During the last two decades, the Dominican Republic has sought to foster a highly receptive environment for international investors, adopting policies that minimize regulatory obstacles and, at the same time, provide assistance and incentives to foreign companies and individuals to bring their capital into the country. As a result, the country has become the number one recipient of direct foreign investment in the region: 21 billion dollars' worth from 2006 to 2015.
The Dominican Constitution accords foreign and local investors equal treatment under the law, stating expressly that foreigners in the Dominican Republic are entitled to the same rights as Dominican nationals, except for participating in local political activities. At the same time, foreign investors are bound by the same rules and regulations applicable to local investors.
Foreign investors can freely hold equity in local businesses and joint ventures, as well as buy real estate in their names.
Foreign Investment Law 16-95, enacted on November 20, 1995, and its enabling regulations, eliminated all barriers formerly imposed on international investments in the Dominican Republic. Investors contributing capital to companies operating in the Dominican Republic are granted unlimited access to all sectors of the Dominican economy, except for investments related to national security and other sensitive industries.
Registration of foreign investments is optional. No government approval is required for the repatriation of profits.
Government Assistance to Foreign Investors
The Center for Exports and Investment of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD), a government agency created in 2013 with the explicit purpose of attracting foreign investment and fostering exports, assists foreign investors in their business ventures in the Dominican Republic, providing them with timely advice and information, as well as assistance in coordinating their applications for government permits. In 2012, a one-stop investment office was set up within the Center to assist foreign investors in streamlining government permit applications related to free zones, tourism, renewable energy, and the film industry, among others
The Center also sponsors events to promote the Dominican Republic as an investment destination and to provide information to potential investors on how to plan and implement successful business projects in the country.
Government Guarantees for Foreign Loans
The Dominican government also assists investors by pledging its full faith and credit to loans provided by international agencies for significant infrastructure projects in the Dominican Republic. Foreign investors in large Dominican projects commonly use capital and political/exchange insurance risk facilities provided by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the Overseas...