Santo Domingo is the country's primary economic motor, the city with the lowest unemployment rate, as well as the lowest level of poverty and disease. What is the contribution of its business community to the overall development of the Dominican Republic?
The city of Santo Domingo is the most important economic center of the Dominican Republic. Currently in our country, there are around 950,000 companies, of which more than 600,000 where registered in the city of Santo Domingo; this means that more than 60% of all formal enterprises are currently operating in the city. The largest trading houses and financial centers in the country are located in the city of Santo Domingo. This is the reason why the business community of this city produces the most significant contributions to the development of the Dominican Republic.
How significant is the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce and Production within the Dominican Republic's economy?
The Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce and Production (CCPSD) maintains a strong influence in strengthening and promoting economic activities within the city of Santo Domingo, but with an important impact on the entire national economy. Some examples of important contributions throughout the history to the economy of the Dominican Republic, carried out in order to boost and promote the business sector of the country, include; managing the construction of irrigation infrastructure, highways and roads with the Government; engaging in a continuous search for alternatives to promote commercial industry, and creating other agencies and institutions that support the strengthening of the various stakeholders and sectors of commercial interest. Some of these stakeholders include: The National Council of Private Businesses (CONEP), The Association of Industrialists of the Dominican Republic (AIRD), The Stock Market of the Dominican Republic (BVRD), The University Action Pro Education and Culture (APEC), and the Council of Conciliation and Arbitration, among many others.
Currently, 97% of the Dominican Republic's enterprises are MSMEs, which generate more than 2 million jobs and account for 30% of GDP. How does the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce and Production support the MSME sector?
According to the FondoMicro 2013 survey, there were 791,236 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in total. These companies employ a total of 2.2 million people, which represent 46.2 % of the economically active population of the country and 54.4 % of the total employment in the economy.The Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce has undertaken several initiatives to support the business development of SMEs, such as managing and promoting the participation of entrepreneurs to international trade fairs and trade missions, providing courses and workshops, promoting discussions that enable the commercial sector to keep up with market reality, offering Business Consulting services, and fostering new business opportunities for the business sector of the country—particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce and Production has recently signed an agreement with the Chamber of Qatar. What are the main highlights of this partnership and how will the Dominican companies benefit from it?
We can identify two major points of relevance of this macro agreement signed between the parties, which are the promotion, development and diversification of trade and economic cooperation to the benefit of the entrepreneurs of both countries and the promotion and development of trade and economic cooperation.
What other achievements has the Santo Domingo Chamber of Commerce and Production registered in 2014 and what are its main objectives for 2015?
2014 has been a year of great transformations, in which we have achieved important goals, for the sake of encouraging the production and the development of business, not only in the city of Santo Domingo, but throughout the Dominican Republic. What's more, we connected even more Dominican entrepreneurs with business opportunities at a global level. For 2015, we are will continue to promote trade and production through various mechanisms. We aim at a greater participation in the national and international media, to disseminate the opportunities that can be used to enhance businesses around the country and in international markets to further drive the economic development of our country.