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years have seen dramatic improvements in both the general economy and balance
of payments in the Dominican Republic. Recent growth has been higher than
the estimated Gross Domestic Product of other Latin American nations for
the the same statistical period. The 1996 Gross Domestic Product of the
Dominican Republic was 7.3%, and inflation for the same year, 3.8%.
The Gross Domestic Product for 1997 has been calculated at 8.2% by the
The Dominican Republic previously held Special Drawing Rights with the International Monetary Fund, which had expired in 1994. Due to the state of the economy and positive growth, The Dominican Republic has not needed to re-new these rights.
The Dominican Republic has consistenly maintained a very favorable balance of payments, ranking it a positive second place among all Latin American countries in 1994.
The nation's trade deficit has been calculated at a meager 1.5% of the GDP, making it's ecomomy much sounder in this category than it's larger neighbor to the north, the United States.
Sectors of growth in 1996 and 1997 include the following:
Telecommunications ~ 16.7 % Growth in 1996 and 19.2 % Growth in 1997
Construction ~ 13.6 % Growth in 1996 and 17.1 % Growth in 1997
Hotels & Tourism ~ 9.5 % Growth in 1996 and 16.7 % Growth in 1997
~ 9.6% Growth in 1996.
The country has made tremendous progress with the growth of it's tourism industry. It is estimated that the Dominican Republic has some of the highest hotel occupancy statistics in comparison to it's other Cairbbean neighbors. In addition, guests that visit the Dominican Republic tend to stay longer (10 to 14 days) than the average 7 days for other Caribbean destinations. Recent figures indicate that the tourism sector is comprised of: 64% visitors from Europe, 11% from the US, 11% from Canada, 7% from other nations in the Caribbean, and the balance of visitors coming from other countries or regions. To be sure, the tourism sectors stands to grow even further once a larger share of the North-American market is achieved.
Although tourism is one area to look at, there are tremendous opportunities (and certain favorable tax incentives or legislation) in the Financial Services sector, Mining, Electricity and other sources of energy, Telecommunications, and Insurance. In addition, the free zone compounds, and related government incentive programs, offer opporunities for a variety of firms to achieve substantial benefits from relocation to the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic hosts the fourth largest number of Free Zone facilities worldwide. The zero tax, zero duty ~ Free Zone environment is ideal for a number of business applications.