Exporting to Dominican Republic
Strong, stable economy
The Dominican Republic is the largest market in the Caribbean and Central America with a GDP of $81 billion in 2018 (World Bank, 2019). It has an open economy with a strong appetite for imported goods and technology. The currency and the political and economic environments are stable.
Foreign direct investment
The Dominican Republic is a regional leader in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), with inward FDI stock totalling $36.5 billion US dollars in 2017 (ONS, 2018). Historically, the UK is a significant investor in the Dominican Republic. UK direct investment amounted to £93 million in 2017 (ONS, 2018).
Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in the Dominican Republic have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.
Food and drink
Interest in UK products
Very few British products are currently available in supermarkets in the Dominican Republic. Most supermarket chains are family-owned businesses and have shown interest in sourcing UK products. A strong combination of quality, price and niche appeal will help products break into the market.
Demand for Scotch whisky
Scotch whisky is the number one product exported from the UK to the Dominican Republic.
Demand for imported meat
There is a niche market for imported meat products in the Dominican Republic.
Current large construction projects
There are several 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, and the rehabilitation of ports. There are other large projects related to regional and transportation planning. The Dominican Republic will also need products and services in the ‘green building’ sector, as well as in provision of materials, such as steel.
Possible 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 two international airports.
Demand for renewable energy
The Dominican Republic is developing its renewable energy practices: biofuels, biomass, wind power, wave turbines and solar photovoltaic (PV) power. 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 three 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 private 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.