Present circumstances allow us to affirm that investment in Central American and Caribbean countries constitutes an important opportunity to be taken into consideration by those entrepreneurs willing to internationalize their commercial activity. The Forum on Business Opportunities was held with the intention of shedding light on this situation. This article will refer to the situation in the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is one of the Central American countries with a higher Human Development Index, after Costa Rica. It is included among countries with a high Human Development Index, with an index of 0,722.

The Dominican Republic is a country which possesses great political and economic stability, and according to World Bank Governance Indicators of 2016, it possesses a political stability and lack of violence and terrorism index of 53,3, which places it just after Uruguay, Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama and Chile in the Latin-American area. Its GDP has shown an increase of 102% during the 2005-2016 period, placing itself as the Latin American country with the highest economic growth with an average annual growth rate of 6.5% between 2012 and 2016.

Regarding direct foreign investment in the Caribbean region, the Dominican Republic represents 32% thereof during the 2005-2015 period, but only 5% of the foreign investment in the Dominican Republic came from Spain.

The Dominican Republic has a preferential access to markets representing a total of 900 million customers, as a consequence of the free trade agreements signed with 48 countries.

It should be noted that there are important investment incentives, such as the ones regulated by the law 16-95, which gives national treatment to the foreign investor, and those derived from international agreements, such as the Reciprocal Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement and the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, signed with Spain. Furthermore, due to its WTO membership, it must uphold the principles of national treatment and non-discrimination.

Other investment incentives are derived from the regulation contained in different laws, whose object is the legal control of free zones, textile products and footwear, logistics, renewable energies, tourism promotion, agro-industrial incentives, film promotion and industrial competitiveness.

As regards Spanish investment in the Dominican Republic, direct investment in the 2010-2016 period amounted to 820.3 million USD, having as its destination trade, service, financial, transport, health and tourism sectors.

The investment opportunity that the free zones represent is also worthy of mention. They imply 100% national and local tax exemptions, such as personal income tax, value added tax, import tax, insurance and fuel tax and patent, asset and/or wealth tax.

In view of all that it may be concluded that the Dominican Republic offers very positive circumstances to be taken into account by the foreign investor, and more specifically by the Spanish investor, representing an interesting investment opportunity.