Haiti and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement

The Martelly-Lamothe administration of Haiti have recently been meeting and trying to collaborate with other countries, especially with its neighbors for mutual economic development and international cooperation. In addition, Haiti has been participating and joining in different international organizations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) where the country is an active full member.

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To expand Haiti's international relations, the government has been in negotiation with the Dominican Republic for a Free Trade Agreement. This aims to promote regional development through open trade of goods and services between the two nations. With the DR's newly-elected President Danilo Medina, it appears that this agreement is a great probability.

In the end of July, Dominican Republic President Medina announced that the said agreement is one of his first priorities when he officially takes office in mid-August. This statement was made after Medina's meeting with the Organization of American States (OAS) Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin. OAS is a regional international organization where Haiti and the Dominican Republic are both members.

Despite the potential benefits both countries could acquire from the Free Trade Agreement, the Dominican Republic's Industry and Commerce Ministry of Foreign Trade Director Yahttaira Machado said a month earlier than President Medina's announcement believes that it is not necessary for both parties. This is because the agreement had the same parameters and advantages like that of the Economic Association Agreement with the European Union (EPA), which makes it unnecessary. It could even be more disadvantageous as compared to the EPA as it might need the modification of laws for the two nations in order to make the agreement work both ways.

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Read more: economy, Dominican Republic, CARICOM, Martelly-Lamothe, Free Trade, Danilo Medina, EPA, International

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