Economic Overview

Economic Overview
The Central Bank report on the economic performance from January to December 2004 indicates the economy grew 2% during that period. Gross Domestic Product growth for the first three quarters of the year was 1.4%. The country posted a last quarter growth of 3.3%. This is in dramatic contrast with GDP performance in 2003, a year when GDP declined 1.9%.

The country was able to bounce back from a 28.74% inflation at year?s end. Inflation in January 2005 was 0.79%, compared to 9.23% in January 2004. The downtrend on inflation has been consistent since the half year mark, due to the appreciated and stable peso since June 2004.

Central Bank strictly managed monetary policy, anchored by a stable monetary base, is credited for the reversion of inflation. The DR is expected to outperform its 11-13% IMF inflation target in 2005. The DR continues to be constrained by internal factors such as a high domestic and foreign debt, and external pressures such as high petroleum prices.

The issuing of savings certificates has become the main instrument used by the Central Bank and monetary authorities to remove money from circulation, to control inflation and stabilize the exchange rate. Statistics indicate that the amount of financial papers in circulation (zero coupon financial certificates) grew by 10.4% between December 2004 and early February 2005. During this period the Central Bank has issued RD$11.5 billion in certificates at interest rates that vary with the time requirements.
Money in circulation has fallen by RD$3.3 billion pesos during the same period, a 4.2% reduction.

This debt is highly worrisome for a country that had maintained generally low levels of debt. The debt represents nearly 50% of the GDP, the highest level of any of the countries in the region, where none have a debt level of even 40% of GDP. The foreign debt alone has reached US$7.2 billion according to government sources.

In addition, President Leonel Fernandez said in his 27 of February speech before the Congress that his government had inherited an internal debt of RD$25 billion of which it has paid RD$2.4 billion. At an exchange rate of 29:1, this amount represents US$779.3 million.

Aside from this money, the government has taken credits of US$150 million from local commercial banks in order to face up to part of the electricity crisis that was destroying public confidence in the government. The Central Bank, with the approval of the Monetary and Financial Law, is reaching RD$130 billion or US$4.48 billion. This debt has more than doubled with the policies initiated to check the inflation and exchange rates.

Nevertheless, the issuing of savings certificates has been particularly effective in the exchange market where the price of the dollar over the past two months has fluctuated between RD$28.50 and RD$30.00. Central Bank sources are also reporting that commercial banks are lending less money these days, with a reduction of RD$6.6 billion, equal to 4.2% of the credit market. In December, the banks lent RD$157.7 billion and in February 2005, RD$151.08 billion.

According to 2004 Central Bank statistics, in 2004 the best performing sectors were: communications (18.3%), sugar production (6.7%), hotels & restaurants (4.6%), mining (3.7%), and farming (3.5%). The light manufacturing sector showed improvement, moving from a decline of 3.1% in 2003 to growth of 0.7% in 2004, due primarily to the installation of 40 new companies. Communications growth is attributed to the healthy mobile phone market. Despite the effects of Hurricane Jeane in September, the tourism industry quickly bounced back. The Central Bank reports 2,990 hotel rooms were added in 2004, for a country total of 58,932 rooms. Commerce contracted significantly in 2004, going from a 8.2% growth in 2003 to a 0.2% growth in 2004.

Per capita GDP expressed in US dollars is estimated at US$2.10 billion, an increase of 10.2%, sharply contrasting the decline of 24.8% in 2003, when at US$1.9 billion.

