Click here to read Rabobank's economic vision for this country. The information and publications in this tab are prepared and made available by third parties and are only available in English. No rights can be derived. Rabobank is not responsible or liable for the information and publications. Click here for the full disclaimer.

Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

The Dominican Republic is open to trade and applies a liberal and open policy. Trade represents 54% of the country's GDP (2016, World Bank). The Free Trade Zone Industrial Association (ADOZONA), which accounts for more than two-thirds of exports, is an important pillar of the country’s economy. Customs duties are relatively low. However, to protect local producers, certain agricultural products (such as milk, rice, etc.) and luxury products have high tariffs, ranging from 15% to 60%. Additionally, special permits are required to import certain goods, such as medicines and agricultural fertilisers. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which came into force in March 2007, has led to an increase in trade in the region.

Like most of the Caribbean islands, the Dominican Republic has a structural trade deficit. The deficit reached USD 7.4 billion in 2015 and USD 7.6 billion in 2016. The export of minerals (gold, nickel) and the activities in Free Trade Zones (textile, clothing, financial services), which account for half of the country's exports, will benefit from an increase in demand in the United States.

In 2017, the trade deficit is expected to remain high, despite an anticipated increase in exports (textile, nickel and gold) and steady import flows (mainly oil). The country's main trading partners are the United States (about 50% of exports and 40% of imports), the European Union, Haiti, China and Canada.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Imports of Goods (million USD) 17,73916,87317,28817,20017,120
Exports of Goods (million USD) 9,0699,6519,9209,4509,750
Imports of Services (million USD) 2,8042,6212,6872,9703,310
Exports of Services (million USD) 5,7786,0956,6917,2008,311
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2-44115
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 68727
Trade Balance (million USD) -8,738-7,377-7,374-7,465-7,623
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 5857565454
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 3431312929
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 2525262525

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
United States 53.6%
Haiti 12.1%
Canada 8.4%
India 6.7%
Netherlands 2.2%
United Kingdom 1.5%
China 1.5%
Germany 1.2%
Spain 1.0%
Belgium 0.8%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
United States 41.3%
China 13.4%
Mexico 4.6%
Brazil 3.2%
Spain 3.1%
Colombia 2.1%
Japan 2.0%
Italy 2.0%
Germany 1.8%
Trinidad and Tobago 1.8%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data


Main Products

8.4 bn USD of products exported in 2015
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 15.2%
Instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences, incl. scintigraphic apparatus, other electro-medical apparatus and sight-testing instruments, n.e.s. 11.1%
Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes 7.5%
Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for making connections to or in electrical circuits, e.g., switches, relays, fuses, surge suppressors, plugs, sockets, lamp-holders and junction boxes, for a voltage <= 1.000 v (excl. control desks, cabinets, panels etc. of heading 8537) 4.8%
T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted 4.5%
Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal (excl. articles > 100 years old) 4.5%
Cocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roasted 3.0%
Bananas, incl. plantains, fresh or dried 2.7%
Footwear with outer soles of rubber or plastics, with uppers other than rubber, plastics, leather or textile materials; footwear with outer soles of leather or composition leather, with uppers other than leather or textile materials; footwear with outer soles of wood, cork, twine, paperboard, furskin, woven fabrics, felt, nonwovens, linoleum, raffia, straw, loofah, etc and uppers of any type of material, n.e.s. 2.3%
Articles of plastics and articles of other materials of heading 3901 to 3914, n.e.s. 2.0%
17.4 bn USD of products imported in 2015
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 10.6%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.4%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.6%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 2.3%
Articles of plastics and articles of other materials of heading 3901 to 3914, n.e.s. 2.3%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 1.8%
Maize or corn 1.2%
Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other video camera recorders; digital cameras 1.2%
Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal (excl. articles > 100 years old) 1.1%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 1.1%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data


Main Services

7.3 bn USD of services exported in 2015
Government services
Other business services
Insurance services
Computer and information services
Financial services
Cultural and recreational services
2.8 bn USD of services imported in 2015
Other business services
Insurance services
Government services
Royalties and license fees
Financial services
Computer and information services
Cultural and recreational services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Main International Economic Cooperation
Member of CAFTA-DR Trade Agreement
Useful Resources
Directorate General of Customs (in Spanish)
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The National Office of Industrial Property.


Learn more about How to Export to the Dominican Republic on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

© Export Entreprises SA, All Rights Reserved.
Last Updates: November 2017