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#2729: DR/HT news in DR press Monday, 6 March 2000 (fwd)

From: Yacine Khelladi <yacine@aacr.net>

 DR1 Daily News — Monday, 6 March 2000

> 9. Dominicans team up with Haitians to sell their products
> El Siglo newspaper highlights that there has been an increase in the sale of Dominican food products to Haiti. The newspaper focuses on the popularity of Milano spaghetti, Guarina crackers, Induveca salami, Celia juices, Bon ice creams, Presidente beer, Barceló rum and Sociedad Industrial Dominicana products in Haiti.
> Dominican companies primarily ally with Haitian businessmen to sell their products. Because of the unsafe investment climate in Haiti, Dominican businesses offer technical and sales know how support, in addition to supplying the product, but investment in Haiti is kept to a minimum, says the newspaper. Recently El Siglo newspaper highlighted the large investments of Haitian businessmen in the Dominican Republic.
> Overview on Dominican consulate in Haiti
> El Siglo newspaper reports that income of the Dominican Consulate in Haiti has increased from US$46,000 a year at the start of the Fernández administration to US$500,000. The Dominican consulate in Haiti grants about 1,000 visas a month to Haitians. Last year, some 9,600 visas were issued. The visas are primarily granted to businessmen, Dominican product buyers, tourists, and those visiting on religious, cultural, university, professional, artistic or official business. A cost of a visa ranges from US$40-RD$110.
> The Dominican Consulate also operates as an Oficialía del Estado Civil, where Dominicans living in Haiti can declare their children, and obtain marriage certificates.
> The Dominican Consul in Haiti, Carlos Castillo estimates that some 7,000 Dominicans live in Haiti.
> 11. Dominican ambassador on killing of Consulate chauffeur
> Silvio Herasme Peña, Dominican ambassador in Haiti, believes theft was the motivation for the killing of the 45-year old José Rafael Jiménez Núñez, chauffeur of the Dominican consul in Haiti. He said that Jiménez was careless about his personal safety, when he went alone to make a bank deposit. At the time of his assassination while driving the consulate car, he had with him US$6,000 that would be deposited.
> Ambassador Herasme attributed the killing to the crime wave in Haiti. He said he does not believe there are any political connections to the murder. He said the Dominican embassy is working closely with the Haitian authorities to assist these in finding the murderers.
> He urged an increase in efforts of Haitian authorities to guarantee safety of foreign delegations. So far, in Haiti most foreign delegations, including the Dominican delegation, have their own security forces after the Haitian police declared themselves incapable of guaranteeing adequate protection.
> El Siglo newspaper quotes an anonymous high-ranking officer saying that the situation would be better if several local authorities were not involved in illegal actions. He attributed the present increase in delinquency to the increase of the influence of drug trade barons and the return of Haitian criminals from the US.
> Leo Reyes reporting for El Siglo says that today in Haiti it is easier to buy a marijuana cigarette than a plantain.
> 12. Caribbean free trade agreement update
> Dominican Republic will need to participate in another round of Caribbean free trade agreement negotiations. The DR still does not accept the long list Dominican products that would be banned from free trade provisions. The new round between negotiators for the Caribbean trade bloc and the DR was set for St. Kitts, from 16-19 March. Ambassador Frederic Emam Zade heads trade negotiations for the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean nations have reduced their negative list of products to 49 down from 800 at the start. The DR has exempt only 19 products.