By Binsal Abdulkader
DUBAI, (WAM) – The United Arab Emirates is supporting the Dominican Republic’s efforts to become a regional logistics hub in Central America and the Caribbean, the country’s vice pesident told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
Raquel Peña made this comment while talking about Dubai-based DP World, the multinational company that facilitates global trade through its ports and terminals, parks, logistics and economic zones together with maritime services. “DP World has played a very important role for our country by providing world-class intelligent logistics solutions, increasing our competitiveness and the connectivity with other world nations,” she said.
The second-largest country in the Caribbean and a major tourist destination, the Dominican Republic is located between Puerto Rico and Cuba, and it shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
Regional logistics hub
In an exclusive interview with WAM on Saturday, during her three-day official visit to the UAE, Peña added: “The government headed by president Abinader aims to promote the Dominican Republic as a regional logistics hub in Central America and the Caribbean to attract foreign investment and DP World contributes to achieving this goal. Additionally, DP World is the largest Emirati investor in the country and has demonstrated its long-term commitment with its more than 20 years of presence.”
According to DP World, the company began operations in the Dominican Republic in 2003. “Located on the Punta Caucedo peninsula, a strategic place for the redistribution of cargo to the Caribbean, the United States, Central America and South America. Thanks to this excellent location, we handle more than 60 percent of the Dominican market share,” says the company website.
“Our port in the Dominican Republic has become one of the most important ports in the Americas region and is among the top 15 ports in Latin America. Amongst these facilities is the first logistics centre located within a port terminal in the Caribbean region. This Park has six fully operational warehouses and has the capacity to meet customer needs in one place, streamlining customs processes, reducing transportation costs, and representing significant improvements in delivery times,” added DP World.
Air service agreement enhances ties
The vice president said the existing agreement between both nations on air services will help further strengthen the bilateral ties, and enhance tourism and commercial exchange.
“My presence here today also serves the purpose of continuing to improve and strengthen our connection with the United Arab Emirates, for the benefit of both nations.”
Talking about tourism Peña said, “We are a country that has natural resources that lend themselves to leisure and entertainment and that are expected to be visited by tourists from all over the world.”
Expo 2020 Dubai and the year of the 50th
Peña and her delegation attended the National Day celebrations of the Dominican Republic at Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president, prime minister and Ruler of Dubai, met with Peña at the pavilion of the Dominican Republic. Sheikh Mohammed discussed with her ways of boosting bilateral cooperation and advancing the strategic partnership between the two countries, especially in the fields of trade, investment and tourism.
Peña said the global event is an important venue for establishing commercial relations and cultural exchanges with more than 190 countries.
She is happy to visit the UAE when the county is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding.
“The UAE is a great global example of economic, social, industrial, and technological development, for all they have achieved in just 50 years. These advances make this nation an icon of the good use of its resources for the benefit of its citizens,” said Peña who had successfully led her family business and worked as an academic before becoming the vice president.
“Everyone who knows me knows of my two great passions, the education and business, which can influence people’s development. My experience in both areas of life has helped me to work in the position I currently occupy,” she said while talking about her experiences in her previous careers.
“It is a privilege to serve my country and I can testify that, regardless of our academic background, or work experience, we can always take the leap and get involved in politics and public service.”