Investment climate, productivity and infrastructure top the agenda
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, November 1, 2012—Boosting growth and creating jobs in the Dominican Republic were at the center of a high-level conference organized today by the Ministry of Economy, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) at the V Centenario Hotel in the Dominican capital.
More than 200 participants from the public and private sector, youth, academia, media and civil society joined the conference to discuss the key factors that have the greatest potential to increase growth in the Dominican Republic, including improving the investment climate, better aligning skills to the labor market, and addressing infrastructure bottlenecks.
“Today we saw the beginning of a dialogue designed to develop a consensus on concrete actions to improve the productivity of human capital for skilled labor, improve the business climate, and increase the confidence of investors and consumers, thereby ensuring sustained and inclusive economic growth,” said Temístocles Montás, Minister of Economy, Planning and Development of the Dominican Republic.
The Santo Domingo conference is part of the Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF), a two-year regional platform to enhance dialogue for the identification and follow up on concrete actions that can promote sustainable growth and opportunities for all in the Caribbean.
Participants discussed ways to strengthen the investment climate, upgrade education and develop skills that improve competitiveness and generate higher-paying jobs. They also discussed key actions needed to improve logistics and connectivity --especially by making key infrastructure services more affordable and efficient-- including information technology, transportation and electricity.
The event included presentations by Minister Montás; Manuel Labrado, IDB Representative in the Dominican Republic; and Marialisa Motta, World Bank Director of Finance and Private Sector Development. McDonald Benjamin, World Bank Representative in the Dominican Republic, provided closing remarks.
“The objective of this forum is to encourage a broader debate involving all sectors of society that can help to identify priority actions to improve the business climate, increase productivity and improve connectivity, with the ultimate goal of generating greater investment, stronger and more inclusive economic growth, and more and better jobs for Dominicans, and for the Caribbean region as a whole,” said Benjamin.
Participants included representatives from the government, trade unions, small and medium-sized enterprises, business associations and grassroots organizations. They reflected on the government’s role and that of the private sector when it comes to creating inclusive growth, and agreed to continue the dialogue in the three key areas (logistics, investment climate and productivity) over the next few months, and to exchange ideas with participants in similar dialogues in other countries in the Caribbean.
The CGF event in Santo Domingo follows the launch of the initiative in Kingston, Jamaica, last June. Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, and Belize will organize similar events later this year, while St. Lucia and other Eastern Caribbean countries are planning to hold events early next year.
The first phase of the initiative will be completed by June 2013 with the production of an action plan by each of the 15 Caribbean countries participating in the Forum. The action plans will include concrete policy recommendations that would then be implemented by each country. Interested citizens will have a continuous opportunity to learn more about and engage in the CGF via the social media channels.
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