Overview

  • The Dominican Republic has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years, averaging 5.1 percent annually between 2008 and 2018, the second highest in LAC. The pace accelerated to an average of 6.6 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. Despite the progress, if the DR wants to achieve its goal of becoming a high-income country by 2030, it must contend with six priority challenges identified in the World Bank's most recent Systematic Country Diagnostic. 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 policymaking transparency and accountability.

    After winning a second mandate in 2016, the government put greater focus on equity and inclusion, human capital, natural resource management, and competitiveness. 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 makes more inclusive economic growth a core strategy, and sets a target of deepening the reforms begun during the previous four-year term. The next general elections are due to be held in May 2020.

    The government has expressed interest in joining the WBG’s Human Capital Project. This decision — together with the government’s voluntary choice in 2015 to take part in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) — 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.

    Going forward, the WBG will put more emphasis on using the Maximizing Finance for Development (MFD) approach. The IFC and WB interventions are well coordinated. There has been increased collaboration in areas such as electricity, access to finance (SMEs and capital markets), and enabling PPPs. The WBG plans to prioritize fiscal sustainability and social inclusion in its program for the country.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2019

  • The WBG strategy is based on: strengthening the conditions for equitable growth; improving the delivery of services for the poor; and building resilience. Over the past decade, the WBG has been involved in the areas of growth and competitiveness, public sector institutions, electricity, human capital, and environmental and natural resource resilience.

    The active IBRD lending portfolio includes five projects for a total of US$575 million in education, electricity, social protection, resilience, agriculture, water, and other sectors. The IFC’s active investment portfolio totals US$538 million (including the mobilization of US$226 million from other lenders) in eight projects. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) has provided US$107.6 million in political risk insurance for a road infrastructure project.

    The WBG’s knowledge work has set the basis for analytics and helped beef up government capacity in fiscal management, competitiveness, resilience, trade, and health.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2019

  • The government’s projects financed by the World Bank Group have yielded important results in recent years, including:

    • The revamping of more than 500 km of power lines has reduced electricity losses and guaranteed 24-hour service to 105,000 poor clients.
    • The restoration of three dams after the Olga and Noel storms has improved flood reduction, water supply, irrigation, hydropower generation, and environmental conservation.
    • The improvement of some 24 irrigation schemes has benefitted 18,779 fruit and vegetable farmers, improving local and national food security.
    • The restoration of water treatment facilities in the cities of Santo Domingo (CAASD) and Santiago (CORAASAN) has provided over one million gallons of safe drinking water to 750,000 people.
    • The launch of a wastewater treatment plant and a submarine outfall will benefit 139,000 people in Puerto Plata, a major tourist destination.
    • The renewal of irrigation systems across the country will service more than 37,200 hectares of land with improved telemetry systems that measure river water flows, helping to increase agricultural output for more than 18,700 farmers.
    • Thirty-one poor municipalities have received training on participatory budgeting, development planning, financial management, procurement and contracting, human resources, and municipal services.
    • The national public system for the procurement and distribution of medicines in public hospitals has been strengthened, helping to cut the costs of antibiotics, insulin, and other medicines.
    • A competitive selection system has been introduced to raise the academic standards of new teachers and improve the quality of education. Diagnostic learning assessments of all third-grade students were completed and the results were delivered to schools and the Ministry of Education to help them improve planning, adjust teacher training, and support decision-making.
    • The government has established an advanced legal framework for disaster risk management and put in place an epidemiologic surveillance system and rapid response mechanism to speed up the detection and management of disease outbreaks.
    • Justice leaders have been trained to accelerate judicial processes through the “100 Days Challenge,” making it possible for more than 3,600 cases of robbery and gender-based violence to get solved in 100 days.
    • The DR has passed an insolvency law to speed up and reduce the cost of commercial restructuring. The country, as well, is one of the world’s top 50 economies where trading across borders is easiest.
    • The DR has simplified its online business registration.
    • A total of 221,133 entrepreneurs and MSMEs, of which 57.6 percent are women or women-led businesses, have benefited from improved access to finance.
    • Over 300,000 individuals have received social protection benefits, and 59,731 families (around 191,000 individuals) have been registered in the conditional cash transfer program for the first time.

    Last Updated: Apr 01, 2019

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LENDING

Dominican Republic: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


PHOTO GALLERY

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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC +809 872 7300
Alejandra De La Paz
Ave. Lope de Vega No. 29, Torre Novo-Centro, Piso 10, Ensanche Naco, Santo Domingo
adelapaz@worldbank.org