Dominican Republic - Market OverviewD.R. - Market Overview
With a population of 10.1 million consumers and a nominal GDP of $71.6 billion, the Dominican Republic (DR) is the tenth largest economy in Latin America and the largest in the Caribbean region. A middle income country, with a GDP per capita of approximately $7,100, the economy is based on tourism, agriculture, Free Trade Zone manufacturing and service industries.
GDP increase of 6.6 percent in 2016 is a result of dynamic growth within key economic sectors including, construction, agriculture, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, transportation and local manufacturing. During the same period, inflation decreased from 2.34 percent in 2015 to 1.70 percent in 2016 due to equilibrium between an increase in international prices of petroleum, which impacted the transportation and construction sectors, and high growth in the agricultural sector after a severe drought in 2015.
The U.S. share of the DR consumer goods market is estimated at approximately 70 percent. There is extremely high receptivity to U.S. goods and services and U.S. product standards are generally accepted. Bi-lateral trade between the United States and the DR amounted to US$ 12.47 billion in 2016, with U.S. exports to the DR totaling US$7.8 billion and imports from the DR of US$ 4.68 billion – a positive trade balance for the U.S. of US$ 3.1 billion.
The Central American and DR Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), was implemented in March 2007. Under CAFTA-DR, duties on imports of U.S. products have been eliminated on approximately 92 percent of manufactured goods, with the remainder scheduled for gradual elimination in coming years.
The strength of the trade relationship stems from close geographic proximity and the historic cultural and personal ties that many Dominicans have with the United States. This is reinforced by a Dominican diaspora in the U.S. of almost two million people, clustered primarily in the northeastern states and Florida, whose remittance payments help support the home-country economy. Dominican businesspersons are frequent visitors to United States and are very familiar with U.S. business practices.
Dominican Republic Trade Development and Promotion