Free Trade Agreements

Since the 1990s, the Dominican Republic Government have carried out important reforms in commercial policies in order to increase the economy’s competitiveness and achieving greater participation in international markets. For this reason a large number of measures have been adopted to free up trade, and eliminate a wide variety of trade and customs restrictions which have contributed to increasing and strengthening the export capacity of the country. Given this, the Dominican Republic maintains an active role in commercial negotiations with a view to diversifying the international market for its products.

Currently, the Dominican Republic benefits from a variety of schemes and unilateral preferential programs and free trade agreements.

Free Trade Agreements:

Free Trade Agreement between Central America and the Dominican Republic (Central America - DR)

In 1998, the Dominican Republic signed the Free Trade Treaty for Goods and Services with Central America. (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua). This Agreement includes the trading of goods, services, investments, intellectual property and acquisitions in the public sector. When it first came into force, the parties agreed to the reciprocal opening of their respective markets for almost all customs areas, with a few exceptions that will be subject to progressive incorporation into future free trade agreements.

This Agreement was one of the first of its kind in which the Dominican Republic had taken part. In commercial terms, it signifies a potential market of around US$30 billion , with more than 40 million consumers.

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Free Trade Agreement between the Caribbean Community and the Dominican Republic (CARICOM - DR)

In August 1998, the Dominican Republic signed a Free Trade Agreement with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). This Agreement establishes an area of free trade for goods and services, investments and cooperation. In terms of Customs tariff reductions, the differences between the countries involved are taken into account, with the opening up of the largest islands (Barbados, Jamaica y Trinidad y Tobago) and a different treatment for less developed countries (members of the Eastern Caribbean States Organization)

This Agreement also includes a plan of action that establishes the free movement of production factors, people and capital in the region. This implies the opening of a potential market of around 8 million people for the Dominican Republic.

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Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Central America and the Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) - pending.

The Free Trade Agreement between Central America, the United States, and the Dominican Republic was signed in August 2004 and is currently being negotiated by the parties involved so that it can enter in to force.  The purpose of this Treaty is to increase the market for good and services produced in the respective countries, in order to stimulate expansion of commerce and increase investment opportunities in the Region. In terms of Customs tariff reductions there will be preferential access to the elimination of customs charges for all goods entering the markets of the United States. With CAFTA-DR the benefits granted will be consolidated by the preferential programs of the Generalized System of Preferences, and the Commercial Association Agreement between the United States and the Caribbean Basin (CBTPA).

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