The Dominican Republic experienced strong GDP growth beginning in the late 1990’s. As a consequence, the Dominican Republic, with a population of 10 million, now benefits from increased private investment, exchange rate stability, lower interest rates, and increased job creation. The country’s GDP is about $80 billion.
Although the Dominican Republic was historically an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer, driven in part by tourism and free trade zones. The country’s total annual merchandise trade with the rest of the world runs at over $20 billion, with exports substantially outweighed by imports.
Even prior to CAFTA, U.S. products held approximately a 53 percent market share in the Dominican Republic, which has since grown further. Consequently, the United States exports more to the Dominican Republic than it does to Egypt, Indonesia, or Portugal for example.
The key U.S. export sectors benefiting most from immediate duty elimination with CAFTA include information technology products, paper products, agricultural and construction equipment, wood, medical and scientific equipment, and pharmaceuticals. U.S. investment in the country has increased as U.S. apparel firms and designers turn to the Dominican Republic to produce their creations.
For more information about the Dominican Republic, visit any of the following links:
Doing Business in the Dominican Republic, U.S. Department of Commerce
The World Factbook, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Background Note: the Dominican Republic, U.S. Department of State
Country profile: the Dominican Republic, the BBC
The World Bank Group. Doing Business: the Dominican Republic
Florida-Origin Exports to the Dominican Republic
Florida's Merchandise Trade with the Dominican Republic