(WIPO code: DO) (last revised October 2020)

by JORGE MERA & VILLEGAS, Intellectual Property Attorneys, Santo Domingo

General Information

Area

48,442 sq. km.

Population

10,499,707 (estimated July 2020).

Capital

Santo Domingo with approx. 3.318 million inhabitants (2020).

Language

Spanish.

Currency

Dominican R. peso (DOP).

General Remarks

The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern part of the island Hispaniola, or Santo Domingo, with a total area of 48,442 sq. km, equal to two thirds of the island.

It lies between 17 and 19-latitude north and 60 and 70 longitudes west of Greenwich, and is bordered in the north by the Atlantic Ocean; on the east by the Mona Passage, which separates it from Puerto Rico; on the south by the Caribbean or Antilles Sea and on the west by the Republic of Haiti.

Agricultural and sugar sector: this is the principal sector in the economy, and it represents 11.11% of the GDP and about 45% of the active labor force. The main production items, which are cane sugar, coffee, cocoa and tobacco, are the backbone of the exports.

Sugar and other sugar by-products generate 12% of the industrial production, and the Dominican State is the chief producer. Despite excellent natural conditions, agricultural production consists predominantly of the four traditional export items, which are sugar, coffee, cocoa and tobacco, while the domestic market has consumed most of the secondary agricultural products.

Industrial and mining sector: this sector uses about 18% of the labor force. The industrial production consists mainly of foodstuffs and some manufactures, which include edible peanut oil, wheat flour, fresh and powered milk, dairy products, tomato sauce and paste, pasta products, rum, beer, cigarettes, paints, cement, and other construction materials, textile products, fruit and tropical juice processing plants, etc.

The country has rich mineral resources; some are not being adequately exploited. The following mines now exist in the country: nickel, salt, gypsum, bauxite, iron, copper, gold, marble, and one of the richest amber mines in the world. There are also signs of oil deposits.

In 1991, the Dominican Republic signed the Lomé Convention. It is an ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) country and is therefore benefiting from its exportations to the European Union. The Dominican Republic is a member of the Caribbean Community Market (CARICOM), and establishing a free trade zone with the Community. Signatory of the free trade agreement between the United States of America and Central America (DR-CAFTA Free Trade Agreement).