A group of Dominican Jamaican business leaders, with the endorsement of the Dominican Government on Wednesday August 5, 2021 unveiled the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic (JAMCHAMDR).
“With the inauguration of this chamber, an institution is made available whose purpose is to continue strengthening the excellent commercial ties that unite the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, constituting a space for collaboration and support between companies, so that they can share experiences, learnings, and use this platform to promote new business opportunities,” said JAMCHAMDR President Juan José Melo.
He added that the entity will promote greater investments between both nations and the expansion of the existing ones as well.
The creation of the chamber follows the signing, recently, of a bilateral agenda between both countries ‘with a view to seeking convergence in positions that address regional and international issues of mutual interest’.
The two countries’ position was set out in a joint declaration at the end of a visit by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness to the Dominican Republic at the invitation of Dominican President Danilo Medina.
Commentary on the visit on Caricom’s website states that the official visit, the first in 34 years by a Jamaican Prime Minister, came against a background of questions about the viability of Caricom as presently structured, and Jamaican interest in strengthening economic ties with its northern Caribbean neighbours.
Caricom commentators said, “In the lengthy and substantive joint formal statement issued after the visit, Jamaica broke with the negative language adopted by Caricom since 2013 and emphasised its belief, shared by the Dominican Republic, that the two nations have in common a track record of ‘defending values and principles with respect to democracy, protection of human rights, and respect for the rule of law’.”
The narrative of the agreement said the northern Caribbean countries — Jamaica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands — share common priorities and objectives, and that it was important for both sides to increase trade and bilateral investment ‘in an equitable way’ to exploit the potential of both economies.
The official statement said that both leaders emphasised the importance of co-ordination in Cariforum, and the importance of strengthening bilateral coordination to promote a regional agenda on issues such as Brexit; the future of the ACP group; and negotiations for a post-Cotonou agreement with the EU. In the near term, the two leaders also underlined the need to increase co-operation in tourism.