brexit vote, they had dropped to only 9.9% of shipments to Europe. Cuello said the exports have been rerouted to nearby countries like Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as to Sweden and Switzerland, with which the preferential market treatment under EPA will continue to apply.
Cuello said that Dominican exports to European Union countries have increased from US$593.3 million from January to September 2015 to US$922.7 million for the same time last year, or up 55.5% in only a year. Exports to the UK were also up, going from US$97 million in the first nine months of 2015 to US$112.2 million for the same period in 2016, for a 15.7% increase.
Cuello said that the UK is the leading Dominican market and that the UK is able to purchase all that is produced in the country. He spoke of the potential for more exports to the UK market. He said in the past two years exports have increased by 84% due to a concerted effort by the Embassy and Dominican exporters. He said that in 2015 the DR exported US$200 million, a drop when considering the UK imports GBP10 billion worth of fresh produce a year.
He explained that Dominican fruit and vegetable exporters have absorbed the around 25% devaluation of the British pound and have not increased their product prices in order to ensure they remain competitive. This includes banana, mango, and avocado exporters.
Cuello says the biggest challenge for Dominican exporters is to achieve the reliability in delivery times and meeting quality standards in Europe. Exporters need to meet minimum standards set by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the first global free trade agreement.
Source: DR1, 7dias
Jan 18, 2017
Category: DR News |