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Dominican Republic: Manufacturing
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Industry > Manufacturing


Manufacturing, particularly assembly operations in free zones, constituted one of the most dynamic sectors of the Dominican economy in the 1980s. As had been true of mining, the growing role of manufacturing accelerated the industrialization and the diversification processes affecting the island's economy. Manufacturing in 1988 contributed about 17 percent of GDP, employed 8 percent of the labor force, and generated about onethird of exports, although assembly exports did not appear in normal trade data because of their free zone origins. The sector consisted of traditional manufacturing, with large roles for both the public and the private sectors, and free-zone manufacturing, consisting mainly of assembly operations with some agroprocessing as well. Growth in manufacturing during the 1980s centered on the free zones; their projected employment of as many as 180,000 workers by 1991, when compared with a total of only 16,000 workers in 1980, was expected to represent the most dramatic increase in assembly labor in the world during that tenyear period. Manufacturing's export performance was equally dramatic. Manufactured goods went from 11 percent of total exports in 1980 to 31 percent by 1987.

Data as of December 1989

Last Updated: December 1989

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Dominican Republic was first published in 1989. 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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