Dominican Republic update
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By Jeff Jard and Gaetan Barrier

Dominican Republic : Strengthened macroeconomic environment
The Dominican Republic is the tenth largest economy in Latin America and the largest in the Caribbean region with a nominal GDP of $64.14 billion.

President Danilo Medina has introduced a stable macroeconomic environment and has respected his promise to lower the fiscal deficit from 3.2% of GDP in 2014, to an estimated 1.9% in 2015. This reduction is mainly due to the substantial fall in international oil prices and its derivatives, as well as an 8.7% tourism revenue growth.

In 2015, the Dominican Republic ranked as the economic growth leader in Latin America for the second year in a row. Indeed, the country’s economy grew by 7.0% according to the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic. This economic growth rate was led by the construction sector, with 19.1%; financial intermediation split as follows: 9.2%; trade: 8.6%; education: 8.4%; transportation and storage: 6.4%; hotels, bars and restaurants: 6.3%; health: 6.5%; local manufacturing: 6.3 %; energy and water: 6.3%; free trade zones: 5.1% and other services: 4.1%.

The United States is the largest trading partner of the Dominican Republic. The United States receives 49% of the country’s exports, and 44% of imports into the Dominican Republic are of U.S. origin thereby representing a 70% share of the consumer goods imported into the country.

The strength of the trade relationship stems from close geographic proximity and the historic cultural and personal ties that many Dominicans have with the United States. This is reinforced by a Dominican diaspora in the U.S. of approximately 1.8 million people, clustered primarily in the north-eastern states and Florida, whose remittance payments total approximately 10% of the Dominican GDP and help support the home-country economy. Dominican businesspersons are frequent visitors to the United States and are very familiar with U.S. business practices...
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Cristal Credit International is proud to announce the opening of its 14th office in the Dominican Republic. This is a major step to strengthen our position in the Caribbean that will allow us to expand our capacities and presence.
The Dominican Republic is strengthening its position as a regional trading hub in the Caribbean. An agreement was signed on March 15, 2017 in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic, by the CEO of Customs World and the Director General of the Dominican Republic’s General Directorate of Customs. Customs World will deliver a comprehensive capacity-building program to the Dominican Customs to help expedite and optimize their customs clearance process while maintaining both effective and efficient control of goods and people with world-class expertise, knowledge and technology-based screening tools... Read More
Billions of dollars were moved out of Russia in ‘Global Laundromat’ operation. At least $20bn appears to have been moved out of Russia during a four-year period between 2010 and 2014. HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are facing questions over what they knew about the international scheme ‘Global Laundromat’. Britain’s high street banks handled funds from a vast money-laundering operation run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government and the KGB… Read More
Theresa May to trigger article 50 on 29 March. Prime Minister May has promised to begin the process of negotiating a withdrawal by the end of March, launching two years of complex negotiations that will pit the U.K.’s desire for a trade deal against the Eurobloc’s view that Britain must not benefit from Brexit. Just after the statement, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, twittered that he would present draft guidelines for the British withdrawal to the other 27 member states within 48 hours of Britain formally giving its notice... Read More
Remember by Jeff Jard
As a FEBIS member, Cristal Credit will be present in Oslo, Norway on the 26th and 27th of April for the FEBIS Spring Meeting 2017 where other than networking, examples of development in the financial industry such as blockchain and big data will be explained. Before informing about ongoing regulatory affairs and development, the results of the latest FEBIS Credit Management survey 2017 will be presented and the freemium business model before open data will be discussed.

UK’s Overseas Territories’ advantages jeopardized by Brexit – by Jeff Jard & Gaetan Barrier
There are 14 UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) in total and only Gibraltar is formally part of the EU, while nine others have an important link with the Community. The other territories have special status that shall be jeopardized by the Brexit. Indeed, UK’s Caribbean Overseas Territories are concerned that Brexit will damage their interests in several ways, beside restrictions on free movements of the people, they could lose access to the single market and to EU funding (EDF). The trading relationship that several Overseas Territories have with the EU is very important. For instance, Falkland Islands, sales of fish, meat and other agricultural products are valued at £180 million per year, making the EU the largest market for Falklands’ products. In addition, the ability of several OTs including Gibraltar and Bermuda to ‘export’ their financial services to the rest of the EU is beneficial and currently threatened by the Brexit. Total EU bilateral funding for the UKOTs (excluding Gibraltar) via the EDF is €76.8 million and regional funding is worth another €100 million. Funds are focused on economic diversification, small and medium companies, climate change mitigation and sustainable energy. These funds are providing significant support for the UKOTs development and sustainability, and particularly for some that are not receiving UK development assistance, such as the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Island. Also, EU funds are helping to secure the economic viability of Pitcairn, which struggles to cover its budgetary expenditure, and to mitigate the impacts of remoteness for territories such as Tristan da Cunha.

The fate of UKOTs is undetermined but the negotiations to come will highlight the old ambiguity of their status and relation with the EU.
Copyright © 2017 Cristal Credit, All rights reserved.

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