President Luis Abinader assured yesterday at the National Palace that the Dominican Republic does not have a time limit for the preliminary process carried out by the Government for the purpose of signing a partial scope trade agreement with Colombia.
“When the industrial sectors, both the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and the Mirex (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) agree, then we sign it there,” said. “We don’t have time pressure either, we don’t have a time limit to do it, but when we have the agreement that suits the Dominican Republic.”
When he visited the country at the end of April, the president of Colombia, Ivan Duquee, expressed his wish that, upon leaving the Presidency of Colombia on August 7, a Partial Scope Agreement with the Dominican Republicfor which consultations began last week with the private sector.
“It is a partial agreement, and President Duque is also aware that it is a partial agreement in the areas where we consider that they are of mutual advantage, both for Colombia and for us,” Abinader said.
According to data compiled by the Trade Map platform, from the Center for International TradeBetween 2019-2021, Dominican exports to Colombia totaled 162.4 million dollars, while imports from that country were 1,444.9 million dollars, for an unfavorable balance for the Caribbean country.
The main exportable chapter from Colombia to Quisqueya is oil and derivative products.
“This agreement is in consultation with the industrial sectors of the country, we will always make an agreement that is convenient for the national interest,” said Abinader.
The agreement that the Dominican Government is considering signing with Colombia would include a limited list of products from both countries to which the tariff would be released, as was agreed with Panama in an agreement in force since 2003.
In December 2019, the memorandum of understanding for the agreement with the South American country was signed. The proceedings for its possible signature currently coincide with an electoral period in that country that will have a second round now in June, to choose between the leftist Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernández, from the right.
The academic and international analyst IGo Gaton He considers that President Duque would like the signing of an agreement with a country with which he has a much more favorable trade balance to be under his management.
“The simple fact of seeing the trade balance indicates that Colombia is already winning, without the agreement existing (…), imagine the agreement existing”I observe.
“Any government that arrives -he added-, no matter if it is from the left or from the right, it immediately takes power, assumes power, what it does is think about the benefit of the State of the country it represents”.
Gatón deduces that Colombia has an institutional framework for foreign trade issues and that an agreement with a country that is leaving benefits, “is not going to leave it aside” due to political differences.
No date for the signing of the agreement has been announced so far.