Good morning, I am delighted to be with all of you today. BASC is an organization that has been at the forefront of trade security here in the Dominican Republic; not only ensuring safer trade, but also faster and more efficient trade which leads to more jobs for both countries.
It is appropriate that the theme of this year’s congress is “Cargo Security” as we live in a world in which threats to trade – such as drug trafficking and smuggling – continue to grow. We understand that the most effective way to address security issues involve strategies that are comprehensive, and should incorporate the participation and collaboration of all stakeholders, including the private sector. In other words, you cannot make effective security without the collaboration of companies – without the help of all of you – members of BASC.
As many of you know the US Embassy has been actively involved in the past year in promoting trade facilitation in the Dominican Republic as part of Pathways to Prosperity. In March we organized a trade facilitation workshop, aimed at promoting stronger cooperation and dialogue between the Dominican public and private sector. BASC was an important participant and contributor to this workshop. Over the summer, we brought a small distinguished group of public and private sector representatives from the DR to the ports of Mobile, Alabama and Gulfport, Mississippi, to experience how the US public and private sectors work together to facilitate trade, economic growth and investment.
We continue to cooperate on many levels such as with CT-PAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) which seeks to safeguard the world’s vibrant trade industry from terrorists.
We look forward to a strengthened trade facilitation dialogue in the DR with the participation of many of you as we pursue our common goal of providing for a safe, secure, and efficient logistics and value chain.
Finally, a critical part to achieving our mutual trade goals, in which we all have an important part to play, is for all of us to fight against instances of graft, bribery, and corruption – The US Embassy will increase our efforts and this will be a priority to make sure all businesses can compete fairly and by a common set of rules.
I would like to congratulate your congress and the very important topics that you will be addressing. I hope you have a productive day and thank you for doing your part to safeguard the vitally important trade between our two nations.
Have a great conference!