SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, October 24- The Dominican Republic Government, joined by private sector, civil society and donor representatives today discussed their growth strategies and presented specific advances in improving investment climate, ease of doing business, procurement systems and strengthening small and medium enterprises for the creation of more and better jobs.
The Second Accountability Workshop of the Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) Chapter for the Dominican Republic organized by the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development (MEPYD), with support from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Compete Caribbean, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the European Union, concluded today that the Dominican Republic is on track for concrete achievements in growth reforms, in line with the country’s 2030 National Development Strategy.
The Dominican government reported concrete advances up to date in CGF’s main three areas, namely, Investment Climate, Logistics and Connectivity, and Skills and Productivity:
Improving business climate: The time to register a company decreased from 45 to 7 days, issuing a property title is much faster and a bill for a Bankruptcy Law has been finalized which will help protect creditors while improving SMEs borrowing capacity.
In addition, two ministries, Industry and Commerce (MIC) and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT) implemented programs for no-reimbursable seed money to boost young entrepreneurs, while MIC launched a training pilot to strengthen business management practices and quality enhancement to more than 5,000 SMEs.
Modernizing the public sector: The National Directorate of Procurement has contributed to the formation of the Citizen Observatory for Public Procurement, as well as more than 25 Oversight Committees that are monitoring public contracts in several ministries, in a move to increase private sector confidence, promote SMEs participation in public contracting, and promote greater transparency. The World Bank is providing technical assistance for the trainings, including exposure to international good practices in open procurement.
Alliances: the CGF Private Sector Observatory, which includes seven private sector, academia and civil society organizations, today also presented their independent monitoring of the Action Plan, and provided feedback on specific reforms. The Observatory will keep monitoring the initiative to ensure the sustainability of the process and help the Government with implementation of pending actions.
In the Dominican Republic the CGF identified over 80 actions driven by 17 ministries and 30 Point Persons designated by the Government. Still about 30% of the reforms agreed upfront are delayed. Important reforms agreed in the early stage of the process require additional time and support for their implementation, including the reform of the Labor Code, the Customs Law reform, and the completion of the Electricity and Fiscal Pacts.
The CGF provides a platform for private sector and civil society to give feedback on national reforms and help track the implementation of actions needed to spur sustainable growth and opportunities for all in the Caribbean. The Forum’s Dominican Chapter was formally launched in November 2012 under the leadership of the MEPYD, while the implementation of the Action Plan started in December 2013.