Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Visit of President Salvador Jorge Blanco of the Dominican Republic

April 15, 1984

President Salvador Jorge Blanco of the Dominican Republic this week concluded a highly successful state visit to the United States.

In his discussions with President Reagan and senior American officials, President Jorge and his delegation showed once again that the Dominican Republic is an outstanding example of a people and leadership committed to democracy and to seeking solutions to social and economic problems through democratic means. President Reagan praised President Jorge for his skillful and courageous leadership in a time of serious economic difficulties and for his role in promoting solidarity among the Caribbean Basin nations.

President Reagan expressed his strong confidence in the economic potential of the Dominican Republic. Among the first countries to be designated for participation in the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), the Dominican Republic's proximity to the U.S., its installed industrial capacity, and agricultural potential make it one of the countries most likely to benefit from the CBI's trade and investment incentives.

President Jorge's announcement, during the course of his visit, of the conclusion of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on measures to resolve the Dominican Republic's economic problems further bolsters confidence in his government's economic program and prospects for the island nation's economic recovery. The agreement is the second President Jorge has negotiated with the IMF since taking office in 1982.

Reflecting the U.S. Government's confidence in its democratic neighbor, President Reagan informed President Jorge that U.S. assistance to the Dominican Republic will be increased during this fiscal year which ends September 30, 1984. Furthermore, as a result of the meetings between the two Presidents, the U.S. Government and the Dominican Government have already begun discussions regarding additional cooperation during the current period of economic recovery.

President Reagan told his guest that the United States is proud to have the Dominican Republic as a close friend. Wishing the departing President every good fortune, President Reagan stressed his confidence in the future of the Dominican Republic and its enlightened and capable leadership.