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Dominica: Foreign Trade and Balance of Payments
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Economy > Foreign Trade and Balance of Payments


Bananas accounted for 40.1 percent of Dominica's merchandise exports during the period 1980 to 1983. This product was followed by laundry and toilet soaps (34.3 percent), citrus products (4.3 percent), and all other commodities (21.3 percent). Exports totalled US$32.9 million in 1983. The overwhelming percentage of Dominican exports that year were destined for members of the Commonwealth of Nations. Only 2.4 percent of exports were destined for the United States. Trade restrictions within Caricom restrained the development of the manufacturing sector.

Consumer goods -- consisting of foods, beverages, tobacco, oils and fats, and manufactured goods -- represented 56.1 percent of merchandise imports in 1983. Food, beverages, and tobacco alone composed 24.5 percent of imports. Other major segments of Dominican imports were intermediate goods (chemicals, fuels and lubricants, and raw materials) at 21.5 percent and capital goods (machinery and transport equipment) at 18.3 percent. Dominica's import bill for 1983 was US$49.3 million. The United States supplied 23.1 percent of imports that year, followed by Britain (18.1 percent), the OECS (14.5 percent), and the non-OECS members of Caricom (12.5 percent).

Continued debt servicing obligations and trade deficits were the largest burdens on the country's balance of payments in the 1980s. In 1985 debt service payments on the country's US$48-million external debt reached US$5.5 million, some 15 percent of government revenues. Increased indebtedness was almost entirely related to accumulated project debt, virtually all of which was externally financed. Because of the need to raise money to service the debt, the health of the export sector was increasingly important. In 1985, however, the island's trade deficit increased to US$28 million, a direct result of growing protectionism in Caricom.

Data as of November 1987

Last Updated: November 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Dominica was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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