Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 16th 2015 Contents JULY 16 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
COVER STORY | BG5
Dominican Republic is looking for
investors from T&T to build its
According to its country profile provided
by The Embassy of the Dominican Repub-
lic---who had representatives at this year s
Trade and Investment Convention---the
country attracted more than US$7.3 billion
in investments between 2012 and 2014.
Manuel Pacheco, from the Dominican
Republic s Ministry of Tourism, said its
economy is doing well but it is looking to
develop the tourism sector even further.
"We are here to promote the Dominican
Republic as an investment destination for
T&T investors. We are displaying our facil-
ities for investors in tourism. We want
people who would build entertainment
parks, hotels and guest houses."
He added that T&T s economy is grow-
ing a lot and suggested that Dominican
Republic is the place for T&T investors to
invest their excess income.
"I think the economy here is growing
a lot and you need a place to invest your
money. We are a tourist destination and
its worth your while to invest there because
there is a tax exemption for 15 years once
the investor enters the market. It is a lucra-
There are opportunities for any type of
investment in the DR he said. He added
that, currently, all its hotels are 80 per
cent occupied and this means that new
entrants into the sector would not have
problems entering the sector.
Its country profile also states that it is
ranked in the top ten countries for trade
in Latin America.
"The Dominican Republic is the most
favourable country in terms of the business
climate. it is ranked seven out of 18 coun-
tries among the nations of the Central
America Free Trade Agreement. Due to its
strategic geographical location the Domini-
can Republic has become an important
trade link between Europe, North America
and the rest of Latin America."
Dominican Republic has eight interna-
tional airports and exports to more than
170 countries. It has more than 500 hotels.
Other than its tourism sector, the country
Goplaca is a large exporter from Domini-
can Republic which currently exports to
the US, Central America and parts of the
Caribbean. Luis Manuel Noboa, executive
at Goplaca, said it was the first time the
company was exhibiting at TIC and it
wanted to deepen its footprint here. It pro-
vides foam that can be used in mattresses,
pillows and even shoes which can either
be flame retardant, antistatic and antibac-
terial foams. It is an employer of 300 people
in Santo Domingo.
"Right now, we are looking for distrib-
utors and that s why we are participating
Dominican Republic, export and invest-
ment centre, CEI-RD is the official gov-
ernment agency in charge of promoting
and assisting local companies in placing
their products in the international market.
The country is looking for a distributor
for its Ron Barcelo rum which is ranked
number two in the world in terms of rum
DR company looking for distributors
its product base
Richard Trotman, managing director
of Trinidad Chocolate Factory Ltd,
who was also at the TIC said he
hopes to begin production by the
end of this year for his chocolates
and other cocoa products.
"We have all the quotes in. We have some proposals
before different agencies and financial bodies and,
so far, we have positive feedback and expect to hear
shortly about this."
Trotman spoke to the Business Guardian in January
of this year where he had outlined some of his plans
for his products.
The House of Arendel is the brand name for cocoa
products, including chocolates, created by Trotman s
company, the Trinidad Chocolate Factory.
The products are made only with the Trinitario
cocoa bean harvested from the Bocage Estate or
bought from Montserrat Hill Corporative, Gran Couva
He said to outfit the building in Oropouche, it
would cost "a couple million dollars."
"We have the building and land in Otaheite, south
Oropouche. So now it is a question of equipment
and outfitting. We are doing what we have to do and
making the investments we have to make. We have
to make sure we comply with the highest international
standards and have good manufacturing processes.
If we want to export they would want to examine
the operations and we need to be certified," he said.
He said this is his second year at the international
"Last year we participated through Namdevco s
booth but this year we have a booth of our own. It
is a step in the right direction to raise our profile."
He described this year at the TIC as the second
"Last year we had not done our packaging and
had the product. We were sampling the product and
letting people know what we could do. Since then
we have done our packaging, we have had real interest
so we are taking the next step: distribution. This
year, that is what we are a looking at. It is not just
to see the receptiveness of the product but to get
transactions to export as well as distribute," he said.
He said one of the major milestones for the year,
so far, is broadening the products that they sell.
"Right now at the TIC we are sampling our ice
cream. We first sampled it two weeks ago. We use
our own cocoa powder to make it. We are expanding
the distribution so we are on track to do what we
have to do," he said.
He added that the key part is making sure the
packaging meets international standards.
"This week, we got the report on the nutritional
content. We have a new package and we are moving
from the wrapper to a box for the chocolates. It is
a redesign so we are making that next step in making
sure we not only meet local standards but international
standards." Raphael John-Lall
Last year we had not done
our packaging and had the
product. We were sampling
the product and letting
people know what we could
do. Since then we have done
our packaging, we have had
real interest so we are taking
the next step: distribution.
PHOTOS: MARCUS GONSALVES
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