Carlos E. González

President, CEMEX Dominicana

We take a client-first approach because we are a very competitive company; it is the nature of the company take care of its clients. CEMEX believes that there are huge possibilities in the country. In terms of housing, there is a 1.1 million-unit deficit. The roads in the country are paved with asphalt, but because of its geographical location and weather conditions, the roads only last three or four years. However, governments from around the world are opening their eyes to concrete roads, which could be a huge opportunity for us here and abroad. Recently, we opened two divisions: one for housing and one for construction, with the aim of supporting the growth of the market. Growth in the market will help CEMEX grow faster. There are many competitors here, and when there are downturns, strong competitors survive and the weaker ones fade away. If that happens we are hoping to be one of the companies that survives. We are the biggest company in the industry and we have the best cost position because our plants are more modern and more technologically advanced. We are by far the most environmentally conscious company of all, and those are the benefits that clients appreciate.

Julissa A. Báez

Executive Director, ADOCEM

As part of the complex economic environment we are experiencing currently, for an industry like ours, the main challenge is to maintain our passion for change, innovation, and research in order to achieve better efficiency. But above all, we seek to maintain our commitment to optimize and position ourselves as a cluster that supports the development of the construction sector in the country. Since 2006, activity in the cement industry has been decreasing. From 2006 to 2012, the market decreased 24%. Only in 2010 we recorded a 4% increase, which is on the small side, and in 2011 cement consumption decreased 8% if compared with 2010. In the first trimester of 2012, the Central Bank reported that construction fell 0.6%, and we believe this picture will not change by the end of 2013, in which we predict a 5% reduction of total demand. Although construction is a sector that largely determines the rate of the national economy, it is also in turn directly influenced by it. It is highly sensitive to public and private investment and thus a factor that will affect the sector improvement is that the government reactivates public works in order to stimulate the economy.

Marco Focardi

President, DOMICEM

We made an investment in the production of 25 MW of electricity and this allows us to be independent in energy terms, meaning we don't depend on public energy. Today, we are considering making investments to connect our facility to a high-voltage network. It is a modern, environmentally friendly facility. We have installed an electrostatic filter, a project that was financed by the World Bank, and we had to respect not only local standards but international ones as well. It is a mixed filter because it works in two stages; the first electrostatic chamber eliminates dust, and material is then filtered again upon exit from the facility. This means we can eliminate harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Cement production needs to respect norms that are set by the regulator. We have products for the informal market as well as the industrial market. Domicem also has products that are exported, all with differing characteristics, in order to follow regulations set by other countries. The market is highly competitive and we are decreasing costs and acting aggressively. As an island, the Dominican Republic attracts a lot of tourism, and private investments will grow with the end of the global economic crisis.