The Dominican Republic consolidates its position as a world-class logistics hub.

RD Hub Logistico

President Luis Abinader affirmed on Wednesday that the Dominican Republic is consolidating its position as a world-class logistics hub, which is advancing to become the main and most important in the region.

During the opening of the first Dominican Republic Logistics Summit 2024 (DRLS2024), with the motto: “Connecting Global Opportunities”, the president said that the Dominican Republic enjoys a privileged geographical position and its excellent infrastructure, connectivity and logistics services, dedicating more than 300,000 square meters to international logistics.

In this regard, Abinader said that the geographical position has allowed the country to attract the attention of major multinational companies, airlines and logistics companies that develop competitive operations from here, allowing us to reach multiple destinations in different parts of the world.

In his opening speech, the head of state said that the Dominican Republic is currently at a historic moment of transformation and opportunities, which must be seized.

At the event held at the Hotel Embajador in Santo Domingo, the governor said that the geographical location is an unequaled advantage and is a key factor in increasing exports, since a 10% decrease in transportation costs could increase exports by an impressive 30%.

He highlighted the importance of logistics for the Dominican Republic, noting that it is multifaceted and profound. “Global connectivity not only benefits our exporters and importers, but also attracts foreign investment, generating employment and promoting the development of industrial clusters,” highlighted President Abinader.

He added: “The Dominican Republic continues to be positioned in the top 10 countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region with the best performance in terms of maritime connectivity”.

He also indicated that the country connects with more than 55 countries and 170 international destinations, thanks to its extensive air connectivity. “Two of the eight international airports operating in the country, Las Americas International Airport and Punta Cana International Airport, have positioned themselves as important distribution centers for foreign companies,” he said.

Port connectivity

Regarding port connectivity, President Abinader said that, thanks to the efficiency and remarkable capacity of the country’s ports, he said that by the end of 2023, the Dominican Republic will reach an important milestone, mobilizing an impressive volume of TEUs of containerized cargo, that is, close to 2.3 million.

He added that this milestone demonstrates the strength of the country’s port infrastructure and the confidence that international trade players have placed in our country.

Air cargo sector

The President also highlighted the air cargo sector, where last year the country’s airports handled a total of 30 million kilos of air cargo. He stressed that this constant flow of goods by air is testimony to the agility and important connectivity that characterizes the national logistics system.

“Our economy has demonstrated sustained and robust growth, with an average GDP growth rate of 5.03% over the past 10 years, significantly outpacing the regional average of 1.37%,” he maintained.

He stressed that this remarkable performance is due to the implementation of sound policies, especially by the Central Bank, and to the structural flexibility of our economy in the face of changing global conditions.

He also stated that political stability is a pillar of the nation, and added that collaboration between the public and private sectors ensures that the labor and commercial conditions of the logistics sector remain stable in the short term.

Pioneers in the world in the successful implementation of the Free Trade Zone regime.

The governor indicated that the Dominican Republic is considered one of the pioneer countries in the world in the successful implementation of the Free Trade Zone regime, with more than 830 companies in operation, spread over 88 parks located throughout the country.

He said that in terms of employment and exports, the results are also outstanding, with more than 198,000 direct jobs at the end of 2023, the highest level in its history.

Exports also registered an important milestone, reaching, for the first time, more than US$8 billion, equivalent to a 38% growth compared to 2020.

He emphasized that the coordinated effort and work between the public and private sectors have been key to achieve the growth and the fruits that we see today in the free trade zone sector and in the logistics sector.

Implementation and optimization of security protocols.

Eduardo Sanz Lovatón, Director General of Customs, highlighted the leadership of President Abinader, who when he took over the country’s destiny found a legal framework to regulate international trade that dated back to 1942.

“Today we have modern, regulated customs legislation, accompanied by maritime legislation as well,” Lovatón stressed.

The president of the Dominican Republic Shipping Association, Jaak Rannik, highlighted the strategic and privileged geographical position of the country, which is supported by an enviable connectivity with maritime cargo ports handling more than 4,000 ships per year, of which we highlight more than 30 weekly departures connecting directly to markets in the region.

He also highlighted that the country has eight airports and handles close to 150,000 air operations, connecting with more than 70 countries.

The summit, organized by the Asociación de Navieros de la República Dominicana (ANRD), the Dirección General de Aduanas (DGA) and the Comité Nacional de Facilitación del Comercio (CNFC), has the support of more than 50 leading companies and entities and allies of the sector.

Within the framework of DRLS2024, the topics of connectivity, innovation, sustainability, logistics opportunities and nearshoring were presented by national and international experts through a series of keynote lectures and panel discussions.

The country’s strategic location, which favors a fast connection that reduces export and import times to and from Europe, the U.S., Asia, Central and South America, was highlighted during the ceremony, with lines of connectivity stretching from the Dominican Republic to various points on the global map.

He assured on Wednesday that the whole world looks at the Dominican Republic as a country that is advancing steadily towards the development it deserves.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the DR Logistics Summit 2024, where the most important players in national and international trade participate with the aim of continuing to promote the Dominican Republic as the logistics HUB par excellence in the region, he said that this confirms that they are on the right track.

He said that the reconfiguration of supply chains, the search for new production sites, and nearshoring represent an unprecedented opportunity that is already being seized.

He said that world-class infrastructure, developed industrial ecosystems, and of course our people, also play in our favor.

“We are positioned as an oasis for foreign investment, and a reliable haven for manufacturing and services looking to locate closer to the U.S. and other markets.”

The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC LOGISTICS SUMMIT 2024 event seeks to leverage and show the world the extraordinary growth that the Dominican Republic has had in its industry of industrial free zones, airports, cargo ports and logistics management, tourism, exports, transportation and communication infrastructure during the last 15 years, which is accentuated exponentially since 2012.

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