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Last Updated:[23-09-2010 03:19:05 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Salvador Takes Diplomatic Route to Resolve Dominican Export Ban

tradenews Two senior ministers from El Salvador are touring the Dominican Republic in order to address problems related to the exports with the Caribbean country. The Salvadoran Ministers of Economy, Hector Dada Hirezi and External Relations, Hugo Martinez are scheduled to meet the Dominican Republic Minister of Industry and Commerce, José Ramón Fadul and Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso.

Dada said "The purpose of the trip to the Dominican Republic is seeking alternatives to overcome trade barriers, a problem that has resulted in trade restrictions caused by the return of 6 percent to receive our exports." While Americo Araujo, the ambassador of El Salvador told AP the Dominican government also "imposed heavy fines" retro-active to entrepreneurs who had imported over the past two years the Salvadoran products without paying tariffs.

According to Salvadoran officials and businessmen, the imposition of tariffs in the Dominican Republic has been 30 percent for the exports of items including paper, cardboard, plastics and juices. It must be recalled that last month Fadul had expressed that "I must protect my local producers as opposed to incentives of other governments."

About the export losses, Dada informed that it was true that the country’s exporters had lost $100mn in trade as some had claimed, since the goods had left to enter the Dominican. The Dominican commerce ministry officials had earlier justified its action by claiming that it was enforcing tariff laws under the CAFTA-DR which stipulated gradual tariff reduction.

Nevertheless, Araujo rebutted that argument by saying that the CAFTA-DR had already eliminated tariffs between the two nations. The CAFTA-DR is the first FTA between the US and five Central American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

According to the Ministry of Economy of El Salvador, trade between the two nations rose in the first quarter to $62.6mn, of which $52.3mn exports are from El Salvador. In the first half of 2010, the Salvadoran exports to the Dominican Republic totaled $43.9mn with an increase of 56 percent compared to exports recorded in the same period last year.

According to sources, El Salvador economy ministry is upbeat about the ongoing tour as it believes there are only issues which could be solved through diplomatic channels of the two countries. El Salvador to the Caribbean nation sells mainly fruit drinks, medicines, biscuits, cotton towels, brooms, plastic and electrical conductors.

By Jose Roy

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