How to Move to the Dominican Republic, West Caribbean

The Dominican Republic   offers warm weather, sun, and pristine beaches to visitors and residents alike. Many people visit the island and decide to move there. But moving to an island can be challenging; the more stuff you bring, the more expensive the move will be. Also, adjusting to the Dominican Republic  culture can be difficult.Kite Beach

Office jobs are available but not easy to find, and average pay for an office job is considerably way less– sometimes 30 percent less–than the average office worker salary in Canadian Tourism ; hospitality and  restaurant jobs are easier to find though they may be a step backwards for some people’s careers. You will also need to get used to the island lifestyle. Things generally move slower on Dominican Republic  than in other industrialized areas.
Instructions.Things You’ll Need:

  • Legal status in the Dominican Republic 
  • about $10,000 Canadian, US or Euro

 1.1
Obtain legal status to live in the Dominican Republic . If you are from Canada, moving to the Dominican Republic  is like moving to any other province in terms of immigration documents. You do need to file any additional paperwork or apply for visas. All you need is legal Canadian resident status, like a social security card. It is also a good idea to obtain a passport and valid driver’s license before you move.

2.2
Visit the Dominican Republic  for two weeks or more. This trip will give you a feel for life on the island, as well as give you time to explore the island, look for jobs, and speak to professionals in the Dominican Republic  housing market. Set up appointments with a realtor on the Dominican Republic  to discuss housing options if you plan to buy a house, or look at available rental properties in your price range. Go grocery shopping to see how much regular items cost. Most everyday items are more expensive on Dominican Republic  than in Canada mainland–a gallon of milk can cost upwards of $7.

Pick up a few newspapers to look for available jobs. Listindiario; Diario libre and Hoy. Also visit sites like www.infoempleos.com.do  to look for available jobs, and schedule as many interviews as you can. In the Dominican Rep, most things are still done face to face or networking as opposed to over the phone or through email, so visiting and meeting prospective employers in person is important.

3.3
Find a job. If you come back from your visit without a job, continue looking on the Internet or a local sites. Working online is also a viable option. elance.com, craiglist.com and guru.com provide a platform where job providers and freelance writers, graphic designers, virtual assistants etc of all sorts can meet. Others teach english either online or in one of the english schools here, or even private tutoring. Consider a career change if you are not finding anything in your field. Most of the best-paying and stable jobs in the Dominican Republic are in the tourism industry.

You might have to travel back to the Dominican Republic for more interviews. Once you accept an offer, choose a start date. You will focus the rest of your move around this date.

3.4 

In Dominican Republic, there is no such thing as a work permit. Any foreigner who has a visa or residency card is authorized to work in Dominican Republic, as well as any foreigner who has a work contract with legally established company, is eligible for Dominican residence. 

Working hours.- In Dominican Republic the standard work week is 44 hours and the work day is 8 hours, although this can vary according to the companies.

The employee has the right to 36 hours of uninterrupted weekly rest, which is decided by the parties involved.

4.4
Find housing in Dominican Republic. If you found places you liked on your initial visit, make an offer. Continue looking for available houses to buy or rent with the help of your realtor on Dominican Republic. Once you find a place you like, schedule the move-in date to be about a week before you start your job.

5.5
Sell or donate any of your personal belongings that you do not need to bring to Dominican Republic. If your furniture and other large items are not valuable or meaningful, do not bring them to Dominican Republic, as it will only complicate your move and make it more expensive. You can purchase new furniture and household items once you arrive on the island.

6.6
Hire movers to help you move to Dominican Republic. Companies like Gateway are international movers and are likely better equipped to handle a move over the ocean than a local moving company. Check intlmovers.com to get quotes from other companies. If you are bringing a car, the moving company will help you ship it to Dominican Republic.

7.7
Pack your belongings to take with you. Pack everything in boxes well. The move will take several weeks and your boxes will likely be shipped via boat to Dominican Republic. If you hired a moving company, coordinate with them so your items arrive at your new home the day after your scheduled move-in date. If you are shipping the items yourself, call your post office and ask how long it will take for the items to arrive, and coordinate the shipment to arrive the day after your scheduled move-in date. Pack and move everything except for a suitcase full of clothes and daily essentials.

Pets do not have to be quarantined, but you will need a health certificate from your veterinarian that province your animal is healthy and current on all vaccinations.

8.8
Purchase airfare to Dominican Republic. Arrive a day or two before your move-in date. Make a hotel reservation if necessary. Arriving a day or two early gives you a chance to tie up any last minute loose ends or details. Move into your new house on Dominican Republic on your scheduled move-in date.

