|Dominican Republic Economy|
The Dominican Republic is a nation that is situated on the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the country of Haiti to the west. The Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean, after Cuba, and covers a staggering 18,704 square miles. There are approximately 10 million people inhabiting the country and the Dominican Republic has been settled on since the 7th century. The nation uses the Dominican Peso with the American US Dollar being used as a reserve by the Dominican Central Bank. The Dominican Republic economy is very stable and has several industries that contribute to its success in the region.
Agriculture in the Dominican Republic Economy
The Dominican Republic was one of the Caribbean countries which were prominent in the production of sugar cane and coffee after it was taken over by the Haitians in the early part of the 18th century. This stable industry lasted well into the early 20th century and then began to dwindle as the demand for sugar diminished. Sugar cane production and manufacture was still part of the Dominican Republic economy well into the 1950s even though many of the plantations had closed in the 1920s.
Today one of the nation's top economic industries is agriculture in a slightly different form and sugar cane production has come back into its own with more than 12 sugar mills, both private and public, operational on the island. Around 30% of the land on the island is suitable for producing crops and after sugar cane coffee, tobacco, potatoes, rice and cocoa are also exported to different export partners.
Tourism in the Dominican Republic
After agriculture, the next biggest contributor to the Dominican Republic economy is tourism. Indeed, the island is one of the most popular travel destinations with an estimated 1 million visitors each year. The island also has the largest number of hotel rooms of all the Caribbean islands with a total of over 70,000. Tourism is also responsible for ensuring that a substantial amount of the workforce is employed. Out of a total workforce number of 3.9 million, 50,000 people are employed directly in the tourism sector.
Indirectly, the tourism trade also helps employment statistics as there are over 110,000 people employed in jobs such as tourist guides, transport services and retail staff. Even though the tourist trade is booming, there are plans for the island to expand the niche of eco-tourism even further in the future.
Economic Triple Threat
Manufacturing also plays a fairly important part in the Dominican Republic economy as it contributes approximately 32% to the country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The industry employs around 24% of the labour workforce and is mainly concerned with the production of food products, building materials and mined materials (ferronickel, silver and gold). There are around 500 companies on the island that purely deal with manufacturing goods for export, in particular for the North American market.
There is no doubt that the Dominican Republic economy is stable and looks to have a bright future in being able to grow in the coming years. With agriculture, manufacturing and tourism prevailing, these are great industries to have to keep the economy of a country from potentially facing hard times.