The Dominican Republic, located in the centre of the Caribbean, is the second largest country in the region with a territory of 48,442 Km², and a population of approximately 10 million people. It occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Santo Domingo (also called Hispaniola).
Its centric location and pro-business policies make the Dominican Republic an ideal destination for tourism, trade, and investment, being in close proximity to North America, as well as Central and South America. By means of air route, the Dominican Republic is only 2 hours away from Miami, 4 hours and 30 minutes from Toronto, and 2 hours and 30 minutes from Panama City.
The Dominican Republic is one of largest economies in Central America and the Caribbean, having as solid foundations the industries of tourism, agriculture, telecommunications, manufacturing, and mining.
It is the most visited country in the region with more than 4 million visitors every year according to World Bank statistics. It is home to outstanding tourist scenery, and countless facilities awarded by international organizations for their high quality and exceptional customer satisfaction.
Similarly, the Dominican Republic has a strong manufacturing sector accounting for more than 20% of the national GDP. The sector exports goods that range from apparel to medical devices, and electrical components. While the Dominican agribusiness industry is recognized by its long history exporting high-quality commodities such as coffee, cocoa, sugar, and tobacco as well as by its competitive advantage in the production of organic fruits and vegetables.
In the mining sector, the Dominican Republic has a vast reserve of natural resources including gold and silver. The Caribbean country is home to the largest gold mine in the Americas and 9th largest gold mine in the world.
In addition, the country is one of the major recipients of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the region, favoured by investors on account of its pro-business policies and legal framework which promotes competitiveness and growth. Also, key free trade agreements allow the Dominican Republic to have direct access to more than 850 million consumers in Europe, the United States, Central America and the Caribbean.
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Major Cities and Tourist Regions
The City of Santo Domingo is the major urban centre of the Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo is not only the political capital, but also the financial, industrial, and commercial centre of the country. It is located in the south coast of the island and is the most densely populated region in the country.
As the first European city founded in the Americas, Santo Domingo is rich in history and culture. In 2010, Santo Domingo was chosen as the American Capital of Culture by the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals. The Old Colonial City of Santo Domingo, located at the heart of the modern Santo Domingo, has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Colonial City is the oldest European settlement in the Americas, founded in 1498 by Bartholomew Columbus, brother of Christopher Columbus. Santo Domingo is home to the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery and fortress in the New World.
The second largest city, Santiago de los Caballeros, is located in the north-central location of the Dominican Republic. It is the second largest contributor to the national GDP, and even though its economy is becoming predominantly driven by service industries, the surroundings of the city are known as leaders in the agribusiness sector for its fertile land, and experienced farming.
Major tourist regions are scattered from coast to coast with the main pillars of Punta Cana and La Romana in the east, Puerto Plata in the north, and Samaná in the northeast region of the Dominican Republic.
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The Dominican Republic is a founding member of the United Nations and it is active in many of its specialized agencies. It is also a member of the Organization of the American States, and became a full member of the Central American Integration System (SICA from its Spanish acronym) in 2013. It is also a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1995.
The Dominican Republic has accredited diplomatic missions in most countries of the Americas, as well as in the main European capitals and major strategic points in Asia.