PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee and Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner will lead a delegation of Rhode Island businesses and associations to the Dominican Republic on an economic development trade mission. As part of the mission, Governor McKee and Commerce Secretary Tanner will hold a series of economic development meetings focused on travel, tourism and hospitality, port development, and clean energy. The mission will take place from August 21-23 and is Governor McKee’s first economic development and policy mission since becoming Governor.
“Rhode Island and the Dominican Republic share a close cultural affinity and a longstanding relationship,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Given the direct flights out of Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport to the Dominican Republic, this is a great opportunity to lead this mission, foster business opportunities and develop relationships that will showcase our great companies and state to this audience.”
“At Rhode Island Commerce, we are committed to ensuring businesses have the opportunities they need to help them grow and succeed,” said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner. “We know that establishing partnerships like the one we are forging with the Dominican Republic, will benefit not just our business community but will also enhance the momentum of Rhode Island’s economy.”
The trade mission to the Dominican Republic has a two-pronged approach: first to discuss business development opportunities in Rhode Island and also to discuss tourism opportunities due to direct flights to Rhode Island from Santiago de los Caballeros Cibao International Airport in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In 2022, the Dominican Republic was Rhode Island’s third-largest partner for exports, with over $315 million of goods flowing from the state to the Dominican Republic.
Miscellaneous Manufactured Commodities was the overwhelming top export, making up 92.9 percent of these goods. Additionally, Rhode Island imported $22.8 million worth of goods from the Dominican Republic. In terms of imports to the Dominican Republic, Rhode Island ranked 10th among all states for value of goods in 2021.
Rhode Island businesses and organizations will be joining Governor McKee on the trade mission and will be meeting with potential buyers/distributors to explore potential opportunities for growth in the Dominican Republic.
The following Rhode Island businesses will be participating in this trade mission:
- EGN Consulting
- Mainelli Tool & Die Inc.
- Kassumay, LLC
- North East Knitting
- Verity Design
The mission is being supported by the John H. Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University, the state district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. Dr. Edinaldo Tebaldi, a member of the delegation and Interim Director of the Chafee Center at Bryant University, expressed enthusiasm about this collaborative effort, emphasizing its role in fostering economic growth and enduring partnerships between Rhode Island and the Dominican Republic.
“The Chafee Center takes pride in empowering Rhode Island businesses to expand their global footprint,” Dr. Tebaldi said.
Businesses participating in this mission have received support from the U.S Small Business Administration’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). This funding is administered as STEP grants for export activities to Rhode Island businesses. Rhode Island businesses interested in learning more about the STEP program should contact Cecilia Pirotto at email@example.com.
During the mission, Governor McKee and Secretary Tanner will be meeting with officials from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and SME and the Dominican Port Authority. Governor McKee’s full schedule will be released later this week. Both the Governor and Secretary Tanner’s expenses are being covered by the Rhode Island Commodores.