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Haiti - Politic : New trade agreement with the Dominican Republic
11/07/2014 09:55:09

Haiti - Politic : New trade agreement with the Dominican Republic
Thursday in Juan Dolio (San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic) was held the third high-level meeting between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe reiterated the commitment of the Government of Haiti, according to the wishes of President Martelly and President Danilo Medina, to consolidate the achievements of the dialogue between the authorities of both countries.

Within the framework of monitoring of commitments between the two nations in the field of migration and identification of our compatriots in the Dominican Republic, the Prime Minister confirmed that passports will begin to be delivered to them from the month of July. In this regard, the Head of Government announced that "the amount per person for the poorest, will not exceed 1,000 pesos per passport in order to facilitate access to populations known for their fragility and vulnerability," stating that the Government had taken steps to launch a massive campaign aimed at providing identification document to about 300,000 expatriates in the Dominican Republic in an irregular situation.

Moreover, Laurent Lamothe indicated that the Haitian government had taken note of the recent Dominican law aimed at correcting some of the problems caused to our countrymen, following the decision of the Constitutional Court Dominican 168-13. He welcomed this first step and stressed that he will continue to work for the fundamental rights of all people of Haitian descent living in neighboring Republic are respected under international conventions.

The commercial relations between the two countries were the focus of this meeting, which led to the signing of a new trade agreement between Haiti and the Dominican Republic "We will be able, through this agreement on trade, fight against smuggling, the scourge that hinders economic development of our country. We lose every year more than 300 million dollars because of smuggling. The only way to fix it, to curb this phenomenon, for a stronger Haiti, more in solidarity, that progresses to be a better business partner for all countries is to sit down with our Dominican neighbors and sign agreements in this field," declared the Prime Minister Lamothe.

Prime Minister Lamothe called for monitoring of commitments made by the governments of both countries (10 bilateral agreements in the fields of migration, security, customs, health, agriculture, signed February 3, 2014 in Jimani).

At the end of the meeting behind closed doors, the two countries issued a joint statement.

Joint Statement of Juan Dolio : (full text)
"Representatives of the governments of the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti agreed to continue and deepen the binational dialogue established through the bilateral high-level commission Haiti-Dominican Republic began on January 7.

The parties have agreed not only to maintain but also expand the dialogue process which has already resulted in concrete commitments for the benefit of both peoples.

We must not underestimate the importance of this historic success. For too long, this how important common agenda has unfortunately been postponed. Today, both parties are pleased with their courageous decision to turn our backs on this inertia of the past to tackle together the challenges they face. They now look to the future with optimism.

Major decisions have been adopted to ensure a promising future to bring more jobs, more health, more security, more economic prosperity and more opportunities for both peoples.

The real interests of the vast majority of both peoples and their common aspirations guided the work that led to these agreements.

In order to ensure continuity and institutionalization of this joint working agenda, both sides agreed to mandate the Joint Bilateral Commission for the monitoring and implementation of all agreements signed and to be signed in the framework of this binational high-level dialogue.

To achieve this objective, it was decided to provide the Joint Committee on Human and material resources.

During this meeting, attended by representatives of the private sector of both countries, a new trade agreement was signed to develop an enabling environment for trade by adopting the principle of reciprocity in accordance with international agreements signed and ratified by both parts.

In this vein, the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic signed a Memorandum of Understanding on trade relations whose key points are:

1) the parties confirm that the trade of goods and services by road will be made through four customs offices officially established and jointly: Ouanaminthe-Dajabon, Belladères-Commendador, Malpasse-Jimani, Anse-a-Pitre-Pedernales.

2) each party agrees to facilitate into its territory the import of goods and services without discrimination measures ;

3) the parties decide to establish mechanisms for consultation and follow-up in order to remove barriers to trade do not comply with international standards ;

4) the Parties agree to establish mechanisms to ensure the sharing of information, to promote awareness of national trade regimes, including the legal framework, import procedures and standards on trade and investment opportunities ; and

5) The parties agree to establish a proper reporting mechanism to communicate any new measure or standard provision on trade ;

During the meeting, migration issues and documentation of nationals of the two countries were also raised. The Republic of Haiti has announced the start of its program of identification and documentation of its nationals in the Dominican Republic, with the participation of the civil society, as well as substantial reduction in passport issuance fees for targeted populations.

On the other hand, the Dominican Republic informed of progress in the implementation of the regulation plan migratory for illegal immigrants, and the forthcoming implementation of the Regulations of the Law 169-14.

In addition, the parties discussed of a topic for which cooperation is of great importance: the need to conclude an extradition treaty allowing the pursuit of national fugitives taking refuge in the territory of one or the other countries.

In addition to strengthening the existing agreements, it was proposed to explore the future possibilities for cooperation in areas such as supporting the development of small and medium enterprises, transport, food security, culture and the fight against poverty.

Finally, the Dominican Republic agreed with the Republic of Haiti in a near future, to make knowledge sharing on the Dominican social programs of conditional cash transfer and of support to the development of small and medium enterprises.

Representatives of the private sector of both countries issued a joint statementwithin the framework of dialog of Business Summit Quisqueya, initiated in August 2013.

One of the highlights of the agreement provides for the establishment of a working group for the harmonization of standards and phytosanitary standards and the environment of both countries.

Both private sectors have asked the two governments to work faster to the ratification of mechanisms for tariff harmonization, such as the EPA, taking into account regional trade agreements.

Last but not least, the entrepreneurs asked the creation of a commission for the promotion of binational investment, co-chaired by the Minister to the Presidency, Mr. Gustavo Montalvo, the Prime Minister Laurent Salvador Lamothe and the Ministers of Economy and Finance and Commerce of the two countries and including members of the private sector. This proposal was accepted by the Prime Minister Laurent Salvador Lamothe and the Ministerto the Presidency, Mr. Gustavo Montalvo.

Were present at the meeting, for the Dominican Republic: Gustavo Montalvo, Minister of the Presidency; José Manuel Trullols, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; José Ramón Fadul, Minister of Interior and Police; José del Castillo Saviñón, Minister of Trade and Industry and César Pina Toribio, legal consultant of the Executive Power, Fancisco Javier García, Minister of Tourism, Angel Estévez, Minister of Agriculture, the Director General of Customs, Fernando Fernandez, the chief of the national Police, General Castro Castillo, dthe irector of the National Directorate of drug Control, Julio Cesar Souffront.

For the Republic of Haiti, Laurent Salvador Lamothe, Prime Minister; Lener Renaud, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship; François Guillaume II, Minister of Haitians Living Abroad; Reginald Delva, Minister of Interior and Territorial Communities, Thomas Jacques, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development; Stéphanie Balmir Villedrouin, Minister of Tourism and Creative Industries; Wilson Laleau Minister of Trade and Industry, the Director General of Customs, Fresnel Jean-Baptiste, the director general of the National Police of Haiti, Godson Orelus;

Made in Juan Dolio, San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, July 10, 2014, in two originals in French and Spanish both texts being equally authentic."

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