In talks with Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez Reyna, encouraged more investment in his country.
He said that thanks to a free-trade agreement with the USA, the Dominican Republic was an attractive proposition not only as a market in itself but also as a location for producing exports for the USA. The President, accompanied on his arrival by Foreign Minister Troncoso, drew attention to major German-Dominican projects that had already proved successful, such as the construction of the Santo Domingo metro. He also referred to the number – more than 12,000 – of German nationals permanently residing in the Dominican Republic.
Federal Minister Westerwelle emphasized the Federal Government’s special interest in Latin America. He said relations with the region were of strategic importance for Germany and the combination of economic dynamism and a history of common roots and values meant they had excellent potential. Within the period 2005 to 2009, German foreign trade with Latin America has grown by more than 50%.
Other topics under discussion were reconstructing the region affected by the earthquake in Haiti and combatting drugs trafficking.