Trade with Haiti has become of vital importance to the Dominican Republic, according to Dominican Economy Minister Temistocles Montas.
The country’s strong relations with Haiti are not limited to trade, however, because migration flows have increased significantly, he said.
“The Dominican Republic has become a not insignificant source of remittances to the neighbouring country,” he said. “Equally, the intensification of migration flows has very significantly expanded the availability of unskilled labour in the Dominican territory, which allows for the reduction of production costs.”
That is, an increased number of Haitian workers is coming into the Dominican Republic.
According to Montas, shared production with Haiti for textile exports to the Dominican Republic’s free zones has been “instrumental” in helping to contain the effects of competition from low-wage production in Asia.
Montas was speaking after the presentation of a study by the World Bank’s Maurizio Bussolo, which examined the economic development and interaction between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
According to Bussolo, the study recommended initiatives that would complement bilateral trade integration with multilateral liberalization to help both countries’ welfare.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic have stepped up their cooperation in recent years, particularly on the economic side, most recently with the signing of an agreement with the European Union.
The $54.7 million deal seeks to promote cross-border trade between the two countries.
Following the election of Danilo Medina as the Dominican Republic’s president, Medina and Haiti President Michel Martelly signaled they would soon convene bilateral talks.
Photo Credit: The Caribbean Journal