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    Commissioner of Culture Sponsors Scholarships to Study Visual Arts in New York

    Free Zones Contributed More Than RD$60 Billion in Local Expenses in 2014
    Santo Domingo, 27 de Abril de 2015

    In 2014, the country’s Free Zones maintained a positive performance for the fifth consecutive year, contributing more than RD$60 billion in local expenses to the national economy, and managed to achieve a leading position in various export areas. The news was announced by industry representatives during the presentation of the Annual Report on the Free Zones Behavior in the Dominican Republic.

    The President of the Dominican Association of Free Zones, José Tomás Contreras, and the Executive Director of the National Council of Free Trade Zones, Luisa Fernández, and the Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Marcelo Puello, highlighted the significant progress made by the sector during 2014. These include the launching of new projects and the diversification of the productive operations of the sector.

    “As we can see, the Free Zones in our country have been evolving, growing and diversifying. Our contributions to the economy continue to rise. Last year, only on social security payments and services, Free Zone companies disbursed RD$9,447 million,” said Contreras during the opening of the meeting, which took place in ADOZONA’s “Luis Manuel Pellerano” conference room.

    He also stressed that, according to the latest information reported by the Directorate General of the Internal Revenue, Free Zones made local purchases of goods and services for a total of RD$37,335 million in 2013.

    The President of ADOZONA said that in parallel, the international scenario presents great opportunities for the Dominican Republic due to the rising production costs in China and the economic recovery in the United States, “two facts that improve the competitive positioning of our country as an ideal platform for the manufacturing industry.”

    Increase in Direct Jobs For her part, the Executive Director of the National Council of Free Zones said that in 2014 the main variables of the industrial segment “continued showing a positive performance for the fifth consecutive year, thereby consolidating their contributions to the economic growth and social welfare of the country.”

    Luisa Fernández explained that the Free Zones remain one of the sectors with the highest number of direct jobs contributed to the Dominican economy, adding that by the end of the year 2014 the number of workers, technicians and administrative staff employed by the Free Zones reached 153,342, which shows a growth of 6.2% compared to 2013. She also stressed that last year's exports from the Free Zones sector reached US$5,243 million, representing a relative increase of 6% compared to the previous year.

    “This figure highlights the preponderance of the Free Zones in the national export structure, since it represents 53% of the total exports of the country.”

    She reported that exports of medical and pharmaceutical products represent 25% of the total exports of the sector, followed by textiles, with 24%; electrical products, with 14%; tobacco and tobacco products, with 11%; and, footwear and its components, with 9%.

    The official stressed that the year 2014 ended with a total of 60 operating parks, showing a relative increase of 9.1% compared with the year 2013.

    She also considered it essential to maintain a constant dialogue with companies in the sector and potential investors, thus facilitating domestic and foreign investment, and identifying the requirements of public inputs needed to achieve productivity improvements. “At the same time, as noted above, we prioritize the constant communication with the various government agencies, collaborating in solving problems and in providing identified public inputs,” said Fernández.

    As an example of this collaboration, the Executive Director of the National Council of Free Zones said that, in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the footwear industry, the President of the Republic, Danilo Medina Sánchez, created the National Commission for Footwear, composed of representatives of the public and private sectors.

    When referring to the data presented by Luisa Fernández, the President of ADOZONA said that those results show that the Free Zone regime has maintained and strengthened its rate of growth and has undergone substantial changes over the past 10 years.

    Contreras highlighted the dynamism of sub-sectors such as medical and pharmaceutical products, electronic components, services based on information technology and communications: “which underlines this process of technological development that offers new skills to our local workforce.”

    The President of ADOZONA said that these activities bring along new projects, facilities and expertise that add prestige and innovation to the productive base of our country. He also stated that the traditional industries have been restructured, by incorporating a strong element of design and product development, thus adding new segments of the value chain to the country's production.

    In conclusion, Luisa Fernández said that “the sector is ready to attract and receive increased investment and to contribute a significant proportion of the goal of the President of the Republic to create 400,000 new jobs in the 2012-2016 constitutional period, for which the National Council of Free Zones will continue to provide its full support and cooperation.”///





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