Join Governor Rick Scott on this trade mission to Dominican Republic. February 23, 2014 - February 26, 2014
The Dominican Republic has become a significant partner in hemispheric affairs due to its role as the second largest economy in the Caribbean and its large bilateral trade with the United States.
With a strategic geographic location, the Dominican Republic provides easy trade access among the markets of the United States, Caribbean and Latin America. The country has eleven important seaports and eight airports, which transport growing amounts of cargo and travelers each year. The country also enjoys a stable political climate and democratic consolidation, allowing for favorable foreign business investments.
The United States and the Dominican Republic share a strong commercial relationship. In 2011, bilateral trade amassed to US $11.54 billion, according to the U.S. Import and Export Merchandise trade statistics. The United States and the Dominican Republic are also vital entities of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The two-way trade between the US and the DR resulting from CAFTA-DR amounted to $11.5 billion in 2011, of which $4.2 billion was exported by the Dominican Republic to the US.
This free trade agreement has proven to create new economic opportunities for the two countries by eliminating tariffs, opening markets, reducing barriers to services, and promoting transparency. The implementation of the CAFTA-DR has allowed almost 80 percent of U.S. goods to enter the DR duty free. The remaining tariffs are set to phase out over the next ten to twenty years.
The Dominican Republic currently ranks Florida’s ninth largest merchandise trading partner, with over $5.5 billion in exports. The Caribbean nation is the eighth top market for Florida merchandise exports, which amounted to just over $3 billion in 2012.
The country has long been viewed as primarily an exporter of coffee, sugar and tobacco. In recent years however, the service sector has surpassed agriculture as the economy’s largest employer, thanks to a growth in tourism, telecommunications and free trade zones. Given Florida’s solid relationship with the Dominican Republic and its open market policies, there are ample export opportunities for Florida firms in a variety of industries, ranging from telecommunications to medical equipment, building products and renewable energy.
Leading Sectors for with opportunities for Florida Exporters:
• Automobiles Parts and Services
• Telecommunication Equipment
• Computers and Peripherals
• Medical Equipment
• Building Products
• Hotel and Restaurant Equipment
• Printing and Graphic Arts Equipment
• Safety and Security Equipment
• Travel and Tourism Services
• Renewable Energy