The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the Hispaniola Island. It is the second largest country in the Caribbean, by total area and population.
The Country has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years and a significant reduction in poverty.
The DR economic growth has been one of the strongest in the LAC region over the past 25 years. In the first quarter of 2017, the economy expanded by 5.2 percent, following yearly average growth of 7.1 percent between 2014-16, that growth is driven by buoyant domestic demand and favorable external conditions, including the sharp fall in oil prices and economic growth in the United States.
Data: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
The Dominican Republic also offers highly qualified labor at competitive costs, a modern infrastructure, a strategic location and preferential access to markets in the United States, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean.
The United Nation Development Program (UNDP) classified the Dominican Republic as nation with High Human Development. This is the result of innovative public policy aimed at improving the quality of life of our citizens. It also reveals that our human capital is more educated; with better health and greater capabilities for contributing to our economic development.
In recent years, several reforms implemented in our country, have further improve the business environment, increasing our capacity to attract global companies, especially for manufacturing operations. However, we believe that there are so much more competitive advantages that make the Dominican Republic one of the most attractive destinations for foreign direct investment.
The Dominican Republic has enjoyed over 50 years of continued democracy and peace. In addition, according to the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators, the Dominican Republic has one of the highest Political Stability Index in Latin America –greater than at least 14 countries – which makes us one of the safest countries for doing business in the continent.
For most of its history, the Dominican Republic was primarily an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco. In recent years, the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy’s largest employer, due to growth in construction, tourism, and free zones. The mining sector has also played a greater role in the export market since late 2012, with the commencement of the extraction phase of the Pueblo Viejo gold and silver mine, one of the largest gold mines in the world.
The country does suffer from marked income inequality. The poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10 percent enjoys nearly 40 percent of GDP. High unemployment, a large informal sector, and underemployment remain important long-term challenges.
The Dominican Republic’s economy is highly dependent upon the U.S., the destination of approximately half its exports. Remittances from the U.S. amount to about 7 percent of GDP, equivalent to about a third of exports and two-thirds of tourism receipts. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in March 2007, boosting investment and manufacturing exports.
Having rebounded from the global recession in 2010-16, the Dominican Republic’s fiscal situation is improving. A tax reform package passed in November 2012, a reduction in government spending, and lower energy costs helped to narrow the central government budget deficit from 6.6 percent of GDP in 2012 to 2.6 percent in 2016. A liability management operation in January 2015, in which the government paid over $4 billion of the country’s Petrocaribe debt at a discount of 52 percent with proceeds from the sale of $2.5 billion in global bonds, reduced the country’s debt load by approximately 4 percent of GDP.
Source: CIA World Factbook