Dominican Republic Trade and Foreign Investment

By | July 23, 2022


  • Business Relationships
  • Foreign direct investment
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

Trade relations between the EU and DR have intensified in the last decade, thanks in part to the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Association Agreement. Within the framework of the Cotonou Agreement, the EU contributed significantly to the integration of the DR into the international economy and the development of economic and trade relations. The EU is the second most important trading partner of the DR and represents approximately 10% of the country’s total foreign trade. Exports from the EU increased to EUR billion in 2021, after a decrease in 2020, and imports to the DR rose slightly to EUR billion in 2021. The trade balance has been negative for a long time. Mainly industrial and transport equipment, industrial products and chemicals are exported from the EU to the DR. DR mainly imports agricultural products, food, beverages and cigars to the EU.

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in Dominican Republic, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.
2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 1,632.40 1,895.30 1,965.20 1,621.50 2,149.00
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 749.8 779 935.1 900.2 1,100.10
Balance with the EU (million EUR) -882.6 -1 116.3 -1,030.1 -721.3 -1,048.9

Source: European Commission

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

Exports from the Czech Republic to the DR have been stable in the last two years. In 2021, goods worth CZK 0.2 billion were exported to the DR. Goods worth CZK 0.5 billion were imported. Mainly fruit, spirits, tobacco, cocoa, coffee, tea, spices, pharmaceuticals, devices and equipment are imported to the Czech Republic, on the other hand, mainly plastic and paper products, construction materials, fertilizers, spirits, food of animal origin, motor vehicles are exported to the Czech Republic vehicles, boilers, electronics.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.2 ON
Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.1 0.4 0.4 0.4 ON
Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK) -0.3 0.1 0.3 0.3 ON

Source: CZSO

Trade relations with countries outside the EU

Despite the fact that Dominican exports to countries outside the EU increased by more than EUR 1 billion over the last year, a long-term characteristic of the Dominican economy is a negative trade balance. At the same time, however, the significant increase in the value of imports by EUR 5 billion is not necessarily caused by a greater purchase of goods, but rather by an increase in the prices of imported products, both finished products and raw materials or transport.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from countries outside the EU (million EUR) 6,982.0 7,210.6 7,570.6 7 131.2 8,389.3
Imports to countries outside the EU (million EUR) 14,324.4 16,388.7 16,292.5 13,589.3 18,654.0
Balance with non-EU countries (million EUR) -7,342.3 -9 178.1 -8,721.9 -6,458.1 -10,264.7

Source: EIU, Eurostat

Foreign direct investment

The DR is one of the main recipients of foreign direct investment in the Central America and Caribbean region, with an annual average of around USD 2.59 billion over the past 12 years. According to the statistics of the Dominican Central Bank, the DR attracted a total of USD 3.09 billion in 2021, which is the third highest value since 2010. Almost a quarter of all foreign direct investments go to the DR from the USA (24%), followed by investments from Canada, Brazil and Spain. Following the severing of diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 2018 and the opening of the Chinese embassy in Santo Domingo, bilateral trade relations are developing and Chinese investment in the country is growing, but it is not allowed in strategic sectors.

Investments in DR are directed and supported especially in development zones. These zones saw a year-on-year increase of 22.7% between 2020 and 2021. The zones are present in 28 of the 32 provinces and provide employment opportunities for the local population and state-supported investment incentives for foreign firms.

The country publishes an investment guide, which defines areas not only suitable for investment, but also provides information on how to proceed when entering the market, or when establishing a branch. The guide is available at:

FTAs and treaties

Treaties with the EU

The Dominican Republic is a member of many free trade agreements. Among the most important is DR-CAFTA. On October 15, 2008, the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the CARIFORUM countries, the so-called EPA Agreement, was signed and approved by the Dominican Parliament in 2009. There are more than 50 “Zonas Francas” free trade zones in the country. More than 500 companies are still active in these zones and have been enjoying various tax breaks for 15 years.

Contracts with the Czech Republic

The Dominican Republic has no bilateral agreement with the Czech Republic.

Developmental cooperation

The Dominican Republic is not a priority country for the Czech Republic’s foreign development cooperation.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

The Dominican Republic is not included in the ILO. For those interested in doing business with the Caribbean region, the Dominican Republic can be a very interesting market. The country supports free trade and strives for the maximum development of foreign trade, for example through relatively clear legislation and favorable conditions for foreign investors. It also creates foreign platforms and organizes support consultations at its embassies. Despite all the government’s efforts, the country still faces a relatively high level of corruption, and it is therefore good to establish correct contacts with Dominican partners and to pay attention to all the details of the business contract, the quality of the partner and his background and financial possibilities. It is recommended to use the services of local reputable legal and consulting offices.

Dominican Republic Trade