Industrializing the Dominican Republic: the government’s commitment to job creation

To speak of jobs in the Dominican Republic is to speak of industry which, after being decreed a “national priority” by President Luis Abinader, has become a catalyst for investment and an engine for economic reactivation, leading the generation of more than 376,000 jobs as of March 31, according to labor statistics of the Dominican Social Security System.

The creation of the Presidential Round Table for Industrialization, to elaborate and implement the National Industrialization Plan and articulate policies aimed at making the country’s free zones and industries more competitive, was key for the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes (MICM), in its guiding role, to promote favorable conditions to facilitate processes and reactivate industries.

This synergy achieved between local industry and the free trade zones, applying a joint strategy to promote investment, was the reason why, for the first time, both registered historic increases in employment and exports during 2021 and will continue to be at the forefront of economic reactivation indicators during 2022.

For the January-February period of this year, the number of formal workers in the local manufacturing sector amounted to 137,761, increasing 1.4% over the same month of the previous year. Meanwhile, the free trade zones registered a record number of jobs, the highest in the last 15 years, more than 182,000 direct jobs.

In his February 2022 accountability, President Abinader described local industries and free zones as a determining factor in accelerating economic recovery, as evidenced by the results presented in 2021 in terms of jobs, export performance and investment reception.

The transformation of the free zones and the relaunching of the tobacco industry have been a bet of the Dominican government working together with the private sector.

In 2021, national industrial exports reached US$1,587.7 million, which represented an increase of 30.7% over 2020 and 18% compared to 2019.

As for the first two months of 2022, the manufacturing industry recorded an average inter-annual increase of 10.2 % in the real added value of the free zones, reflected in the annualized variation of 13.2 % of the sector’s exports, informed the Central Bank.

This vision of the government, articulated in the National Industrialization Plan, has been a determining factor in the increase of investments and exports. This sector continues to show a favorable performance in the first months of 2022, registering a year-on-year growth of 14.4 % in February of this year. This performance is largely due to the increase in free zone exports, which totaled some US$633.7 million and the growth of domestic exports, which totaled US$466.4 million, or some US$41.3 million (9.7 %) more than in February 2021.

In the first two months of the year, total exports reached US$2,016.4 million, which allows projecting that they could exceed the US$12,462 million reached in 2021.

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