The meeting was attended by President Luis Abinader on behalf of Dominican Republic; José Fernández, Under Secretary of State of the United States; Richard Martínez Alvarado, Vice-president of Inter-American Development Bank; and the founding U.S. corporate members of the Business Council: Joe Nuzzolese, Vice-president of Edwards Lifesciences LLC;: Rolando Gonzalez Bunster, CEO & Chairman of InterEnergy; and AES Coporation. Other representatives of the United States government, trade ministers, chancellors, top executives of multinational firms and multilateral development entities also attended.
The ADD+USA Business Council was created at the request of the presidents of the Alliance countries to serve as channel for the private sector to participate in the high level economic dialogue between the Alliance countries and the United States government.
“There is a tremendous potential for collaboration in creating resilience in the supply chains of the region. The governments and private sector should collaborate closely to diversify supply chains. The countries of the Alliance for Development in Democracy (ADD) and the Business Council of the ADD make excellent partners with the United States for this purpose.” declared José Fernández, subsecretary of state of the United States.
The President of the ADD+USA Business Council and moderator of the event, Steven Puig, affirmed that “It is in the national interest of the four countries to promote supply chains that are efficient, transparent, secure, sustainable and inclusive”.
“The countries of The Alliance for Development in Democracy have shared common values, such as democracy and the rule of law, that foreign investment requires in order to relocate their operations within the nearshoring framework. We will continue working together with our Governments and with the United States Government to be more competitive and have greater participation in global value chains”, explained Enrique Egloff, Director of the ADD+USA Business Council from Costa Rica.
For his part, the director from Panama, Jose Ramon Icaza, stated, “The ADD+USA Business Council is the business branch of the Alliance for Development in Democracy and today we find ourselves at the Ninth Summit of The Americas reaffirming the need to work within the framework of a democratic system and free enterprise, to attract investments, enhance capacity, strengthen supply chains, create jobs, and improve the quality of life in our countries.
Samuel Conde, founding president of the Business Council of the ADD+USA, reiterated that global value chains are not new to the Dominican Republic, emphasizing that in 2022 the country’s free trade zones reached US$8 billion in exports, supporting 200,000 full time jobs.
“We are not complacent. On the contrary, we are ambitious. We are just getting started”, said Conde. “We can and should do much more to accelerate the growth of our economies, to satisfy the demands of our citizens to have more jobs and better wages.”