By TBY | Dominican Republic | Feb 04, 2015
The Dominican Republic exports approximately 3,700 lines of merchandise to more than 60 countries around the world. The US is, by far, the country's main export partner, followed by Haiti, China, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, and Spain.
The Dominican Republic’s exports averaged $540.41 million from 1997 until 2014, reaching an all-time high of $949.50 million in May 2013. The reduction of the persistently negative balance of trade became one of the priorities of the Dominican Republic’s government, which have already seen the first results of their work. In 2013 alone, the country reduced its trade deficit by over $1.5 billion, which represents a decrease of 15.3%, in comparison to 2012.
The Dominican Republic exports approximately 3,700 lines of merchandise to more than 60 countries around the world. The US is, by far, the country’s main export partner, followed by Haiti, China, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, and Spain. According to Jean Alain Rodríguez, CEI-RD’s Executive Director, in many of these markets, Dominican products “have high probabilities of increasing their sales.” Sadala Khoury, ADOEXPO’s president, shares Rodríguez’s position and believes that “products such as rum, which are popular in the European market, and fresh tropical fruits that are characteristic of our country, such as mangoes, bananas, and pineapples all have strong potential for increased export.”
The Dominican Republic’s top export categories include: ferronickel, cigars, plastic, electrical equipment, bananas, jewelry, medical equipment, clothing, scrap metals, and beverages. Furthermore, the country is currently the largest exporter of cigars to the US and the second largest exporter of cocoa in Latin America and the Caribbean. While the Dominican Republic’s primary trading partner is, by far, the US (56% of total exports), the country aims to diversify its exports portfolio and expand trade throughout the world. In the words of Khoury, the Dominican Republic is “a country with great potential, not only because of the climate and fertile soils, but also because of its geographical location in the center of the Caribbean,” and “should make maximum use of the adjacent islands, the countries of Latin America, Canada, and of course the rising Asian markets.” In addition to these export categories, CEI-RD has recently observed a growing demand for pineapples, citrus fruits, passion fruits, and melons—products that the Dominican Republic is able to deliver at higher quality than other countries, mainly due to its location allowing the country to shorten logistics transport by up to 3 days.
EXPORT AND INVESTMENT
The Center for Export and Investment of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) is the agency responsible for the promotion of international trade and FDI. The agency was created after the merger of the Dominican Center for Export Promotion (CEDOPEX) and the Office for the Promotion of Investment (OPI-RD), as stated in Law 98 03, effective as of June 17th, 2003.
CEI-RD’s mandate regarding exports focuses on increasing training programs for exporters and producers with export potential. This entails export project financing and initiatives such as the creation of the Export Development Bank (BANDEX), whose mission is the development and financing of export-focused production.
DOMINICAN EXPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION (ADOEXPO)
ADOEXPO is an association created to promote the growth of Dominican exports by training exporters and performing activities supporting the sector, such as trade shows, seminars, trainings, workshops, and lunch-conferences. Its membership is made up of a diverse set of small, medium, and large export companies, as well as associations and federations of different export sectors of the Dominican Republic, including agriculture, industry, and services sectors.
ADOEXPO also offers financing services to exporters and companies with export potential through its Pro-Exporta Popular program, an initiative launched in partnership with Banco Popular. This strategy is designed to supply companies with knowledge of the export process, in tandem with specialized support in financing machinery and raw materials, collection services, and the transfer of international remittances.