The Republic of Dominica is an island nation that is located in between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean in the Caribbean. Southeast of Dominica lies Martinique and to the northwest is the island of Guadeloupe. Dominica covers an impressive 290 square miles and has a population of approximately 72,500 people. The currency of the country is the East Caribbean Dollar which is tied at a fixed rate to the US Dollar. The Dominica economy is slowly growing and it has several industries that contribute to its stability.
Strength of Agriculture in Dominica Economy
The island of Dominica has changed hands many times between the 17th and 19th centuries, yet it has maintained a relatively steady economy since that time. During the earlier years the country was a great resource for wood and forestry became its mainstay from the early 18th century. There was little in the way of sugar cane production on the island to contribute to the Dominica economy at this time but the country did turn its hand to producing other products for the agricultural market.
Indeed, agriculture is one of the primary industries that is stabilising the Dominica economy today. The island is one of the largest producers of bananas and other fruits such as coconuts and citrus fruits are also a prominent feature in this sector. The government has also taken initiatives to diversify the agricultural sector by broadening its products to include aloe vera, coffee, patchouli, mangoes and papayas. Although only 22% of the land on the island is arable, the rich fertile soil makes it very easy to grow different crops for local consumption and export. The agriculture industry accounts for 20% of the country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) rate and employs around 40% of the total workforce, making it a crucial part of the Dominica economy.
Growth of Manufacturing & Tourism in Dominica Economy
Manufacturing is a secondary industry on the island and mainly produces soap products and products that can use up the by-products made by the agricultural industry as a whole. Other manufacturing businesses on Dominica include two distilleries, four small furniture factories and two bottling plants.
Tourism is also another sector that is growing on the island and it is hoped that it will strengthen enough to be able to contribute significantly to the Dominica economy. Currently the majority of tourists are staying on the island to experience rainforest hikes and the island also sees quite a few cruise ships arriving on its shores. Approximately 75,000 people visited Dominica each year and it is hoped with the development of hotels and the promotion of interesting hotspots that the tourism sector on the island has to offer will continue to grow rapidly.
The Next Financial Services Hotspot?
Although only a small part of the industry on the island, Dominica has started to dip its toes in the financial services industry. At the moment there are relatively few companies and offshore banks that have registered with Dominica, but the government is trying to attract a larger client base by making registration easy and economical for potential clients.
It is apparent that the Dominica economy has plenty of room for growth and is currently somewhat more stable than some other Caribbean countries in this part of the world. With the government taking an interest in improving the future of the island, there is great possibility in the island's economy going from strength to strength in the very near future.