federico cuello

H.E. Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo

Ambassador Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo (Santo Domingo, 24 June 1966) has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (Magna Cum Laude, INTEC, 1987); a Master of Science in Economic Theory and Econometrics (1990, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and a Doctorate in Regional Science and Development Economics (1994, from the same university). With 32 years of government experience, including 19 as an ambassador in Geneva, Brussels, New York, London and Doha; 4 as an Economics Vice-Minister; 4 as an economist at the Central Bank, 2 as an economic adviser to the Minister of Economy and 2 as an economic adviser to the Chamber of Deputies, he became a career diplomat in 2012.

In Seoul, where he serves as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary since December 2020, he promotes the accession of the DR to the Central America-Korea Free-Trade Agreement, of which the DR should have been a founding member as a SICA Member State. He is upgrading the bilateral cooperation program around three pillars: decarbonization of the economy, digitalization of society and strengthened social protection programs. He is also relaunching of the DR-Korea Chamber of Commerce (DomChamKorea) with a wider and strengthened membership including importers of Korean products; top Korean contractors; Korean manufacturers in DR export-processing zones and potential DR exporters to Korea. He is also organizing the 1st DR Week in Korea and the sisterhood between Busan and Santo Domingo as well as Seoul and Santiago de los Caballeros.

In Doha, where he served during February 2019-December 2020 as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, he positioned the DR with media exposure and technical studies proving the feasibility of regular flights by Qatar Airways to the DR, in order to become the logistics hub for Qatar in the Americas and Qatar the hub for Asia/Pacific tourism to the DR, thus maximizing the potential between Qatar, the country with the highest per-capita income, and the DR, with the highest rate of growth of the Americas. He organized the first-ever political consultations in 19 years of bilateral relations, resulting in 8 new agreements for signature, creating and launching the DR Chamber of Commerce for the Middle East and North Africa (DoMENACham) and celebrating the 1st DR Week.

As a non-resident Ambassador to the Lebanon since March 2020, he is working with top businessmen such as Thierry Abi Nader, CEO of MAN Enterprises, to set up the local chapter of DoMENACham. In London, he worked between July 2011-January 2019 as an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, organizing 7 Dominican Weeks and participating in 6 World Tourism Markets, 3 London Produce Shows and 2 London Chocolate Shows. Partly as a result, Dominican exports to the UK increased by 102% (2010-16) and UK tourism to the DR grew by 98% (2010-2018).

After the Brexit referendum of 2016, he convinced the relevant authorities of the need to transition the existing trade relationship between CARIFORUM Member States such as the DR to a new Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the UK that would replace the EPA with EU Member States. The new agreement was signed in March 2019 just before the departure of the UK from the EU. He founded the DR Chamber of Commerce in the UK (DomChamUK) and the International Network of DR Gastronomy (GastroDR). During 2013 and 2018 he served as the pro-tempore President of SICA.

He also negotiated scholarship agreements for post-graduate education in 11 British universities, including UCL, Warwick, Bristol, Harper-Adams, Wolverhampton and Middlesex, providing for up to 150 places for Dominican students per academic year, fully funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCyT) of the Dominican Republic.

In New York, he led the DR Mission to the UN (2009-11) as Permanent Representative with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He registered in July 2009 the Dominican candidacy to the Security Council for the elections of 2018, endorsed in August 2017 by the group of ambassadors of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) and voted unanimously at the UN General Assembly in June 2018. He succeeded in electing his country for the first time to the Executive Council of UN-Women and ECOSOC. His priorities were the political stabilization and development of Haiti; food and nutritional security; the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters; and gender equity.

He was Vice-Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the 4th World LDC Conference (New York and Istanbul, 2010-11) as well as a member of the Groups of Friends on Food Security, the Millennium Development Goals and the Reform of the UN System. In Brussels, as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Belgium, the EU, Poland and the Czech Republic (2005-9), he chaired the ACP Committee of Ambassadors (2006), CARIFORUM (2007) and the Group of Rio (2008). He was one of the 4 Lead Negotiators of the Caribbean College of Negotiators (2005-9) for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, responsible for the chapters on services and investment. As a member of the College, he contributed to achieving duty-free, quota-free market access to the EU. He organized in Santo Domingo (2006) the 1st Meeting of ACP Ministers of Culture, the 1st ACP Cultural Festival and set up in Brussels the Ambassadorial Working Group on the Future of the ACP Group.

In Geneva, as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the UN and the WTO (1999-2002), he chaired the GRULAC at UNCTAD (2000) and WIPO (2001), as well as the ACP Committee of Ambassadors (2002). He founded and became the first Chair of the Paradisus Group (1999- 2000), CARIFORUM (2001) and the GRULAC at ITU (2002). He was an Alternate Member (2000-2001) and then Member (2002) of the ILO Governing Body, as well as Chairman of UNCTAD’s Commission on Trade in Goods, Services and Commodities (2001), a Vice-President of UNCTAD’s Intergovernmental Commission of Experts on Competition Law and Policy (2000-5) and a Vice-President of UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board (2002). He was also a Vice-President of the Preparatory Committee of the International Summit of the Information Society (ITU, 2001-2). His work at the WTO allowed for preserving tax incentives for export-processing zones; strengthening rules on access to medicines; and structuring the ACP Group to maximize its impact in trade negotiations as well as its capacity to follow up issues of priority for ACP States in the multilateral trading system.

In Santo Domingo, as an Economic Advisor to the Chamber of Deputies (2003-5) he coordinated the technical work required for the approval of the new laws on consumer protection and customs valuation. As a Vice-Minister of Economy for International Cooperation and Economic Reforms (1995-9), he coordinated the inter-agency teams responsible for implementing Uruguay Round commitments in intellectual property, trade negotiations, consumer protection, competition policy and telecommunications, resulting in new laws and key institutions for inserting the DR into the process of globalization: National Commission of Trade Negotiations (CNNC), ONAPI (industrial property), ONDA (copyright), INDOTEL (telecommunications), Pro Consumidor (consumer protection) and the National Competition Commission. He also negotiated on trade in services, investments, competition policy and electronic commerce in the WTO, the CARICOM-DR Agreement, the Central America-DR Treaty and the stillborn FTAA.

As an Economic Advisor to the Minister of Economy (1993-95) he coordinated the accession of the Dominican Republic to the WTO, the evaluation of the impact of the Uruguay Round on the Dominican economy and the first Trade Policy Review of the Dominican Republic. In parallel, he served as a Project Director for economic reform projects with UNDP, UNCTAD and IADB, securing financing from the World Bank and the DR Central Bank as well as technical assistance from UNCTAD and ITU for the reforms he would later coordinate as Viceminister.

In academia, he was a Research Assistant (INTEC, 1985), a Graduate Research Assistant (University of Illinois, 1988-92), a Director of the School of Economics of INTEC (1993-4), and a Research Professor of Economic Development (INTEC, 1994, and PUCMM, 2003-4, at the advanced undergraduate level) and Economic Policy (PUCMM, 2004, at the master's level). He is on leave without pay at PUCMM for the duration of his service abroad. He has published articles in books and specialized magazines and national and international media; his opinions have been cited by news agencies and international newspapers. He publishes a weekly column every Friday at www.eldia.com.do. A partial list of his publications is available at https://www.linkedin.com/in/facuellocamilo/.

INTEC recognized him in 2013 as one of its outstanding graduates. Previously, the Dominican government distinguished him in 2012 as a Grand Officer of the Order of Christopher Columbus for his role as a Lead Negotiator of the EPA between CARIFORUM and the EU. In 2001 he received the Jaycees’ Award as a young outstanding professional.