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The second-largest economy in the Caribbean, this lush island nation between Cuba and Puerto Rico is a two-hour flight from Miami. The US is its most important trading partner, accounting for some 60% of the export market. However, in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the country’s largest employer, due to expansion in telecommunications, tourism and free trade zones. The ICT sector has also experienced significant growth.
Talent Pool & Education
The government's “Agenda Digital 20-30’’ strategy seeks to improve the country’s competitiveness and increase the transparency and efficiency of the public administration. In late 2022, the non-profit Libertad Digital, launched its tech-talent development program, MasterCODE. Over the next two years, the initiative will offer 5,000 full scholarships to educate “young people seeking opportunities to work in the tech world” who lack the resources to pay.
The official language is Spanish. Learning English is mandatory in local schools and widely spoken in the main centers.
Over the past decade, the Dominican Republic has recorded the second-fastest economic growth in Latin America and is on track to realize its ambition of achieving high-income status by 2030. A solid policy response mitigated the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the country made a strong economic recovery in 2021, with GDP rebounding by 12.3%. This robust performance continued in 2022, but further progress has been diluted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Dominican Republic’s dependence on imported oil leaves it particularly vulnerable to international price swings. The country also relies on the US and Europe for the majority of its tourists.
The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the popularity of President Luis Abinader of the centrist Partido Revolucionario Moderno party to support his pro-market agenda through to the end of his term in mid-2024. The administration’s treatment of Haitians remains a point of international criticism, with the government declaring its intention to increase deportations of undocumented Haitians. The creation of a special police unit focused on investigating foreigners has further fueled historic tensions.