Dominican Republic - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview
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With a population of 11.2 million consumers and a GDP of $113.6 billion in 2022, the Dominican Republic (DR) is the ninth largest economy in Latin America and the largest in the Caribbean region open for commercial trade.  A middle-income country, the economy is based on tourism, agriculture, Free Trade Zone (FTZ) manufacturing, mining, real estate, and service industries.

Real GDP grew by 4.9% in 2022, illustrating the economy’s continued robust post-COVID recovery and continuing the country’s remarkable run as one of the fastest-growing Latin American countries over the last 50 years.  The country has become increasingly urbanized in the last 15 years, with more than 80% of the population now living in cities. U.S. companies may find opportunities in the key economic sectors of construction, agriculture, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, transportation, and FTZ manufacturing. U.S. companies may also find opportunities in areas related to information and communication technology (ICT) and disaster preparedness.

There is very high receptivity to U.S. goods and services, and U.S. product standards are generally accepted.  The U.S. Census Bureau reports bilateral trade between the United States and the DR amounted to $20.9 billion in 2022, with U.S. exports to the DR totaling $14.02 billion, making the DR the sixth largest Latin American importer of U.S. goods and services.

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 United States of more than two million people, clustered primarily in the northeastern states and Florida, whose remittances help support the DR economy. Dominican businesspersons are frequent visitors to the United States and are very familiar with U.S. business practices. In addition, there are over 250,000 U.S. citizens living in the Dominican Republic. 

As a member of the Central American and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) since 2007, duties on imports of U.S. products have been mostly eliminated on manufactured goods, with the remainder scheduled for elimination by 2025.

The opposition Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) won a resounding victory in the July 2020 Dominican general election, ending 16 years of dominance by the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). Civil society and international observers praised the Dominican people and electoral authorities for a voting process that was orderly and peaceful.  The PRM also secured a majority in the Senate and strong representation in the Chamber of Deputies. President Abinader has made several public statements about his administration’s anticorruption efforts, and in 2022, the Dominican Congress passed civil asset forfeiture legislation that demonstrates its seriousness in combating corruption. The Abinader administration has initiated several efforts to improve the overall investment climate in the DR, with an eye to attracting additional U.S. and Western investors. However, concerns over corruption, weak rule of law, and other inefficiencies continue to be a concern for U.S. companies interested in exploring local market opportunities.  Abinader has announced he will run for re-election in 2024.

Political Environment

Visit the State Department’s website for background on the country’s political and economic environment: Dominican Republic