History of a trade: The great ties that unite the DR and Spain

In 2020, the Dominican Republic exchanged goods with the world for a value of US $26,971.4 million, of which 36.5% corresponded to exports, while 63.5% corresponded to imports. Of this total, Spain was the Dominican Republic’s main trading partner among European markets.

Foreign direct investment flows from Spain amounted to US$1.9 billion, representing 6.6% of accumulated flows.

Spain is also the fourth country with the largest investments in the Dominican Republic and, at present, there are nearly 100 Spanish companies registered in the Dominican Republic, operating in a wide range of sectors, from tourism services, energy, water, financial services to agri-food.

Among them, the following stand out: CEF – UDIMA Educational Group -whose first international headquarters is CEF – Santo Domingo-, INDITEX, Banco Sabadell, Hospiten, Sampol Group, MAPFRE Group, Corporación Empresarial Globalia, as well as several hotel groups, such as Iberostar, Meliá, Catalonia, Palladium, Riu and Barceló, and, since 2020, Ly Company Water Group, the first mineral water bottling plant in carton packaging, becoming the first water factory in tetrapack in the Caribbean and Central America.

In addition, in the country there are numerous entities linked to Spain, such as the House of Spain in Santo Domingo, the Spanish Center of Santiago de los Caballeros or the Spanish Center of Constanza, institutions that have been able to develop support and solidarity activities, as well as cultural, sports and leisure services for their members in a spirit of brotherhood with the Dominican society.

But not only Spanish investments have contributed to the country’s economy. Last year, the Dominican Republic received US$722 million in remittances and a similar amount in tourist spending by the nearly 200,000 Spaniards who visited our country.

The good relations between the two countries have led to the signing of an inter-institutional agreement between the Dominican Republic’s Export and Investment Center (ProDominicana) and the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic to generate new business opportunities for exporters and expand the capacity to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from Spanish capital.

Dominican exports to Spain
In terms of exports, the Dominican export offer has also achieved an important participation in the Spanish market. In the last ten years, the export sector has generated US$ 827.2 million, which places Spain as one of the country’s main suppliers.

The main items exported from the Dominican Republic to Spain are concentrated 82.4% in five products. These are:

Rum: The Dominican Republic is the third largest exporter of rum worldwide and Spain is our main trading partner in this area. This product represents 46.8% of total Spanish imports from the Dominican Republic. The rum consumed in Spain was imported from our country with values of more than US$54 million.

Ferronickel: Our nation is the sixth largest exporter of ferronickel in the world and Spain is our third largest trading partner in this area. Spanish imports of Dominican ferronickel represent 18.3% of historical imports. During 2019, 14.8% of global imports of this product to Spain were made from the Dominican Republic with values of over US$21 million.

Cocoa: The Dominican Republic is the ninth largest producer and exporter of cocoa worldwide and Spain is our fifth largest trading partner in relative terms. This product represents 8.8% of Spanish imports from the Dominican Republic. In the last three years, imports of this product exceeded 4%. Thus, Spain imported 10.7 million dollars of Dominican cocoa.

Cigars: Our country is the largest exporter of handmade cigars worldwide and Spain is our sixth largest trading partner for this product. Cigars represent 5.9% of Spanish imports. During 2019, Spain imported US$6.78 million of Dominican cigars.

Avocados: Dominican Republic is the tenth largest exporter of avocados worldwide and Spain is its fourth largest trading partner. This product represents 0.8% of total Spanish imports from our country. Dominican avocado imports by Spain represented 4.5% of total Dominican exports to Spain. Thus, Spain imported US$2.7 million.

Spanish exports to the Dominican Republic
Spanish exports to the Dominican Republic in 2020 totaled US$105.94 million.

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