Mapping Dominican Republic Imports and Exports

importing into dominican republic

Dominican Republic exports: A history of growth to glowing forecasts

2022 should be one of the best years for exports from the Dominican Republic. With it’s economy negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, it’s expected to recover greatly this year, as borders have largely opened.

The Dominican Republic is an economic powerhouse across Latin America and the Caribbean, with an average gross domestic product increase of 5.3% from 2000 to 2019, a rare 6.7% descent in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic followed by a 12.3% ascent in 2021 (World Bank figures).

Even though the pandemic caused a rare economic downshift in 2020, things remain durable and the growth projections are still positive.

“In Central America and the Dominican Republic, product growth continues to be strong, driven by larger-than-expected remittances flows, better financial conditions, and good harvests.” – Alejandro Werner, Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Western Hemisphere Department.

Going by the IMF’s historically sound predictions, we should expect the country’s economy to increase by 5.5% in 2022, significantly higher than the expectations of bordering nations. The government’s Decree 437-17 will undoubtedly contribute a great deal to meeting economic growth milestones.

Decree 437-17 constitutes an effort by the Dominican government to foster collaboration between the country’s public and private business-oriented institutions to achieve a healthy export industry and form a firm export culture. It has already taken steps in this direction, such as accelerating construction permits, renewing patents, and making it easy to form corporations to export medicines, food, cosmetics, and other products. 

USA and Canada lead North American imports from Dominican Republic

The world’s foremost economic powerhouse, the USA, is aptly the biggest importer of products from the Dominican Republic. And, with the American economy continuing to grow, the Dominican Republic is likely to follow suit.

The main products the USA imports from the Dominican Republic include;

  • Medical equipment
  • Cigarettes
  • Jewelry
  • Electrical apparatus
  • Shoes
  • Cotton apparel 
  • Drugs and pharmaceutical therapies 

The USA imported $5.35 billion worth of products from the Dominican Republic in 2020. Medical equipment accounted for 16% of total imports, cigars 14%, and electrical apparatus 13.3%. 

Canada is also a big importer from the Dominican Republic, with $477 million worth of imports in 2020. It’s the fourth-biggest patronizer of Dominican products, mostly gold. A lot of the country’s Dominican imports come from Barrick Gold, a publicly-traded mining corporation specializing in gold and copper. 

European imports from Dominican Republic

The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland are the top-five European commercial partners with the Dominican Republic. They collectively make up the country’s second-biggest export market, only beaten by North America. 

Widely-used products like cigarettes, alcohol and cocoa plant are the biggest Dominican exports to European nations. But, the assortment of exports from the country is increasing lately and transforming the commercial relationship from one that’s concentrated with a few dominant products to one that’s diversified and redundant. 

Medical equipment, footwear, plastic products, and ferroalloys are some products that the Dominican Republic is increasingly shipping to Europe lately. For example, the Netherlands is now the second-biggest patronizer of Dominican’s footwear sector and the third-biggest importer of plastic goods.

Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands are the biggest importers of medical equipment produced in the Dominican Republic. This factor shows that the landscape of the nation’s European exports is undergoing rapid changes.

Asian imports from Dominican Republic: China and India lead the way

Indian exports: A concentrated market

India is a big importer from the Dominican Republic. It imported $199 million worth of products from the country in 2020, of which the majority came from only three goods; gold (90%), ferroalloys (4%), and waste/scrap paper (1.4%).

Chinese exports: Raw materials lead but diversification abounds

China has the upper hand in the commercial relationship between it and the Dominican Republic, as it contributed 28% of the country’s total exports in 2020. In contrast, Dominican imports to China made up just less than 0.1% of the country’s total imports.

However, the relatively meager exports from the Dominican Republic and other nations of Latin America to China aren’t bound to remain that way. China is a major patronizer of medical equipment from the region and will likely remain in that position as time goes on, spurring significant growth.

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