Posted: 10/01/21

TAMIU Hosts Dominican Republic Dignitaries Visiting Port of Laredo to Study Effective Cross- Border Operation Practices



Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) today hosted a delegation of government representatives from the Dominican Republic who visited the Port of Laredo to study effective cross-border operation practices at the Port of Laredo, the largest inland port in the Western Hemisphere.

The delegation's visit was part of an agreement TAMIU signed with the Dominican Republic Foreign Ministry in 2019, identifying TAMIU as the technical advisor collaborating in the development of a border master plan for the Dominican Republic.

The visit consisted of a week of presentations by border operations experts and field trips by the delegation to Laredo's ports, concluding at a breakfast with TAMIU President Dr. Pablo Arenaz.

María Eugenia Calderón-Porter, TAMIU assistant vice president for Global Initiatives, said that the Dominican Republic is in the process of becoming a digital government and emissaries from the Dominican Republic President's Office visited Laredo and TAMIU to witness all digital international trade transactions at the Port of Laredo.

TAMIU's project with the Dominican Republic aligns with TAMIU's Office of Global Initiatives' mission, which is to enhance relationships between TAMIU and the global community by promoting civic and social organizations and institutions through research, education, leadership and public service, Calderón Porter said.

"After having visited several federal agencies, the delegation will  understand the interconnectedness between all the government agencies that are required to make our Port successful," she said, "The group will create a timeline for their ambitious project and budget for the implementation of these processes in a digital format for their own country."

Pedro Quezada, General Director, Dominican Republic Presidential Offices of Information and Communication Technologies, said that the delegation's visit to Laredo was fruitful.

"We came to Laredo with the objective of learning the experiences that different institutions associated with customs, immigration and border control have implemented in the city of Laredo in the way that takes  advantage of commerce and generate sustainable growth in the city and in the United States, "Quezada said. He continued, "The Dominican Republic is committed to taking advantage of its border with the sister Republic of Haiti and improving processes in such a way that the government of the Dominican Republic, the President of the Republic, Luis Abinader, is trying to use technology to improve all processes, eliminate bureaucracy, be a more transparent country and obviously, generate an economy that will grow steadily so that we can generate more wealth and that the wealth is redistributed in the Dominican society. In the end, all the actions that we will be implementing are aimed at generating a better quality of life for Dominican citizens."


TAMIU President Dr. Pablo Arenaz, center, and TAMIU representatives María Eugenia Calderón-Porter, eighth from left, and Dr. Daniel Covarrubias, seventh from left, welcomed emissaries from the Dominican Republic government as they visited TAMIU's campus.


In advising the Dominican Republic, TAMIU is addressing the technology required for the successful logistics and supply chain management that is part of a successful inland port in Laredo, Calderón-Porter said.

"TAMIU is committed to the support of the modernization of the Dominican Republic Border, and TAMIU's Office of Global Initiatives will be working with them until the fruition of the project," she said.

Dominican Republic dignitaries visiting TAMIU included Pedro Quezada, General Director, Presidential Offices of Information and Communication Technologies; Elvyn Gómez, Director of Technology, General Directorate of Customs; Santo Domingo Guerrero Class, Director of Operations Plans, Ministry of Defense; Frank Cabrera Rizek, Director of Cesfront, Ministry of Defense; Santo Domingo Henríquez, Director of Telecommunications, Presidential Offices of Information and Communication Technologies.

Also visiting were Reynaldo García, Director of Migration, General Directorate of Migration; Nelson Arroyo, President, Dominican Institute of Telecommunications; Héctor José Ovalle, Director of Telecommunications Business, Dominican Electricity Transmission Company; Jonathan Mardo, Attache, U.S. Embassy Dominican Republic, and consultants Ricardo Colmenter, Hugo Dávila, Juan Planchart and Yvonne Fabara.

TAMIU's Office of Global Initiatives regularly receives multiple foreign visitors on campus. They visit Laredo's ports of entry and witness the successful outcome of NAFTA and the new USMCA replacing it. The Office has had emissaries of various countries visiting it including México, Argentina, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and Azerbaijan, all seeking to learn how Laredo has become one of the most successful inland ports in the world.

For more information, contact Calderón-Porter at the Office of Global Initiatives at 956.326.2834, email mcalderon@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center, room 301A.

University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.