Merchants advocate for establishment of free trade zones along the border with Haiti

Santo Domingo.-
Dominican merchants are increasingly concerned about current border issues with Haiti. They have proposed the creation of a free trade zone on the border to facilitate trade and protect local products. Iván García, president of the Dominican Federation of Merchants (FDC), emphasized the need for necessary infrastructure that allows Haitians and merchants from other countries to directly enter the free trade zone. This would reduce the need for them to enter the towns along the Dominican borders.

The proposal has gained support from other traders who believe Haiti is an unreliable trading partner. They believe a free trade zone on the border could accommodate traders from several countries, including Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and others.

With low sales reported in border areas due to the closure of the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, merchants are experiencing significant losses. Antonio Cruz Rojas, president of the National Council of Merchants and Entrepreneurs of the Dominican Republic (Conacerd), noted that many small and medium-sized companies have seen their sales fall by more than 50%. This has caused layoffs and financial challenges.

Traders are also concerned about the delay in the approval of imports of agricultural products for mass consumption in preparation for the Christmas season. If the authorities do not act quickly, there is a risk of price increases and shortages, especially for products such as garlic, rice, onions, and potatoes, which are in high demand during the Christmas season. They hope the government will authorize quotas to stabilize prices and ensure an adequate supply during the holiday season.

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