France and Dominican Republic
French Ambassador to the Dominican Republic: Mr José Gomez (since 9 October 2015)
Dominican Ambassador to France: Ms Rosa Hernandez de Grullon (since 22 February 2013)
Bilateral relations with France were particularly intense between 2009 and 2011, because of increased visits by political authorities between the two countries. Several agreements were signed during this period (academic cooperation, transport and tourism). Bilateral consultations at ministerial level were held in Santo Domingo on 12 October 2011.
- 1 September 1959: Agreement on the abolition of short-stay visa requirements
- 14 January 1999: Agreement on reciprocal promotion and protection of investments and Convention on mutual assistance in criminal matters
- 7 March 2000: Convention on extradition
- 13 November 2009: Convention on the transfer of prisoners
- 3 December 2009: Cooperation agreement on transport and Declaration of intent on the establishment of a high-level academic programme.
Main French visits to the Dominican Republic:
- November and December 2009: Mr Alain Joyandet, Minister of State for Cooperation and Francophonie.
- 25-28 November 2010: Mr Victorin LUREL, President of the Guadeloupe Regional Council, leading a delegation of elected officials and business leaders to the Dominican Republic.
- 16-23 April 2011: Senate delegation to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
- 12-13 October 2011: Mr Édouard Courtial, Minister of State for French Nationals Abroad.
- 15-16 August 2012: Mr Victorin LUREL, Minister for Overseas France.
- 23 October 2014: Ms George Pau-Langevin, Minister for Overseas France.
Main Dominican visits to France:
- Mr Ramón Ventura Camejo, Minister of Public Administration, on two occasions, in March 2009 and November 2011.
- Mr Mariano Ray Guevara, President of the Constitutional Court, received by the Constitutional Council and the Conseil d’État, 25 September 2012.
- Mr Danilo Medina, President of the Dominican Republic, participating in the opening of the Paris Climate Conference (30 November 2015), accompanied by the Minister of External Relations, Mr Andrés Navarro.
France has a trade deficit with the Dominican Republic that stood at €17.8 million in 2015. France’s economic presence in the country is built more on the presence of major French companies there and occasional large contracts than on stable trade.
France is the Dominican Republic’s 15ᵗʰ-largest trading partner and 7ᵗʰ-largest investor.
The Dominican Republic is France’s leading trading partner in the Caribbean, and its second-largest customer, behind Cuba.
Trade with the French Collectivities of the Americas remains low (€13.1 million in 2015).
Our economic relations have developed considerably thanks to large-scale operations in the early 2000s. Orange, which acquired a local telecommunications operator in 2000, has, however, sold its stake to the Luxembourgish fund Altice. The participation of French companies (Alstom, Thalès, CIM/TSO) in the construction of Santo Domingo’s first metro line in record time, from 2007 to 2009, and then the second, was an opportunity to showcase the expertise of our companies. Our businesses are also interested in the construction of the Haina-Santiago railway line and restoring the sanitation system in several cities. Poma is currently building a cable-car line in Santo Domingo. Furthermore, Vinci has been awarded the concession and management of six of the country’s nine international airports (Aerodom).
More than 140 French companies are represented in the Dominican Republic, 75 of which working locally and many SMEs in the services sector. French investments concern mainly distribution (Carrefour), tourism (Club Méditerranée, Accor, Nouvelles Frontières), industry (Air Liquide, Arcelor-Mittal), transport (Air France), energy (Schneider, Legrand), pharmaceuticals (Sanofi Aventis) and real estate.
France’s cooperation is based on a network which, in addition to the Embassy’s departments, includes five Alliances françaises, a school (lycée) in the capital, a school in Las Terrenas (northern Dominican Republic), a Campus France office, and an Agence française de développement (AFD, French Development Agency) office.
The priorities of our cooperation are as follows:
promoting the French language, which is compulsory in Dominican schools, with almost 4,300 students in the country’s five Alliance françaises; continuous training in these Alliances of 450 French teachers; development of distance training and learning programmes (opening with University of the French West Indies and Guiana (UAG) in September 2015 of a correspondence Master’s course in teaching French as a foreign language, which is being followed by 17 French teachers; and the creation in March 2014 of a “French online” learning module in liaison with the Alliance française in Santo Domingo and the International Centre for Educational Studies (CIEP).
fostering student mobility and the development of partnerships between universities: “Talents” study grants programme at second-year Master’s level (36 co-funded Dominican students), joint diplomas locally (some 100 students at Master’s level each year), supported by new inter-university partnerships concluded in particular under the high-level university cooperation agreement signed in December 2009 (Institute of Political Studies, National School of Public Administration, Universities of Savoie, Paris, Aix-Marseille, Bordeaux, etc.). Meanwhile, the Guadeloupe Region has created some 10 study grant places for Dominican students with the University of the French West Indies and French Guiana (UAG). A Priority Solidarity Fund project has been implemented to support academic exchanges and the creation of partnerships between French and Dominican higher education establishments (French National Institute of Applied Sciences – INSA – Rouen, University of Picardie Jules Verne, Lille II University);
improving gouvernance in the areas of justice and law: support for Dominican investigative police, cooperation in the areas of public security and combating drug trafficking, and many exchanges in the area of law, drawing on a common legal foundation (Civil Code). A Priority Solidarity Fund project has been established to support the fight against drug trafficking.
Since 2009, the Agence française de développement (French Development Agency, AFD) and its subsidiary PROPARCO have relaunched their operations and are active, mostly in the form of loans currently standing at a total of approximately €300 million, in the following areas:
- protecting and developing natural resources: support for the coffee sector, reforestation and development in mountain regions;
- territorial and urban development (loan for urban transport in Santo Domingo – metro and urbanization);
- support for the private sector: supporting microfinance institutions; funding health care and higher education sectors (student loans); supporting the banking sector (refinancing) and building and refurbishing infrastructure (roads in the north and centre of the country).
Finally, the Dominican Republic benefits from around 60 regional cooperation projects with the French Collectivities of the Americas in the fields of medicine, teaching of French, mechanical training, and cultural and educational exchanges financed through regional cooperation funds (RCF), as well as the EU Interreg programme, for which the implementing unit is chaired by the Regional Council of Guadeloupe. A convention was signed between the Guadeloupe Region and Greater Santo Domingo following the visit of a delegation from Guadeloupe in November 2010.
Updated: 19 August 2016