- Thirteen companies in the Dominican Republic are to receive financial grants from Caribbean Export.
- Three companies: Fátima Polanco 3 Styles, Miel Noelia and Fábrica de Chocolate Artesanal Chocolala, representatives of the handicraft and agricultural production sectors, respectively are to receive grants via the Direct Support Grant Programme (DSGP).
- A further ten (10) companies are recipients via the Dominican Republic Grant Support Programme (DRGS) : IB Systems, Global Resources, AVACOMP Corporation, DECA Systems, Definite Chocolate, Caribbean Biotech Labs, HostSeven, Producciones PSEI (Monteadita Agroecológica), Apiarios De Peña & Excellet Integrity Solutions.
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is the only regional trade and investment promotion organization of ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) countries and is focused on developing a resilient Caribbean through the creation of innovative and high-impact programs to support the private sector.
Caribbean Export launched the Dominican Republic Grant Support Program (DRGS) in October 2021, which provides direct support to small businesses to counteract the challenges faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic on a non-reimbursable basis and is funded by the European Union via the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). The DRGS complemented the existing Direct Support to Grant Programme (DSGP) providing an additional US$100K to Dominican firms.
At the presentation, held at the Hotel Intercontinental Real Santo Domingo Mr. Leo Naut, Deputy Executive Director at Caribbean Export, shared that they are implementing the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF): “The general objective of the RPSDP is to increase job creation, in particular for youth, women and indigenous groups, and the general reduction of poverty in the CARIFORUM states through specific interventions that provide new and innovative frameworks for the growth and development”.
The Direct Support Grant Programme (DSGP) focuses on providing direct assistance to companies in CARIFORUM countries*. To date, 149 companies have been awarded grants via the programme including three Dominican companies Fátima Polanco 3 Estilos, Miel Noelia and Fábrica de Chocolate Artesanal Chocolala, from the handicraft and agro-processing sectors in the in this latest round. The Dominican companies will receive collectively some €80,540.00 to execute projects over a 6 month period.
Under the DRGS, ten (10) additional companies will receive grants to implement projects over a 4-month period. The companies from the agro-industrial productive sectors, health and wellness, information technology and communications (ICTs) and manufacturing, have been awarded USD$98,500.00, are: IB Systems, Global Resources, AVACOMP Corporation, DECA Systems, Definite Chocolate, Caribbean Biotech Labs, HostSeven, Producciones PSEI (Monteadita Agroecológica), Apiarios De Peña & Excellet Integrity Solutions.
Mr. Luís Araque de Juan, Head of the Commercial Section of the Delegation of the European Union in the Dominican Republic (DUE), and the Vice Minister of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Development (MEPYD), Mrs. Olaya Dotel Caraballo delivered welcome remarks congratulating the selected companies.
Deputy Minister Dotel highlighted the importance of MSMEs as a primary source of employment and a key provider of goods and services for a large part of the population, which have been strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. She also pointed out that the grants programme is in line with the priorities of the Dominican government, which is committed to supporting SMEs on the road to recovery and has launched several measures to achieve this.
This includes the signing of the Great National Pact of MSMEs, which was signed in an act held last week, chaired by President Luís Abinader, between PROMIPYME and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, to prioritize the social and economic importance of this sector. Deputy Minister Dotel recognized the contributions of the European Union and Caribbean Export for the benefit of the country, as well as the public and private institutions that contributed to the process of this call for proposals. Finally, she congratulated the beneficiary companies, which come from key sectors for the country’s economic development.
Naut stated that these programs are in line with the objectives set forth in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon by all the states of the international community, in particular the objectives related to gender equality, affordable and clean energy, the decent work and economic growth and the reduction of inequalities. ”The private sector plays a critical role in helping the Caribbean region achieve these goals, thus furthering the ultimate goal of poverty reduction and sustained economic growth,” he said.
The Caribbean region, along with the rest of the world, is currently facing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as its people, community and businesses are threatened by this crisis. In its commitment to the development of the private sector in the region, Caribbean Export recognizes that its support is vital now and after this crisis, especially for small businesses as they readjust for recovery.