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The Dominican Republic makes 7.2% economic growth, highest in Latin AmericaUnder the leadership of President Danilo Medina

Ambassador Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo Polanco Polanco of Dominican Republic in Seoul disclosed that her country’s GDP grew by 7.2%, highest in Latin America and that the key for the growth was the prudent economic policy the government under the leadership of President Danilo Medina of the country.

▲President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic. “Under his leadership, the country’s GDP grew by 7.2%, highest in Latin America, and the key for the growth is the prudent economic policy the government has pursued under the leadership of President Medina of the country.”?Ambassador Pichardo Polanco Polanco.

Speaking at the a reception she hosted at the Sapphire Ballroom of the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Feb. 26, 2016 in celebration of the 172nd anniversary of the National Independence of the Dominican Republic, she said, “The key for our sustained economic growth lies in the prudent economic policy implemented by our current administration, under the leadership of President Danilo Medina, a fact that has been widely acknowledged and commended by international monetary authorities.” (See excerpts at the end of this report.)

▲Ambassador Grecia Fiodalicia Pichardo Polanco Polanco of Dominican Republic and Director General Chung-In-gyun of the Ministry of the Interior (seventh and sixth from left, respectively) cut the celebration cake with other ambassadors and Korean and international dignitaries.

Attending the reception were many distinguished guests from Korean society and the international community, who included Director General (DG) Chung-In-gyun of the Ministry of the Interior, DG Bahk Sahng-Hoon of the Latin American & Caribbean Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Osvaldo Padilla of the Apotholistic Nuncio (dean of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps), and noted figures from the government, business, social, cultural and media organizations, including The Korea Post (publisher of 3 English, 2 Korean news media).
In response, Director General Chung-In-gyun of the Ministry of the Interior made a congratulatory speech where he said, in part: “The volume of commercial trade between the two countries reached $350 million in 2014 and continues to grow each year. Twenty Korean companies have installed their facilities in the Dominican Republic creating more than 5,000 jobs. Recently, the Korean Electric Power Corporation has gone under contract for the construction of the Dominican Republic’s electrical grid, seving as an example of the depth or commercial ties.”

▲Honorary Consul Consul General Jun Byung-hyun of the Dominican Republic offers a toast for ever-lasting friendship and cooperation between Korea and the Dominican Republic.

Among the estimated 300-plus Korean and international guests were several tens of ambassadors with their spouses, who included Ambassadors Irineo Raul Silvero Silvagni of Paraguay, Antonio Quintero Nobre of Portugal, MohammYip Wei Kiat of Singapore, Gonzalo Ortiz of Spain, Mohamed Abdelaal of Sudan, Hakan Okcal of Turkey, Myrat Mammetalyyev of Turkmenistan, Vasyl Marmazov of Ukraine, Botirjon Asadov of Uzbekistan.

Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Pichardo Polanco Polanco of Dominican Republic:
I would like to begin this celebration by expressing my sincere appreciation to all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules and joining us on the 172nd Anniversary of our National Independence, the most important of our patriotic holidays.

The Dominican Republic enjoys social and political stability. Last year, our GDP grew 7.2%, the highest rate in Latin America and the Caribbean. The key for our sustained economic growth lies in the prudent economic policy implemented by our current administration, under the leadership of President Danilo Medina, a fact that has been widely acknowledged and commended by international monetary authorities.
The Dominican Republic counts on a privileged geographic location, on two thirds of the island of Hispaniola, right in the heart of the Caribbean, serving as a natural commercial intersection between the markets of North, Central and South America.
Our geographical advantages coupled with our modern and efficient and infrastructure, Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with the United States of America and Central American countries (DR-CAFTA), preferential trade agreements with the European Union and CARICOM, attractive investment incentives, legal guarantees, positive economic indicators and direct access to more than 900 million consumers worldwide, have allowed us to become the main receiver of direct foreign investment in the region.

▲Spouse Victor Decamps of Ambassador Pichardo Polanco of the Dominican Republic (eighth from left) poses with other spouses of the ambassadors attending the National Day reception of the Dominican Republic.

The tourism sector is one of the essential motors for our economic growth, and it’s worth noting that in 2015 we received 5.6 million tourists, an increase of 8.9% from 2014, and we are aiming to exceed 10 million tourists during the next few years. This will be possible through the cooperation, alliance and trust between the public and private sectors.
The Dominican Republic has always stood with the Republic of Korea, having expressed worries about the recent events in North Korea, in the context of the United Nations Security Council’s Resolutions, which condemn the realization of these kinds of tests, that not only affect the stability of the Korean Peninsula, but the region as well.
In other regards, the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Korea have also mutually supported each other’s candidacies before international organizations; a manifestation of the high level of our relations.
In the last few years, with the promise to continually and efficiently strengthening the bilateral relations between the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Korea, we have widened the margins of cooperation in many areas, allowing for the development of joint programs and projects, such as the modernization of the Dominican customs system, immigration control systems, public administration, e-Government, genre policies, as well as knowledge sharing programs in the areas of agriculture, environment and tributary administration, amongst other sectors.
Recently, the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Korea have reached various agreements in terms of education, biodiversity, forests and protected areas, customs control and green technology for the development of sustainable energies.
The Dominican Republic has shown notable advances in terms of public administration, and the Dominican Government appreciated and values the significant contributions to its institutional strengthening from the Republic of Korea, which has positively impacted the efficiency of the services our State offers its citizens.
During 2015, more than 31 delegations representing the public and private sectors of both countries exchanged visits, significantly strengthening cooperation and exchanges.
The Dominican Republic’s democratic institution continually consolidates; in May of this year, we will hold out presidential, congressional and municipal elections.

▲Ambassador Pichardo Polanco Polanco of the Dominican Republic (center) poses with Ambassador Mohamad Abdelaal of Sudan (left) and Honorary Consul General Jun Byung-hyun of the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic assumed the Pro-Tempore Presidency of the Community of the Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and we will be hosts of more than 20 international events, including the 46th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OEA), as well as other events related with other international organizations, which showcase the positive positioning of the Dominican Republic in the international community.
This year, the Republic of Korea, in its functions as an extra-regional partner to CEPAL, will celebrate the Trilateral Education Seminar COREA-CELAC-CEPAL in Santiago, Chile, in the framework of the Dominican Republic’s Pro-Tempore Presidency.
Cultural, sports and academic exchanges have contributed to establishing and maintaining lasting relationships between our two people and countries, so we are present in almost all of the cultural events celebrated in the Republic of Korea. In the same regard, the number of Dominican students studying in Korean academic institutions is significant, and steadily increases with the passing of each year.
In June of this year, “DR Exports 2016”, a multi-sector commercial fair, will be held in the city of Santo Domingo, an event to which we invite the Korean commercial sectors, with the goal of continuing the dynamic commercial ties between both of our countries.
I would like to conclude my brief intervention by reiterating our appreciation for having tended to this invitation, and expressing my sincere gratitude, appreciation, and recognition to the Korean Government for all of the assistance, collaboration and support offered to our country.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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