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The world marks Day of the Commonwealth today

Fernando Gonzalez Nicolas, center, in a recent acitivity of the Roundtable of Commonwealth Nations.

54 nations celebrate historic ties

The Round Table of Commonwealth Countries in the Dominican Republic announced the celebrations to mark Day of the Commonwealth around the world today Monday, March 11.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 countries that are spread across 6 continents. They are part of the group of countries very different in size and degree of socioeconomic development. Some are very large like Canada, Australia, India, Great Britain, South Africa and Nigeria, but there are also smaller nations such as Trinidad, Singapore, Mauritius, Malta, Jamaica, among others.

The Commonwealth Countries have a common integration origin in the British, sharing the same legal system and political essence, based on democratic values.

Economically the Commonwealth countries account for 25% of world trade and are established in much of the world's leading companies.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain heads the Commonwealth, whose theme for this year’s Commonwealth Day is reflected in the expression: "Opportunity through Enterprise."

Commonwealth Day has gained such notoriety that it’s held not only in the 54 countries that make up the Commonwealth, but across the world.

In this occasion, to celebrate the day, the President of the Round Table of Commonwealth Countries in the Dominican Republic, Fernando Gonzalez Nicolas, noted the value and positive impact of foreign investment. This is a source of wealth, job creation and transfer of technology.

He added that foreign investment contributes effectively to economic and social development of peoples.

“Notice how countries that have emerged from poverty and underdevelopment in the past 40 years have given priority and have protected foreign investment. These progressive countries have given priority to investment from abroad.”

As emblematic countries he cited Singapore, Mauritius, Malaysia, among others.

Furthermore Gonzalez Nicolas, in reference to the situation between the Canadian company Barrick and the Dominican Government, said he’s confident that dialogue based on prudence and mutual respect would lead to an understanding which will benefit both sides. “Barrick is a serious undertaking and president Danilo Medina himself has acknowledged so. Barrick's investment in our country is the largest ever made. This investment puts us Dominicans in the eyes of the world.”

The business leader said the Dominican government respects the law and places great importance on foreign investment. “It’s also appropriate to stress the government’s role to ensure the best national interests.”

“We’re confident that the current situation between the Canadian miner and the Dominican government will have a positive outcome that will contribute to further promote our country to capture important flow of foreign investment,” he said.

Although Gonzalez Nicolas agrees that the country’s image abroad is positive, recent statements by some lawmakers jeopardize it. “They demand the revision of contracts based on the fact that they didn’t read what they were approving.”

“These statements send a message of a primitive society itself, which doesn’t correspond with ours. These statements don’t help to attract foreign investment either, which Dominican Republic’s development requires.”

The Commonwealth Roundtable in the country is an initiative that seeks to promote bilateral ties between the Commonwealth’s 54 countries and the Dominican Republic. It’s comprised of the binational local chambers of commerce of Great Britain, Canada, Trinidad, India and South Africa.


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