The Dominican Republic is an island located at the core of the Antilles Archipelago in the Caribbean and it is the second in extension within the Greater Antilles. The Dominican economy is generally considered to be lower middle income with the majority of business being small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs).
About half of Dominicans live in rural areas and many are small landholders. More than three-quarters of the population have low educational attainment levels, reaching only a secondary level of education.
The country has a representative democratic system of government, yet antidemocratic and exclusivist processes take place at all levels within the government, which result in a political system that promotes corruption and irresponsibility and encourages a lack of governance. This affects the role of regulatory institutions and organizational dynamics in both the public and private sector, as well as the way business is generally conducted, as there is evidence of a lack of business ethics that affects both social and political life.
In terms of economic development, after processes of economic and political transformation in the 1970s and 1980s, the 1990s were a period of accelerated social transformation. Following a global and regional trend, the country moved toward the readaptation of its productive apparatus and commercial openness aimed at regional integration and global insertion. After an initial recession in 1990–91, the country adopted sound macroeconomic policies oriented at attracting and creating a new environment for direct foreign investment, which resulted in a decade of continual growth in the economy. For instance, the gross national product (GNP) grew speedily from 1993 to 2000, reaching 7.7 percent per year from 1996 to 2000. As a result, the rate of expansion of Dominican production sustained the highest levels in the Latin American region, widely surpassing the regional average. Similar rates have been maintained to the present. However, though there has been a notable economic growth, this was not balanced with the development of institutional reforms and policies needed to increase distributive equality, create long term sustainability, protect macroeconomic stability, and achieve consolidation of the state of law.
The primary bases of revenue are tourism and free trade zones. The main economic sectors are services (tourism and transportation), industrial production (sugar refining, pharmaceuticals, cement, light manufacturing, construction, and non-fuel minerals such as nickel, gold, and silver), and agriculture (sugarcane, coffee, cocoa, bananas, tobacco, rice, plantains, and beef ). In addition, the economy relies heavily on transfers from Dominicans living abroad (US$1.6 billion).
In terms of trade, the Dominican economy is very active both with exports and imports. The exports are mainly from processing and free trade zones (FTZ) and include textiles, sugar, coffee, ferronickel, cacao, tobacco, meats, and medical supplies exported to the United States, Canada, western Europe, and South Korea. The country imports foodstuffs, petroleum, industrial raw materials, and capital goods from the United States, Japan, Germany, Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia.
Economic activity has increased; for example, total imports in 2004 amounted to US$7.84 billion, and in 2007 they amounted to US$8.797 billion. This has been strengthened by the country’s 2005 ratification and 2007 implementation of the Dominican Republic–Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), which was signed by the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua with the United States and is expected to promote substantial economic growth, especially in the FTZ industry.
As shown, the Dominican Republic maintains business and trade relationships with a variety of countries throughout the world. Regionally, though the country has not been successful in its attempt to become part of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), it signed the CARICOM–Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect in 2001 and helps the country expand its commercial markets, especially encouraging special trading arrangements in agricultural products. In addition, the country is a member of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), benefiting from the Association’s special committees that focus on reinforcing regional policies in trade, transport, sustainable tourism, and natural disasters for the Caribbean Basin.
- Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, Republica Dominicana: Documento de Pais,idbdocs.iadb.org (cited March 2009);
- Espinal, J. Hartlyn, and J. M. Kelly, “Performance Still Matters: Explaining Trust in Government in the Dominican Republic,” Comparative Political Studies (v.39/2, 2006);
- E. Finkel, C. A. Sabatini, and G. G. Bevis, “Civic Education, Civil Society, and Political Mistrust in a Developing Democracy: The Case of the Dominican Republic,” World Development (v.28/11, 2000);
- F. Jaramillo and D. Lederman, “DR-CAFTA: Challenges and Opportunities for Central America” (World Bank, 2005);
- Saladin, “The Dominican Republic,” in Latin American Business, R. Crane and C. Rizowy, eds. (Pearson PrenticeHall, 2005);
- United States Agency for International Development, Estrategias 2002–2007: Fortalecimiento de la Democracia y la Buena Gobernabilidad, 2007, www.usaid.gov (cited March 2009).
This example Dominican Republic Essay is published for educational and informational purposes only. If you need a custom essay or research paper on this topic please use our writing services. EssayEmpire.com offers reliable custom essay writing services that can help you to receive high grades and impress your professors with the quality of each essay or research paper you hand in.