Published On: Thu, Jun 8th, 2017

The government of the Dominican Republic is interested in the country’s exports to Curaçao

Curacao1SANTO DOMINGO, WILLEMSTAD - During the Agroalimentaria fair in the Dominican Republic, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture showed their interest and shared their knowledge and information with the attendees. They have long been concerned about the lack of consistency in product quality and the supermarkets' lack of interest in imports. They stated that the country had to change the way it did business: "we need direct contact between our entrepreneurs and supermarkets, without intermediaries, otherwise, prices will rise. We know that the products of the Dominican Republic are high quality products." They also said that the intermediaries could not guarantee the quality of the products imported, which raised general concerns on this issue.

Future challenges
For some time now there has been a change of mentality in the market, as it has focused on the north to avoid intermediaries, thus creating greater consistency in the quality of the products offered. The challenge posed by the Dutch Chamber is that exporters become directly involved in the export process to take advantage of these markets; not only in sales, but also to seize opportunities for collaboration between small and medium entrepreneurs in Curaçao and the Dominican Republic. The ministry's representative said, "we have to find and involve more experienced exporters and train new exporters."
"Curaçao's businessmen are seeing the opportunities that growers have in Santo Domingo and what more cooperation between Curaçao goods and Santo Domingo goods could mean for them," said one representative. They are looking for ways so that Curaçao not only imports products, but also re-exports products through ties and agreements with countries that do produce quality products that have good prices and consistency, to favor both countries.
They said that the opportunities with the Dutch Caribbean are unique, since it is a direct collectivity, both by air and by sea, as the Dominican Republic has weekly shipments with Curaçao.
Carlos Tolentino, of Streamline / Ageport, said that the most important thing in exports is the transport. "Shipping things between the Dominican Republic and Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire used to be a real pain because the sea transit groups took a long time." Fortunately, this has changed thanks to a Dutch freight transport company that has a lot of experience in refrigerated cargo. "We have a weekly service from the north of Europe: England, the Netherlands, Hamburg, direct to the Dominican Republic and from there, we go to Curaçao and Aruba." It is an interesting opportunity to transport fresh and quality products, "products that make us competitive because the Dominican Republic has an enviable position," added Carlos.
According to him, they haven't been able to handle large volumes in these three and a half years because of the increase in freight costs. In addition, they used intermediaries who did not respect the products, sometimes mixing them with other products without respecting the temperatures in the cold rooms, which damaged the quality of Dominican products. "We look to the future and we want to do business with established companies that already have experience so that the Dominican Republic becomes one of the main suppliers," Carlos concludes.

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