Why invest in the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is located in the heart of the Caribbean, one of the Greater Antilles, bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean and the South by the Caribbean Sea, in the eastern two-thirds of the Island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the sister Republic of Haiti.
Its surface area is 48,442 square kilometers (18,704 sq. miles), with a population of approximately 10.64 million with an extraordinary cultural wealth and an outstanding competitive business climate.
As a Caribbean country, the temperature ranges from 25 ºC to 32 ºC during most of the year, dropping to 21ºC at sunset. In winter, the temperature may go down to 18ºC. In the mountain areas of Jarabacoa and Constanza, the temperature ranges from 16ºC down to 7ºC al after sunset. Rains can fall any time during the year but for the most part they are short showers in the afternoons and evenings.
Spanish is the official language of the country. A large part of its population speak English and French, due to the strong flow of tourists. The Dominican peso (RD$) is legal tender.
Besides the National District, there are, 31 Provinces, divided into 157 municipalities and 232 Municipal Districts. The capital, called Santo Domingo de Guzmán, enjoys the special legacy of being the oldest city of the New World, declared patrimony of humanity by UNESCO.
The government is a representative democracy, with Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches. Every four years, the President and Vice-President, Senators and Deputies, Mayors and City Council members are elected. Danilo Medina became President on 16 August 2012 and was reelected in 2016. His term ends on 16 August 2020.
The Dominican Republic has the largest economy of Central America and the Caribbean, and is known for its highly regularized economic climate. It provides important incentives to direct foreign investment in diverse sectors, as confirmed in the last report of Doing Business 2016, where the country was ranked as one of the 15 major economies with the best facility for doing business in Latin America.
During the past twenty years, the country has become one of the fastest-growing economies in the Americas, with average real GDP growth rate of 5.4% between 1992 and 2014, according to the World Bank.
The country has a very good air and port infrastructure to sustain its broad system of imports and exports. At present, it has a total of nine modern international airports, strategically located in places such as Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto Plata, Barahona, Samaná and La Romana.
The Dominican Republic currently has 12 seaports for shipping merchandise from any part of the country to any part of the world, with the Haina River Port and the Multimodal Caucedo Port being the largest movers of containers. The other sea terminals in the country have specialized in the handling of cargos specific to their respective regions.
The country has a well-organized business community characterized by the welcoming of foreign investment, directed towards exportation and with a long-term commitment. The country has signed five free trade treaties, with DR--CAFTA (DR, Central America and the US) and EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement, the European Union) being the most relevant to the exporter sector. CARICOM-DR (DR and the Caribbean Community) embraces the DR’s Caribbean neighbors. The DR also entered into a treaty with de Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua and a separate treaty with Panama signed on 17 July 1985.
The DR has become the prime exporter of certain categories. In agriculture, it has the ecologic biodiversity, climate and soil suited to crops that have become export staples. Dominican soil yields organic cacao, exported in large quantities to Germany, Italy, Spain, France, the United States and the Islands of the Caribbean.
The Dominican Republic is 22nd in the world and 8th in Latin America producing banana and Dominican bananas stand out in flavor, size and quality. In 2015, the country exported over US$120 million dollars’ worth of traditional and organic fresh bananas to the European Union and the Islands of the Caribbean, with the later representing 55% of total exports.
Avocados are the third agricultural export, including Semil, Choquerre, Hall, Lula and Hass varieties, raised by over 9,000 producers. The US market, the most demanding at the time of importing fruits and vegetables, is the major importer of Hass avocados from the Dominican Republic.
Industrial exports include plastics, beauty products and rum. The authorities have established a legal framework for Dominican products to be competitive via Law No. 392-07 on Industrial Innovation and Competitiveness, which set the foundations for Dominican origin industrial products to be inserted in the international market at the best prices and complying with the highest quality standards.
Minerals such as gold ore, ferrous nickel and copper have made the Dominican Republic the oldest mining exporter of the American continent, being a major exporter to Canada and Switzerland. The country has large and diverse mining reserves, including the second largest gold ore reserve in America.
The special framework of free zones in the Dominican Republic offers a long list of incentives and benefits under Law No. 8-90 on Export Free Zones. Free zone companies receive 100% exemption of the income taxes established by Law No. 5911, of 22 May 1962 and its modifications. They also receive exemptions from taxes on constructions, contracts, loans, and the registration and transfer of real properties, as part of the constitution of the corresponding free zone operator, patents, assets and patrimony and the ITBIS value-added tax.
Free Zone companies are also exempt from the taxes on the formation of commercial corporations, the increase of capital of same, exemptions of all import taxes, tariffs, customs duties and other related levies, which affect the raw materials, equipment, construction materials, building parts, office equipment, etc., all for constituting, furnishing or operating in the free zones.
Dominican free zones export fine cigars, circuit breakers, cotton t-shirts, medical instruments for blood transfusion and orthodontic devices, with constant diversification of products.
The service sector has more than 150 ¨Call Centers¨ established under Law No. 8-90 on Free Zones, allowing them to make use of major tax exemptions and other benefits.
Law No. 16-95 allows foreign investors who decide to invest in areas such as tourism or any other area to receive the same treatment as nationals, and to repatriate 100% of profits and free convertibility of funds.
Every day, the Dominican Republic bets on innovation as a transversal component for transformation and the competiveness of its products and services, generating added value and a skilled workforce. The authorities are committed to offering the best scenario possible and incentives for investment and stability for investors.
With a well-articulated, innovative and environmentally stable economy, the country has the broad experience to make its economy an expert in exportation, adapting to the most sophisticated productive processes based on quality, doing no harm, quantity and consistency.
ADOEXPO maintains a dynamic role in setting out diverse tools and facilities to international purchasers to show the world the best of the Dominican Republic.