COUNTRYAAH, Dominica is one of the poorest countries in the
Caribbean. The country experienced relatively strong GDP
growth through the 1980s, but has from time to time been hit
by economic setbacks following devastating hurricanes.
During the 1990s, GDP per capita increased by around 0.8 per
cent annually. Uncertainty about Dominica's access to the
European market contributed to lower productivity around the
turn of the millennium, and in 2002 the country faced an
economic crisis. From 2002 to 2013, GDP increased by about
50 per cent.
More than half of the working population is employed in
the service industries, which together contributed 64 per
cent of GDP in 2002. The tourism industry is an important
and growing part of the economy. The vast majority of
tourists arrive via cruise ships. In 1990, under 7,000
tourists arrived via cruise ships; by the end of the decade
and the beginning of the 2000s, the number has increased to
over 200,000. In recent years, special attention has been
paid to promoting ecotourism. Offshore is also indicated as
a main focus area.
About 75 percent of the electrical energy produced comes
from diesel generators. Hydropower was previously the
dominant source of energy, but now accounts for only between
20 and 28 per cent, depending on rainfall. The country has
large hydropower resources that have not been utilized.
Investments in hydroelectric power plants and water supply
are partly financed by the export of water to poorer islands
in the Caribbean, such as Aruba.
Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture is the most important industry and
contributes (together with less fishing) to 17 per cent of
GDP (2002). Bananas have been by far the most important
export product, but banana exports (which went almost
entirely to the UK) were heavily influenced by the opening
of the European market in 1993 for significantly cheaper
banana imports from Central America. In order to reduce the
dependence on bananas, the authorities have encouraged more
varied production, and the main products are now in addition
to bananas, coconuts (used for the production of soap and
cooking oil), mangoes, avocados, papaya, citrus fruits and
ginger. Some animal husbandry. Shrimp farming and other
aquaculture are among the industries that have shown growth
The industry is based on the processing of agricultural
products and is mainly run by small and medium-sized
companies. In 2002, the industry contributed about 20 per
cent of GDP and employed about the same proportion of the
Dominica has a deficit on both the trade balance and the
balance of payments abroad. Major trading countries are
Jamaica, the United Kingdom, the United States and Trinidad
and Tobago. The main export goods are bananas and soap.
Important import goods are machinery and transport
equipment, paper and food products.
Transport and Communications
Dominica has a relatively well-developed road network.
Dominica has two local airports (Canefield just outside
Roseau as well as Melville Hall 64 km from Roseau) that
connect the island with neighboring islands. There is also
fast boat connection with Guadeloupe and Martinique. The
deep water port near Roseau serves foreign trade and visitor
cruise ships. A new cruise port has been built in Cabrits
National Park at Prince Rupert Bay north of the island.