Dominican Republic: Expo Alemana Trade Fair 2014, or Building up Domestic Markets
For four days the EXPO ALEMANA was a key feature of the botanical garden in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. German firms had an opportunity there to present concepts and solutions for environmental protection and renewable energy. These are topics with which the Dominican Republic is getting to grips with more and more. The event was organised by the German-Dominican Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chamber of Foreign Trade).
As well as the big companies such as BASF or Siemens, the Dominican firm BioTropic S.R.L. was also represented by its employees at the trade fair. In addition to them, the boss of our Duisburg firm, Sascha Suler, also travelled out there. We presented our project "Building up sales opportunities for locally-grown organic produce in the domestic market".
At present the bulk of the organic produce grown in the country is exported. Lack of purchasing power and the high cost of obtaining organic certification result in the growth of sales of organic food being no more than sluggish in the domestic market. As a first step we are planning to have an organic fruit and vegetable stand in the business metropolis Santiago de los Caballeros. If everything goes to plan, we may be able to go ahead with it before the end of this year. We are already in active contact with regional fruit and vegetable growers, the mayors and officials responsible.
Our staff has managed to make a large number of new contacts and they were pleased at the general level of interest from casual visitors to the garden (see pictures on the right).
The "Cibao Ecological Centre" is currently being established on the site of the Dominican BioTropic office and it will be opening its doors by the middle of this year. Conceived for research and development purposes, it is designed to become an active building block in raising public environmental awareness in the region. The intention is that organic fruit and vegetables grown there are likewise to be sold in the local market in Santiago de los Caballeros.