According to businesscarriers, the Dominican Republic is an agro-industrial country with a rapidly growing economy. In terms of economic growth, it occupies one of the first places in Latin America. The volume of GDP is 21.4 billion US dollars (2002). The growth rate in 2002 was 4.1%. GDP per capita $2,386. The share of the country in the world economy is 0.07%. The number of economically active population is 3.94 million people. Unemployment 16.1% (2002). Inflation 5.22% (2002).
The share of agriculture in GDP is 11.8%, industry – 32.6% (including mining – 1.4%), finance and services, including transport and tourism – 55.6%. The share of employment in agriculture is 15.1%, industry – 20.8%, finance and services, including transport and tourism – 64.1%.
Traditional industries are food (sugar production), mining and processing of metals and metal-containing raw materials (iron-nickel ore, bauxite, gold), and cement production. Export free zones (FEZs) play a growing role in industrial production. The enterprises located in them (504 in 2002) provide employment for more than 200 thousand people. and give St. 80% of export earnings. Textiles and garments, footwear, electrical engineering and electronics products are exported from the FEZ. The main investors in the SEZ are the USA, the states of Southeast Asia and the EU. Electricity generation 9.4 billion kWh. 87% of electricity is provided by power plants operating on fuel raw materials, 13% – by hydroelectric power plants.
The main branch of agriculture is crop production. Main crops: sugar cane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, corn, bananas, tropical fruits. There is a high concentration of land ownership. Pasture animal husbandry of the meat and dairy direction is export-oriented. In the suburbs of Santo Domingo – export-oriented floriculture.
The length of railways is 1,503 km, motor roads are 12,600 km (including 6,224 km of paved roads). Pipeline transport: oil pipelines (length 96 km), product pipeline (8 km). 6 seaports. Airports 30, incl. having a hard-surfaced runway – 13. The largest national airlines are Dominican Republic and Aerovias Kaskeyanas. The number of people who arrived in the country by air is 3.1 million people. (2002). In 2001, there were 256.7 fixed telephone lines and mobile phones per 1,000 inhabitants. Internet users – 186 thousand people. The country operates a state-owned company, Radio Television Dominican Republic, which unites 10 radio stations and 6 TV channels. There are also over 100 private radio stations and several cable TV channels.
Trade (share in GDP – 12.9%) is largely focused on foreign tourists.
The most important source of foreign exchange earnings ($2.7 billion in 2002) is tourism.
The course pursued by the country’s leadership towards structural reforms within the framework of the neo-liberal stabilization program contributed to the acceleration of economic growth. Average annual GDP growth rates in the 1990s exceeded 6%. The main elements of economic policy were the reform of the financial system, the privatization of public sector enterprises and the development of SEZs. As a result of the transformations carried out, the country’s traditional industries – export-oriented agriculture and mining – have lost leading positions in the economy to tourism and modern industrial production, concentrated mainly in the FEZ (in terms of their share in the economy, the Dominican Republic in the Western Hemisphere is second only to Mexico). The implementation of neoliberal reforms led to the aggravation of social problems.
The banking sector is regulated by the General Law on Banks of 1965. There are 5 commercial banks in the country, incl. government-controlled Reserve Bank. The only bank endowed with the right to issue money is the central bank (established in 1947). The reform of the financial system included the introduction of a free and unified exchange regime in the foreign exchange market, and a reduction in bank rates (25.0% in 2002). The trend of recent years is the growth of operations of commercial banks in foreign currency. The volume of dollar deposits reached 7% of GDP.
Up to the beginning In 2002, the central bank pursued a restrictive monetary and financial policy aimed at maintaining the stability of the peso exchange rate. As a result, in 2000 alone, gold and foreign exchange reserves fell by more than $200 million (to $785 million in January 2003). The subsequent sharp depreciation of the national currency against the US dollar (from 17.6 Dominican pesos per dollar in May 2002 to 40 in December 2003), caused, in particular, by the bankruptcy of three large commercial banks, provoked an acute economic crisis.
The volume of foreign direct investment in the economy in 2002 amounted to 960 million dollars. There is an agreement with the World Bank on guarantees to foreign investors. In January 2003, the central bank of the Dominican Republic placed on foreign markets 10-year bonds totaling $600 million. Remittances to the homeland of Dominicans living abroad amount to $1.9 billion per year.
The state budget deficit decreased from 1.7% of GDP in 2001 to 1.0% in 2002, the balance of payments – from 5.2 to 3.9% of GDP. The low level of tax collection remains a serious problem. Public external debt from 4.8 billion dollars (22.4% of GDP) – one of the lowest rates in the Latin American region by the end. 2003 – rose to $7.6 billion
Below the poverty line is St. 30% of the population (mostly rural residents). The distribution of income remains highly unequal. The poorest 10% of the population account for 2% of income, the richest 10% of Dominicans – 40%.
Foreign trade turnover 14.06 billion US dollars (2002). Export – 5.18 billion dollars (including from the FEZ – 4.34 billion dollars), import – 8.88 billion dollars (including from the FEZ – 2.65 billion dollars). Main export commodities: nickel and nickel ore, sugar, gold, silver, bauxite, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meat, textiles and clothing, electrical and electronic products. Imports are dominated by oil, food products, products of the chemical and petrochemical industries. The main foreign trade partners are the USA (over 70% of the trade turnover), Japan, Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, and the EU states. Trade turnover with the Russian Federation in 2002 14.0 million US dollars, incl. imports $13.5 million
Science and culture of the Dominican Republic
Spending on education is 2.3% of GDP. Primary education (6 grades) covers approx. 90% of children of primary school age. It is free in public schools. General secondary school includes two cycles (2 and 4 years of study) and covers 40% of children of secondary school age (starting from 13 years old). Vocational schools (3-5 years of study) operate on the basis of elementary schools, and pedagogical schools on the basis of the first stage of a general secondary school. The basis of the national system of higher education is universities, the main of which are one of the oldest in America, the state Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (founded in 1538), as well as the private National University of Pedro Henriques Ureña (Santo Domingo), the Technological University (Santo Domingo) and the Catholic University of Madre y Maestra (Santiago).
The main directions of scientific activity: history, linguistics, medicine. Scientific institutions – Dominican Academy, Dominican Academy of History.
The founder of national literature is Jose Nunez de Cáceres, a neoclassical poet con. 18 – 1st floor. 19th century, author of patriotic poems, satires and fables. The pinnacle of Dominican prose is the historical indigenist novel Enriquillo (1878) by Manuel de Jesus Galván, which tells of the ups and downs of the colonization of Hispaniola in the beginning. 16th century The ancient art of the Indians (before the end of the 15th century) is represented by ceramics (including facial vessels), ritual figures and wooden utensils, and stone sculpture. The visual arts of the colonial period did not preserve outstanding works. There are architectural monuments of the 16th-18th centuries. The colonial part of Santo Domingo has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.