Above: EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs (Photo: Joanna Legeurre)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The European Union will spend $95.8 million for projects and programmes in the Dominican Republic this year, primarily in the country’s border region with Haiti, according to Andris Piebalgs, EU Development Commissioner.
Peibalgs was speaking after a working meeting with Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez.
He also said the European Union had signed an “important” cooperation agreement with the Dominican Republic that will provide $62.3 million for major projects on both sides of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The programme includes the repair of roads, training of customs officials and other initiatives aimed at improving the living conditions of families living on both sides of the border.
According to Piebalgs, who called the Dominican Republic “an important regional partner,” the EU has also provided $21.6 million to be eventually invested in the relaunch of the Dominican Republic’s banana industry.
During the meeting with Fernandez, the two sides discussed security issues, the fight against drug trafficking and the way forward for economic cooperation.
The European Union is the third-largest foreign investor in the Dominican Republic, Piebalgs said.