The Dominican Republic (DR) has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years, averaging 5.3 percent annually between 1993 and 2018, one of the fastest rates in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. The pace accelerated to an average of 6.3 percent per year between 2014 and 2018 -- and 7 percent in 2018, fueled by robust domestic demand. It was the fastest-growing LAC economy over that five-year period.
The sustained growth has reduced poverty and inequality, helping to expand the middle class. However, if the DR wants to achieve its goal of becoming a high-income country by 2030, it must improve the fiscal balance, build up its human capital, promote a better business environment, enhance the management of natural resources, improve resilience to disasters and climate-related risks, and increase policy-making transparency and accountability.
Building on the long-term National Development Strategy (Vision 2030), the government drafted the 2016-2020 Government Plan at the start of its second term. The plan’s strategic objective is to foster a more inclusive economic growth and sets a target of deepening the reforms begun during the previous four-year term. Presidential and congressional elections will be held in May 2020.
The government has doubled education spending as a percentage of GDP since 2013 and implemented a series of reforms to improve learning outcomes. The Government has also joined the WBG’s Human Capital Project, which provides a platform for countries to share experiences on improving human capital outcomes. These decisions — together with the government’s voluntary choice to take part in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015 and 2018 — demonstrates a commitment to tackle the barriers to human capital development with a comprehensive strategy. According to the WBG’s Human Capital Index (HCI), a child born in the DR today will be 49 percent as productive when they grow up as they could be if they received a complete education and proper healthcare.
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2019