Economy Overview

The Dominican Republic has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy’s largest employer, due to growth in telecommunications, tourism, and free trade zones. The mining sector has also played a greater role in the export market since late 2012 with the commencement of the extraction phase of the Pueblo Viejo Gold and Silver mine. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for approximately half of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about 7% of GDP, equivalent to about a third of exports and two-thirds of tourism receipts. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP. High unemployment and underemployment remains an important long-term challenge. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in March 2007, boosting investment and exports and reducing losses to the Asian garment industry. The Dominican Republic’s economy rebounded from the global recession in 2010-14, and the fiscal situation is improving. A tax reform package passed in November 2012 and a reduction in government spending helped to narrow the central government budget deficit from 6.6% of GDP in 2012 to 2.7% in 2014. A successful government bond placement in 2013 and 2014 helped finance the deficit. A liability management operation in January 2015, in which the government paid down over $4 billion of the country’s Petrocaribe debt, at a discount of 52% with proceeds from the sale of $2.5 billion in global bonds, reduced the country’s debt load by approximately by 3.3% of GDP.
$138 billion (2014 est.)
$128.6 billion (2013 est.)
$122.7 billion (2012 est.)
note: data are in 2014 US dollars
country comparison to the world: 74
$64.08 billion (2014 est.)
7.3% (2014 est.)
4.8% (2013 est.)
2.6% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
$13,000 (2014 est.)
$12,100 (2013 est.)
$11,600 (2012 est.)
note: data are in 2014 US dollars
country comparison to the world: 114
household consumption: 72%
government consumption: 10.2%
investment in fixed capital: 21.4%
investment in inventories: 0.8%
exports of goods and services: 26.1%
imports of goods and services: -30.6%
(2014 est.)
agriculture: 6.3%
industry: 32.1%
services: 61.6% (2014 est.)
cocoa, tobacco, sugarcane, coffee, cotton, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs
tourism, sugar processing, gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco
6% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
4.996 million (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
agriculture: 14.4%
industry: 20.8%
services: 64.7% (2014 est.)
6.4% (2014 est.)
15% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
41.1% (2013 est.)
lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 35.8% (2012 est.)
45.7 (2012 est.)
52 (2000 est.)
country comparison to the world: 35
revenues: $10.11 billion
expenditures: $11.77 billion (2014 est.)
15.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
-2.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
48.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
45.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
calendar year
3% (2014 est.)
4.8% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
13.7% (31 December 2014 est.)
13.59% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
$5.621 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$5.203 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
$17.42 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$15.97 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
$26.87 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$24.87 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
$NA
-$2.002 billion (2014 est.)
-$2.467 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
$10.11 billion (2014 est.)
$9.504 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
gold, silver, cocoa, sugar, coffee, tobacco, meats, consumer goods
US 40.1%, Haiti 15.3%, Canada 14.5% (2014)
$16.97 billion (2014 est.)
$16.81 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals
US 45.8%, China 7.3%, Venezuela 6.3%, Mexico 5.1%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.2% (2014)
$4.503 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$4.703 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
$19.72 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$18.78 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
$28.52 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$26.42 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
$72.8 million (31 December 2014 est.)
$72.8 million (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
Dominican pesos (DOP) per US dollar –
43.5 (2014 est.)
41.808 (2013 est.)
39.34 (2012 est.)
38.232 (2011 est.)
37.307 (2010 est.)

Local Work Force

Independent surveys of current investors reveal that the Dominican labor force is the nation’s principal economic asset. Employers characterize workers as diligent, highly trainable, dexterous and capable of utilizing new technologies.

Services and government (includes parastatal corporations) employ 35% of the work force. Agriculture employs 21%, and industry outside of the duty free zones employs 12%. Unemployment is estimated at approximately 16%.

The Dominican Labor Code, which dates back to June 1992, is a comprehensive piece of legislation which establishes policies and procedures for aspects of employer/employee relationships.

