The Dominican Republic is on a dynamic growth path. According to information from the Inter-American Development Bank, the country's gross domestic product grew by five per cent in 2019, putting it in the top position in Latin America and the Caribbean. Even though the country is severely affected by the Corona pandemic, experts expect the country's economy to stagnate in the current year, but not to shrink.

The pillars of economic dynamism are the export economy, the service sector and domestic demand. However, the job creation associated with growth has so far not been sufficient to overcome the country's poverty. There is a high degree of informality and low quality in the jobs created. In response to this problem, the government is pursuing a National Development Strategy (END-2030) and is mainly promoting the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The government sees the limited quality of products and services as a significant bottleneck for the country's sustainable development.

The expansion of the Dominican Quality System (SIDOCAL) plays a central role in the National Development Strategy. The National Institute of Metrology and Standardization (INDOCAL), the National Accreditation Body (ODAC) and the Consumer Protection Agency (Proconsumidor) are the pillars of the Dominican Quality System. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Micro-and-small-enterprises (MICM), the Quality Council (CODOCA) coordinates the Dominican Quality System. The EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement supports the development and implementation of a National Quality Policy that promotes a quality culture in the country and improves the competitiveness of MSMEs, particularly in the EU and Caribbean markets.

In a competitive tendering procedure, the Trade Ministry selected the consultancy firm Mesopartner to advise the Quality Council CODOCA on strengthening the Dominican Quality System. Mesopartner has many years of international expertise in advising on quality infrastructure and is well placed to apply its specific experience in CARIFORUM, especially in the Dominican Republic. The consulting team consists of six people, all of whom are experts in their fields. Half of the team are Dominicans and the other half are international experts from Germany, Colombia and Uruguay.

The consultancy comprises two components:

  1. The design of an information system for CODOCA to inform national and international enterprises and consumers about the services of the Dominican Quality System (SIDOCAL). At the same time, the information system serves to monitor the impact of the Quality Infrastructure and acts as a data base for strategic decisions of the CODOCA information system
  2. The efficiency and effectiveness of Technical Regulations should also be improved. All ministries will be involved in this work, and the Dominican Quality System will be improved to best serve the overall development needs of the country. By applying Good Regulatory Practices, enterprises will be freed from bureaucratic burdens and at the same time consumer protection in the areas of safety, health and environmental protection will be strengthened.

Mesopartner’s consultancy work started in April 2020 and is expected to be completed within a maximum period of twelve months.