RELATIONS BETWEEN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

The Dominican Republic and the European Union maintain excellent relations based on three fundamental pillars: a sustained political dialogue, growing commercial exchange and cooperation programs. Mutual respect and shared values ​​are the basis of a relationship in which both parties share the concern for the consolidation of democracy, the strengthening of the rule of law, sustainable development, social justice and the principles of international law.

The EU-DR liaisons are part of a series of agreements and dialogues in which the Dominican Republic plays an active role, including the CELAC-EU political dialogue and the Association Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP), revised in 2000 with the signing of the Cotonou Agreement. As a member of the Central American Integration System (SICA), we also participate in the development of political dialogue between the EU and SICA.

The Joint Caribbean-EU Partnership Strategy seeks to extend and improve political relations, traditionally based on development and cooperation, by providing greater political participation through five main lines of action: regional integration; reconstruction of Haiti; climate change and natural disasters; crime and security and joint action in multilateral forums.

At the political level, we maintain constructive exchanges through the bi-regional EURO-LAT and CARIFORUM-EU assemblies and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

Trade relations between the European Union and the Dominican Republic have deepened in the last decade, partly due to the CARIFORUM-EU EPA signed in 2008.

Citizens of the European Union represent 18.35% of the total number of visitors in the Dominican Republic. In 2017, almost 1.2 million Europeans visited our country, in particular from Germany (265 709), France (221 492), Spain (177 993), England (177 534) and Italy (84 094), representing a 9% increase over the previous year.

 

Cooperation

A variety of cooperation initiatives and actions programmed and executed at national and regional levels support collaboration between the European Union and the Dominican Republic and contribute to sustainably eradicating poverty in our country.

The 11th European Development Fund (EDF 2014-2020) is the primary development aid instrument provided by the European Union to the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) and the overseas states and territories through the implementation of initiatives in such fields as health, science, education and culture.

Through this fund, the European Union has allocated $72 million euros to the Dominican Republic to carry out projects in the two priority areas defined in our National Indicative Program (NIP):

  • Support for productive and inclusive development, and training skills for quality employment.
  • Support for institutional reforms of public administration.

Likewise, CARIFORUM received $346 million euros through the EDF. The Regional Indicative Program (RIP) establishes CARIFORUM’s priorities, which include binational projects that contribute to strengthening relations between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Also, the PIR supports the implementation of other programs, namely integration and regional economic cooperation, fighting climate change, management of natural disasters, the environment and sustainable energies, and crime and security in the region.

The Dominican Republic can also access the funds of the intra-ACP envelope which allocate resources for projects in ACP countries in areas such as education, protection of the environment, adaptation to climate change, promotion of investment and private sector, amongst others.

The Dominican Republic can benefit from other cooperation instruments such as:

The Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) available to all developing countries, which focuses on promoting the sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

The Association Instrument, available to all non- European Union countries, specifically designed to promote global strategic interests by strengthening external strategies, policies and actions.

The Dominican Republic can also benefit from the Horizon 2020 initiative which encourages cooperation with non-EU partners in the areas of research and innovation.

Since 1992 the European Investment Bank has supported 15 investment projects in the Dominican Republic for a contribution totaling around 350 million euros. Most recently, the Caribbean Investment Facility (CIF), one of the EU’s regional blending facilities, which benefits Caribbean countries signatories of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, has been instrumental at mobilizing funds for development projects by combining grants from the EIB with other public and private resources, such as loans from the European and Regional Financial Institutions.

The EIB’s regional office for the Caribbean is located in Santo Domingo.

 

Trade

During the last decade, the European Union and the Dominican Republic have consolidated their trade relations, partly due to the CARIFORUM-EU EPA. The EU is currently the second most important trading partner of the Dominican Republic, while the DR ranks 73rd among the trading partners of the European Union.

The trade of goods between the Dominican Republic and the European Union amounted to 11,800 million euros during the last five years. Dominican exports to the European Union amounted to $4.3 billion euros, while imports from the European Union reached $7.4 billion euros, for a trade deficit for the Dominican Republic of around $3.06 billion euros.

Total trade experienced a positive growth trend since the implementation of the EPA. In 2017 the exchange of goods with the EU reached its second highest record totalling 2.6 billion euros for a 45% increase compared to a decade ago.

 

Investment

The European Union is the second most important investor in the Dominican Republic. Between 1993 and 2017 it represented 20.3% of the stock of FDI in the country, totalling 7.3 billion dollars, behind the United States only by 1.5 billion dollars.

Spain leads with 53% of these investments, followed by the United Kingdom with 15%, France with 13% and the Netherlands with 11%.

EU investments in the country cover a wide range of economic areas such as tourism, infrastructure, telecommunications, airport management, financial services and technology. Europeans have also shown great interest in investing in our rum and cigar industries, contributing to their worldwide recognition.

 

Tourism

The European Union represents 25% of the total number of visitors in our country, which makes them an essential market for our tourism industry. In 2017, almost 1.2 million Europeans visited the Dominican Republic, in particular from Germany (259,133), France (232,024), Spain (169,760), the United Kingdom (165,111) and Italy (81,729), representing an increase of 11% to the previous year.