The standard workweek is 44 hours. The minimum wage is RD$3,416.10 for companies with capital of more than RD$500,000. The minimum wage for free zone industries is RD$2,490. Other minimum wages have been set for specific work classifications.

Labor force sectorial wage breakdown:
General private sector workers (effective as of 13 February 2001)

RD$3,415 per month (companies with more than RD$500,000 in assets)
RD$2,345 per month (companies with assets from RD$200,000 to RD$500,000)
RD$2,075 per month (companies with assets of less than RD$200,000)

Farm workers:
RD$70 per day for farm workers
RD$2,890 per month for watchmen

Hotel & restaurant employees:
RD$3,030 per month (companies with more than RD$500,000 in assets)
RD$2,160 per month (companies with assets from RD$200,000 to RD$500,000)
RD$1,950.00 per month (companies with assets of less than RD$200,000)

Bakery and pastry shop employees:
RD$3,415 per month (companies with more than RD$500,000 in assets)
RD$2,345 per month (companies with assets from RD$200,000 to RD$500,000)
RD$2,075 per month (companies with assets of less than RD$200,000)

Industrial free zone employees:
RD$2,490 per month

Heavy duty machine operators:
RD$7,800 per month for operators
RD$3,900 per month for assistants

Heavy duty farm equipment operators:
RD$3,000 per month

Construction workers:
Non skilled worker: RD$147 per day
Skilled worker: RD$161 per day
Asistant: RD$189 per day
Third category operator: RD$245 per day
Second category operator: RD$280 per day
First category operator: RD$350 per day
Master of trade of each area of construction: RD$455 per day

Economy an overview

The Central Bank report on the economic performance from January to December 2004 indicates the economy grew 2% during that period. Gross Domestic Product growth for the first three quarters of the year was 1.4%. The country posted a last quarter growth of 3.3%. This is in dramatic contrast with GDP performance in 2003, a year when GDP declined 1.9%.

The country was able to bounce back from a 28.74% inflation at year?s end. Inflation in January 2005 was 0.79%, compared to 9.23% in January 2004. The downtrend on inflation has been consistent since the half year mark, due to the appreciated and stable peso since June 2004.

Central Bank strictly managed monetary policy, anchored by a stable monetary base, is credited for the reversion of inflation. The DR is expected to outperform its 11-13% IMF inflation target in 2005. The DR continues to be constrained by internal factors such as a high domestic and foreign debt, and external pressures such as high petroleum prices.

The issuing of savings certificates has become the main instrument used by the Central Bank and monetary authorities to remove money from circulation, to control inflation and stabilize the exchange rate. Statistics indicate that the amount of financial papers in circulation (zero coupon financial certificates) grew by 10.4% between December 2004 and early February 2005. During this period the Central Bank has issued RD$11.5 billion in certificates at interest rates that vary with the time requirements.
Money in circulation has fallen by RD$3.3 billion pesos during the same period, a 4.2% reduction.

This debt is highly worrisome for a country that had maintained generally low levels of debt. The debt represents nearly 50% of the GDP, the highest level of any of the countries in the region, where none have a debt level of even 40% of GDP. The foreign debt alone has reached US$7.2 billion according to government sources.

In addition, President Leonel Fernandez said in his 27 of February speech before the Congress that his government had inherited an internal debt of RD$25 billion of which it has paid RD$2.4 billion. At an exchange rate of 29:1, this amount represents US$779.3 million.

Aside from this money, the government has taken credits of US$150 million from local commercial banks in order to face up to part of the electricity crisis that was destroying public confidence in the government. The Central Bank, with the approval of the Monetary and Financial Law, is reaching RD$130 billion or US$4.48 billion. This debt has more than doubled with the policies initiated to check the inflation and exchange rates.

Nevertheless, the issuing of savings certificates has been particularly effective in the exchange market where the price of the dollar over the past two months has fluctuated between RD$28.50 and RD$30.00. Central Bank sources are also reporting that commercial banks are lending less money these days, with a reduction of RD$6.6 billion, equal to 4.2% of the credit market. In December, the banks lent RD$157.7 billion and in February 2005, RD$151.08 billion.

