Exporting guide to Dominican Republic
Strong, stable economy
The Dominican Republic is the largest market in the Caribbean and Central America, with a GDP of $88 billion in 2019 (World Bank). The currency and the political and economic environments are stable.
Good match for UK exports
The country has an open economy with a strong appetite for imported goods and technology, and a growing recognition of UK brands and service offerings in areas such as education.
Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in the Dominican Republic have identified opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:
Food and drink
Demand for Scotch whisky and other alcoholic beverages
Scotch whisky is the number one product exported from the UK to the Dominican Republic.
Demand for imported meat and dairy products
There is a niche market for imported meat products in the Dominican Republic.
Demand for vegan and “free from foods”
There is a high-increasing appetite for vegan and “free from foods” brands in the Dominican Republic market.
Current large construction projects
There are opportunities for UK companies to get involved with large construction projects. These include the extension of the Santo Domingo Metro system, the second phase of the Santo Domingo Beltway, refurbishment of ports and other large regional and transportation planning projects. Products and services including materials like steel are wanted in the ‘green building’ sector.
Future projects that could provide opportunities for UK companies are a railway project linking Santo Domingo and Santiago, the development of the San Souci district of Santo Domingo, and the construction of 2 international airports. The new elected government has shown interest in road infrastructure, ports, urban mobility, affordable housing and hospitals.
Demand for renewable energy
The Dominican Republic is developing its renewable energy sources - wind power, solar photovoltaic (PV) and biomass. Hydroelectricity and the construction of mini hydro generation plants are of particular interest, as they can provide energy in rural communities. These projects will require supplies and equipment.
Demand for generation back-up sources
The grid is state owned and distributed through 3 state entities. Generation is by private companies. Costs to the consumer are very high due to losses, theft, low collection rates and frequent power cuts. There is an opportunity for UK companies to provide back-up generation sources for businesses and private homes.
Demand for technology and machinery
Several opportunities exist for UK exporters to provide the Dominican Republic with agricultural technology and machinery. This includes technologies to obtain or produce organic fertilisers at lower cost, heavy machinery and tools for field crops, irrigation systems, fumigation equipment, fruit processing equipment and animal genetics for the beef and milk industries.
Demand for expertise and training
The Dominican Republic is looking for training on heavy agricultural machinery, field crop tools and crop protection. They are also looking for help establishing a tissue culture laboratory to multiply cacao plants, help with obtaining fair trade certifications, and advice and best practice for all areas of the sector.
Educational technology and supplies
ICT tools are required at a basic educational level, as is interactive content for mathematics and science courses. There are also opportunities to supply software for engineering educational courses and laboratory equipment for secondary, technical colleges and technical universities.
UK English language teaching is especially respected, and UK education has already had considerable input to the country’s English language teaching. The government has also incentivised learning English through training programmes abroad in English-speaking countries. Online courses for language training are in demand.
Management and vocational training
There are opportunities for consultancy services for vocational and technical training projects. Management training for school directors and administrators is also required.
Demand for healthcare affiliates
Healthcare is established as a fundamental right for all Dominican citizens by law and there is a regulated social security system. The total expenditure as a percentage of GDP was 6.14% in 2017 (World Bank).
Demand for medical devices
Public and private sector hospital construction, social security requirements and an increase in medical tourism are expected to continue driving the demand for medical equipment.
Pharmaceuticals and technology
The country’s health ministry is set to update its product evaluation mechanisms, which will give UK companies better market access opportunities.