Business & Economy

Economic Overview

Key Economic and Social Indicators:

  • Population (million): 10.5 (2016)
  • Area (sq. km): 48,730
  • GDP (US$ million): 71,500 (2016)
  • GDP Growth (annual %): 6% (2016)
  • GDP per capita (US$): 6,810 (2016)
  • GDP composition (%):
    •               Agriculture  7.6% (2013)
    •               Industry      25.8% (2013)
    •               Service        52.2% (2013)
    •               Others          14.4% (2013)
  • Exchange Rate (DR$/US$): 46.52 (November 2016)
  • Inflation (annual %): 3.88% (2013)
  • Unemployment rate: 15% (2013)
  • Exports of goods F.O.B (US$ million): 9,523.3 (2015)
  • Income from tourism (US$ million): 5,118.4 (2013)
  • Tourism: 12.3 millions pasengers used Dominican airports (2015)
  • Remittances sent by the Dominican Diaspora(US$ million): 5,365 (2016)
  • Imports of goods F.O.B (US$ million): 16,863.4 (2015)
  • Foreign Direct Investment (US$ million): 2,221.5 (2015)
  • International reserves (US$ million): 3,887.8  (March 2014)

External debt (US$ million): 13,864.9 (2014) (22.81% of GDP).

Economic and trade issues

The United States of America is the main political, social, and economic partner of the Dominican Republic. It being geographically close to one of the world’s largest economies, and having a large community in the USA (around 1.8 million people), are important factors that give the Dominican Republic a comparative advantage over other nations. This has contributed to the progressive strengthening of the relations between the two countries.

Economic Indicators

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 2016 the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) estimates of the Dominican Republic will be around $ 71.5 billion USD, while the United States’ GDP will be $ 18,561 billion USD.

On the list of GDP growth of 188 states published by the World Bank  in 2016, the Dominican Republic was ranked 69th in the world economy. Other States with similar GFP to the Dominican Republic are: Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Syria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Guatemala, and  Luxembourg.

In 2015, the GDP of the Dominican Republic grew by 7%, exceeding the growth rate of the  average for Latin America and the Caribbean (-0.55%).

In 2016, the Dominican economy is projected to grow by around 6%, while the average growth of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean is will be around 1.7%.

Trade in Goods 
Free Trade Zones (FTZ):
Air Transport:
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI):
Trade in Goods
The commercial relationship between the Dominican Republic and the United States is of great importance, both with respect to the economic and social development of the Dominican Republic, and proportionally relative to the commerce of the United States and other Member States of DR -CAFTA.

In 2015, exports from Dominican Republic to the United States totaled US$ 4,665.3 million, while for the same period of 2014 was US$ 4,528.3 million,  representing an increase of 3.02%. Similarly, the Dominican Republic imported goods from the United States in 2015 the amount of US$ 7,113.8 million, while for the same period of 2014 was US$ 7,928.4 million, representing an decrease of 10.27%. Trade in goods between the two countries in 2015 was about US$ 11,780 million.

Free Trade Zones (FTZ)
A Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is: “A geographic area of the country under special customs and tax controls … in which enterprises will be licensed to devote their production of goods or services to foreign markets through the granting of incentives to stimulate their development”.

The Industrial Free Zones program began its development in the Dominican Republic in 1969, attracting foreign direct investment projects to the country during the last 45 years. Today, the Dominican Republic has one of the most dynamic and successful industrial free zone programs in America.

Of the US$ 5.03 billion exported by the FTZ in 2013, US$ 1.28 billion were textile articles (25.46% of total); medical and surgical equipment were valued at US$ 817 million (16.25%); electrical products at US$ 651 (12.95%); in cigars at US$ 584 million (11.61%); footwear at US$ 421 million (8.37%); pharmaceuticals at US$ 413 million (8.21%); jewelry articles and related at US$ 358 million (7.10%); and other goods at US$ 504 million (10.05%).

By the end of 2013, activity of the FTZ exhibited a positive trend in value added (2.6%), showing a recovery comparing the previous year when the sector experienced a drop of 0.3%. This performance was driven by the increase in the value added of manufacturing of textile products (4.5%), and other goods (1.6%). In 2013 the volume of exports of the Dominican Republic of textiles to the United States grew by 8.7%, the highest growth of the Central American country region, after Haiti (13.3% growth).

During 2013, the National Free Zones Council approved 68 installation permits to new businesses, by which 14,226 jobs were generated with an investment of approximately US$ 77.1 million. The FTZ have a stock of 612 companies, which distribute their operations in the following activities: Textile Manufacturing (17.8%), Services (12.4%), Cigars (10.6%), Call Centers (8.7%), Agro-industrial products (8.5%), Distributors (7.4%) and other activities (34.6%).

After the creation of 10,157 new jobs in 2013, by January 2014 the FTZ were responsible for about 144,383 jobs.

World positioning of the Dominican Republic in exports of selected FTZ products:

1st Cigar exporter in the World.
2nd Circuit Breakers Supplier to the USA.
3rd Latin America Exporter of Medical Devices and, 5th USA Supplier.
5th USA supplier of Leather footwear.