According to 2004 Central Bank statistics, in 2004 the best performing sectors were: communications (18.3%), sugar production (6.7%), hotels & restaurants (4.6%), mining (3.7%), and farming (3.5%). The light manufacturing sector showed improvement, moving from a decline of 3.1% in 2003 to growth of 0.7% in 2004, due primarily to the installation of 40 new companies. Communications growth is attributed to the healthy mobile phone market. Despite the effects of Hurricane Jeane in September, the tourism industry quickly bounced back. The Central Bank reports 2,990 hotel rooms were added in 2004, for a country total of 58,932 rooms. Commerce contracted significantly in 2004, going from a 8.2% growth in 2003 to a 0.2% growth in 2004.

Per capita GDP expressed in US dollars is estimated at US$2.10 billion, an increase of 10.2%, sharply contrasting the decline of 24.8% in 2003, when at US$1.9 billion.

People and Local Customs

 

People and Local Customs

Currently, there are about 10.3 million people living in the Dominican Republic, with a median age of only 27 years; the capital, Santo Domingo, is home to almost 3 million people. Family values, religion, and hospitality are the cornerstones of life in the Caribbean country, thus, it is not rare that three generations of the same family live under one and the same roof, with the oldest male making the important decisions affecting the entire family.

Although you are free to choose your own religion, Catholic beliefs influence many aspects of life in the Dominican Republic; 95% of the overall population is, after all, Catholic. Dominicans often go out of their way to treat their guests royally and to make them feel particularly welcome. In return, you should be a respectful guest in order not to upset your hosts while living in the Dominican Republic.

Language in the Dominican Republic

As you’ll be aware from the description of the country’s historical background in our article on moving to the Dominican Republic, it does not come as a surprise that Spanish is the official language of this country. So, before starting your expat life in the Dominican Republic, you should brush up on your Spanish language skills, even if your business partners speak English. Expats living in the Dominican Republic may find it hard at times to understand the locals, even if they have a basic knowledge of Spanish.

Dominicanese and Dominicanisms (the local dialect with Dominican elements) can prove somewhat of a challenge for foreigners. Nevertheless, it can also be great fun to learn these new words and phrases. A baby, for example, is called chichí while small children are referred to as carajitos. While living in the Dominican Republic, you should be careful not to confuse bonche and boche: the former is simply a party, but the latter describes a scolding or disagreement.

Local Food Culture

Dominican cuisine is heavily influenced by its Spanish roots but includes a touch of local Caribbean spices and herbs. While spending your life in the Dominican Republic, try some dishes that are prepared a la criollaor guisado, which means the meat or seafood is served in a tomato sauce with garlic, olives, onion, and cilantro.

Dominicans also particularly enjoy all types of fried dishes such as carne frita (fried pork chunks) orchicharrones de pollo (Dominican fried chicken) with plantains dipped in salt water and fried in vegetable oil. This fondness for fried food is also reflected in a typical Dominican breakfast which contains mashed plantains (mangú) with onions, fried white cheese, fried eggs and orange juice.

Coconuts also play a dominant role in Dominican Cuisine. Pescado con coco, fish stewed in coconut and tomato sauce, is a particularly prominent dish. At the same time, rice is king in traditional Dominican kitchens. While living in the Dominican Republic, you should definitely try the nation’s most popular rice dish, which is served with red beans, meat and plantains. It is, in fact, so popular that it is called la bandera(the flag) and no expat experience is complete without it!

It doesn’t cost much to eat out in the Dominican Republic, even in Santo Domingo, as long as you stick to the local cafeterías. A meal at one of these shouldn’t cost more than around DOP 100, which is less than USD 2.50. Wherever you’re living in the country, authentic food can also be found in a comedores. These little restaurants are family-run businesses, often part of the home, where a good meal costs around DOP 150. As an expat, you could take the opportunity here to talk to Dominican people, learn a few new things, and get to know what life is like for them!

 

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