flag Dominican Republic Dominican Republic: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

The Dominican Republic is open to foreign trade and applies a liberal and open policy, with trade representing 44% of the country's GDP. The Free Trade Zone Industrial Association (ADOZONA), which accounts for more than two-thirds of exports, is an important pillar of the country’s economy. The Dominican Republic is the 87th largest export economy in the world and the 81st largest importer. The country mainly exports gold (17.9%), medical instruments and appliances (10.2%), cigars and cigarettes (8.1%), electrical apparatus (8%), and articles of jewellery (3.7%). Its main imports include petroleum oils (7%), motor vehicles (4.3%), petroleum gas (3.1%), medicaments (3.1%), and plastic articles (2.7%).

The Dominican Republic's main trade partners are the United States, China, Switzerland, Haiti, Mexico, Canada, the Neatherlands, Spain, and Brazil. The Dominican Republic is a member of the WTO, CARICOM, and CARIFORUM. In 2018, China inaugurated a new embassy in the Dominican Republic, after the country cut ties with Taiwan. According to the American Government, China offered the Dominican Republic economic incentives in a bid for domination. Taiwan says China offered the Dominican Republic a USD 3.1 billion package of investments and loans, which China denies. The Dominican Government has stated that both countries are preparing several bilateral agreements for mutual benefits.

Like most of the Caribbean islands, the Dominican Republic has a structural trade deficit. In 2020, the country's exports of goods reached USD 10.2 billion, while imports amounted to USD 17 billion, resulting in a deficit of USD 6.7 billion. As for services, exports totalled USD 3.8 billion, while imports reached USD 3 billion over the same period. Tourism has been growing rapidly, particularly from the United States, as well as exports of manufactured goods - both of which should continue to grow. However, electricity imports have been increasing and should continue to do so until the signing of the Electricity Pact. Consequently, the electricity sector will remain a drag on growth and the fiscal position. The reactivation of international economy should permit an increase of the exportations and a reduction of the trade deficit that has been deepened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 17,12017,73420,19720,26817,047
Exports of Goods (million USD) 9,75010,13510,63811,19310,297
Imports of Services (million USD) 3,3103,1523,7654,0863,004
Exports of Services (million USD) 8,3118,5429,1049,0023,832
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 8-396-15
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 7562-30
Trade Balance (million USD) -7,559-7,600-9,559-9,075-6,749
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 5250525144
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 2827292826
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 2424242318

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
United States 53.8%
Switzerland 11.8%
Haiti 7.6%
Canada 4.1%
Netherlands 4.0%
See More Countries 18.6%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
United States 40.9%
China 17.7%
Mexico 4.2%
Spain 3.3%
Brazil 3.0%
See More Countries 31.1%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

9.9 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 17.9%
Instruments and appliances used in medical,...Instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences, incl. scintigraphic apparatus, other electro-medical apparatus and sight-testing instruments, n.e.s. 10.2%
Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of...Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes 8.1%
Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting...Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for making connections to or in electrical circuits, e.g., switches, relays, fuses, surge suppressors, plugs, sockets, lamp-holders and junction boxes, for a voltage <= 1.000 v (excl. control desks, cabinets, panels etc. of heading 8537) 8.0%
Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of...Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal (excl. articles > 100 years old) 3.7%
See More Products 52.1%
18.5 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 7.0%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.3%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 3.1%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.1%
Articles of plastics and articles of other...Articles of plastics and articles of other materials of heading 3901 to 3914, n.e.s. 2.7%
See More Products 79.8%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

9.2 bn USD of services exported in 2018
81.96%
7.04%
4.68%
3.44%
1.01%
0.85%
0.40%
0.38%
0.25%
3.2 bn USD of services imported in 2018
48.83%
17.01%
11.52%
7.30%
4.89%
4.14%
2.74%
1.56%
1.22%
0.78%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Commercial Policy

International Economic Cooperation
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of CAFTA-DR Trade Agreement
Assessment of Commercial Policy
Country’s commercial policy
Barriers to exchanges
Barriers to exchanges
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
8.22%
 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
International Economic Cooperation
Member of CAFTA-DR Trade Agreement
Useful Resources
Directorate General of Customs (in Spanish)
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The National Office of Industrial Property.
 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2022