Representatives from the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association and industry counterparts in the Dominican Republic held the first of a series of strategic meetings on Monday to define areas of collaboration to improve business relationships and create jobs, PRMA President Carlos Rivera-Vélez said.
Both associations expressed the “joint decision to continue working to develop and consolidate a business climate that helps companies of both islands to increase their competitiveness, establish solid production chains and contribute to the growth of exports, both between the two partners as with third-party countries,” said Campos De Moya, president of Dominican Republic Industrial Association.
Trade between the two islands has a value close to $1.5 billion, not counting what Puerto Rican companies located in Santo Domingo inject into the Dominican market, and vice versa.
“We recognize that the flow of investments in the industry between the two islands is a key contributing factor to economic and social welfare. We’re looking for mechanisms to make this flow happen in an orderly and harmonious way, facilitating the establishment of complementary industries and the joint foray into third markets, both in the region and beyond,” Rivera-Vélez said.
The effort is part of the PRMA’s initiatives to promote economic development in Puerto Rico through the expansion of manufacturing, exports and regional cooperation, to prevent leaving everything in the hands of the government, he added.
During the meeting, participants identified various business opportunities, initiatives and projects to be developed jointly, including participation in international fairs. Members also learned of the interest by some companies to establish operations in each other’s islands, said De Moya.
Participants called on governments to maintain a permanent dialogue with the sectors and to also put on the agenda talks on trade relations and government initiatives to introduce agile strategies to expand exports and help companies go international.