Dominican Republic: CLDP Launches Program to Support Small Businesses

March 30, 2017 - March 31, 2017

On March 30-31, CLDP conducted a workshop for government officials and private sector representatives on how to increase access to government contracts by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). While the Dominican Republic has implemented a 20% budgetary set-aside for MSMEs, there is little regulatory guidance on how contracts should be awarded to MSMEs, which has resulted in many agencies failing to meet this set-aside goal, and a small group of companies receiving the majority of set-aside contracts. The workshop focused on three main areas to address this problem: 1) increasing the use of market research and communication with private sector to identify MSMEs that could perform the government requirements  2) creating small business programs similar to those implemented by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to develop MSMEs and assist them with navigating the procurement process, and 3) incorporating procurement thresholds to require contracting offices to give exclusive tenders to MSMEs. The workshop was led by Aaron Parra, a procurement center representative from the SBA and Omar Saeb, a senior business management specialist at the General Services Administration (GSA) with an extensive federal government procurement background. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants were asked to develop custom MSME programs tailored for the Dominican Republic market and a market research template that could be used by contracting offices throughout the Dominican government to better understand the capacities of private sector companies. As a result of the program, the Dominican Republic’s procurement policy office, the Directorate General for Public Contracting, requested a list of recommendations from CLDP that it would incorporate in its new regulations to support small businesses.

CLDP staff and expert advisors with Maricela Ramirez of USAID (lower left) and Dr. Yokasta Guzman of DGCP (lower right)

Upcoming Programs

January 29, 2018 - January 30, 2019
November 11, 2018 - November 15, 2018

CLDP in Action

October 7, 2018 - October 10, 2018

After training six Sri Lankan law school teams over five months to prepare them in oral and written advocacy, CLDP held its first Sri Lanka National Vis Moot Competition from October 7-10, 2018. The Royal Institute of Colombo College of Law prevailed as champion, and the University of Colombo College of Law placed second. The two winning teams will advance to represent Sri Lanka in the Willem C Vis Moot Competition in Hong Kong in April 2019. CLDP will continue to train both teams and help them prepare for the Hong Kong competition. 

Read More about CLDP Holds a Vis Moot training for Sri Lankan Universities