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Economics and Business in Dominica

According to 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.

Business of Dominica

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.

Energy

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 potential.

Industry

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 working population.

Foreign Trade

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.

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