The major trading partners with Dominican Republic are the USA (which provides for 46% of imports and receives 66% of exports) and the European Community. Traditionally the country exported sugar, coffee, cocoa and tobacco, but now the agricultural sector has moved away from such crops. They have now increased production and exports of organic bananas, pineapples, citrus, melons, and mangoes. The government is focused to attract new investment in this sector. There is currently however some rapid development in the tourism sector of this country and it contributes to a large share of the country’s economy.
A major role is also being played by the mining industry which contributes to a bulk amount in the country’s GDP. The production of marble, nickel and plaster has been increased. In the manufacturing sector, it produces sugar, rice and construction materials. The manufacturing industry is contributing its share to help the economy of the Dominican Republic recover. In recent years, the services sector has outdone the agriculture sector. This is all due to development in tourism department and establishment of free trade zones.
On the flip side, there still exists a high level of unemployment and underemployment. This is a big threat to the country’s development process. The economy of Dominican Republic is affected by global warming too – there is a lowering of temperature experienced in these parts – thereby affecting the tourism industry. With dipping temperatures, people hesitate to go the beaches and indulge in scuba diving. Then again, snorkeling may have to be stopped. Skiing in the mountains will be a tough sport. Rising sea water levels also pose a threat to the coast line of the country.
In 2003, Dominican Republic had a fall in its economic growth. The economy had contracted for the first time since 1990. The inflation rate increased at a faster rate and government debt expanded. Interest rates also grew rapidly and thus the central bank experienced a heavy loss. This led to the public losing confidence in the banks. The financial crisis and the ensuing US recession caused GDP to dip in 2009, but a rebound is expected in 2010 (Hugo). Currently the Dominican Republic is a destination for all men, women and children who are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.
Women are forced into prostitution; boys and girls are harassed. Although the government has taken measures through criminal procedures (2008) to reduce demand for commercial sex involving children, these measures remain inadequate to protect the victims being trafficked. In spite of Dominican Republic having the second largest economy in the Caribbean, unemployment, government corruption, and inconsistent electric service still remain their dominant economic issues. This country has income inequality too.
Tackling economic problems and strengthening democracy continue to be the prime national issues in the Dominican Republic. Therefore it is the urgent need of the people of the Dominican Republic to be protected by its government. The government should implement effective control over the public policies and monitor public sectors without using politics.
– Bedggood, Ginnie. Crime, Drugs, Sex and the Dominican Republic. Retrieved from the web 5/8/2010 http://www. expatfocus. com/crime-drugs-sex-and-the-dominican-republic