Embassy of the Dominican Republic in the United Arab Emirates
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Preferential Market Access

Preferential Market Access

Dominican Republic is an upper middle-income developing country primarily dependent on agriculture, trade, and services, especially tourism. Due principally to the growth in tourism and Free Trade Zones, the service sector has recently overtaken agriculture as the leading employer of Dominicans, yet agriculture remains the most important sector in terms of domestic consumption and is in second place after mining (ferronickel, gold, and silver) in terms of export earnings.


It is an important activity in the country. The main minerals found in the country are gold, silver, nickel, marble, limestone, and granite. The Dominican Republic has a very active mineral exploration sector, with the mining of minerals, both metallic and non-metallic, being an important aspect of the economy. The Government is carrying out several programs to promote foreign investment in this sector.


The Dominican Republic has large tropical forests and many agricultural areas that make its land suitable for growing a great variety of crops. About 17% of the labor force is engaged in farming and agriculture remains the primary occupation. The main agricultural products are rice, beans, sugar, coffee, cocoa, tobacco and plantain. Organic products of the Dominican Republic have also become very popular in international markets such as dry coconuts, bananas, bio dynamic bananas, pineapple, mangos, lemons, green coffee, aromatic herbs, organic coconut crude oil and cacao.
After Cuba, the Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean producer of sugarcane (the nation’s most important crop), and the world’s fourth largest producer of sugar. Cocoa and tobacco are also grown for export. Dominican Republic is one of the top 10 major producers and exporters of cocoa in the world.


The predominant livestock on the island are beef, dairy cattle, chickens, and pigs. The country is essentially self-sufficient in its production of basic meats.

International trade

It plays a key role in the Dominican economy. Imported components are estimated to account for 60% of the value of the goods consumed in the local market, while exports have increased considerably in the last years mainly through the development of free zones. The Dominican Republic's main trading partners are the United States (75% of export revenues). Other markets include Canada, Western Europe, and Japan. The Dominican Republic has a trade agreement with the United States known as D.R-CAFTA and also with the European community which is called EPA. Both trade agreements provide free access to those markets for the goods produced in the Dominican Republic.
An important characteristic of the Dominican economy is the Free Trade Zone industry (FTZ).


Import products come from all over the world but close to 40 % comes from the United States.
Export is a striking sector with good perspectives for growth due to the special rights that the Dominican Republic enjoys in order to export its products to the United State and Europe, together with the development of trade liberalization with its neighbours of Latin America and the Caribbean. The country exports a wide variety of finished and semi-finished products. A significant part of exports takes place within the free zone system such as:


$6.161 billion (2010 est.)

Export goods

ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods

Main export partners

United States 54.08%, Haiti 9.78% (2009)


$14.53 billion (2010 est.)

Import goods

foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Main import partners

United States 42.79%, Venezuela 7.04%, Mexico 6.17%, Colombia 5.59% (2009)

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