To improve the business climate in the Dominican Republic, the authorities have challenges to overcome, among them the institutional framework and the strengthening of the national educational system.
For Alejandro Peña Prieto, second vice president of the Association of Foreign Investment Companies (ASIEX), the country’s institutions should continue to be strengthened because more transparency is needed; more independence, both from the political pressures of the moment and from pressures from individuals.
In addition, he explained that more effective institutions are needed that can reduce bureaucratic burdens to facilitate processes, reduce transaction costs and, therefore, contribute to the productivity of companies.
Peña Prieto also indicated that a second great challenge facing the country is the issue of Education, for which he suggested continuing to invest in the educational system to ensure that new generations receive the necessary tools to be able to face the multiple challenges and opportunities brought by the fourth industrial revolution.
“We need to invest in our human capital that, at the end of the day, is with the capital that our companies have to continue developing ventures,” said the businessman when participating in the panel “Opportunities and perspectives to improve the business climate in the Dominican Republic ”, organized by ProDominicana.
He also considered that among the challenges are the lack of an electrical infrastructure to have a more reliable and efficient electrical system. Also, he pointed out that it is necessary to preserve and conserve “our environment.”
Likewise, he assured that an added value that should not be missed is the proximity that the country has to the largest market in the world. “We have to take advantage of our productive capacity.”
In the activity Alejandro Herrera, manager of Interenergy Group, said that officials must have a sense of urgency because when requesting a service, they turn things around a lot and act as if they were doing a favor, not providing a service.
“The mining sector is desperate to do things and here they go round and round and round when there are other countries in the world that are eager to have these investments,” said the electricity sector businessman.
He reiterated that the Dominican Republic lacks “a sense of urgency in both our public and private institutions.”
He pointed out that the lack of follow-up is another pending issue because many times a process is carried out and when they arrive at another institution, things change.
“We are not clear on what is required. We are going to be clear, we are going to establish the rules of the game that work, let them be those and if, eventually, they have to be changed, it is done under the consensus that is required and it is changed, “said the businessman.
Marisol Vicens Bello, partner at Headrick, Álvarez & Fernández Abogados, also participated in the panel, who considered that, despite the challenges facing the country, the reforms that have been made to the legal framework and the improvement that have been made should be preserved. They have been giving in the strengthening of the institutionality.
Also, the maintenance of macroeconomic stability, political life and social peace, which, in his opinion, have been fundamental factors in economic growth and investment growth for the country that, unlike other countries in the region, there have been no episodes of rupture in political stability and governance in recent decades.
He added that among the factors that should be highlighted are: “Our people, the kindness, the spontaneity and the ease of interacting of the Dominican. There is an important factor that sometimes one does not take into account. It is that we have a wonderful climate. For many people that is a very important factor ”.