SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (CMC) — An association has been formed in an effort to solve the deadlock with Haiti's ban on several products from the Dominican Republic.

During a meeting on Wednesday, retailers and transport organisations from the four provinces on the border with Haiti , vowed to protect and develop cross border trade.

Members of the newly formed association noted that the lack of clear rules and dialogue between the governments of both countries that share the island of Hispaniola “distort the functionality and development of the border markets between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.”

They also said the “climate of instability and the deregulation of the main commercial land ports of the Dominican Republic in its relations with Haiti is affected by not having established measures to ensure its proper functioning.”

The members of the new association said for the 14 border markets there is an indirect economic benefit for thousands of families throughout the country.

They added that the population of 211,160 inhabitants in the municipalities of Dajabón, Elías Piña, Jimaní and Pedernales provinces, which have the highest poverty rates in the Dominican Republic are directly affected by the ban on certain products.

Haiti is the Dominican Republic's second most important export market, but as a result of the ban, bilateral trade fell by millions of dollars.

Haiti's unilateral executive order to ban the entry of products from the Dominican Republic from crossing the border overland came into effect in October 2015, bringing to a halt 88.72% of the US$467.9 million yearly trade between the two countries.

The ban has placed a dent in trade, particularly at the bilateral market held on Mondays and Fridays.

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