Foreign relations of the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has a close relationship with the United States and with the other states of the Inter-American system. It has accredited diplomatic missions in most Western Hemisphere countries and in principal European capitals. The Dominican Republic maintains official relations with the Republic of China (commonly known as “Taiwan”) instead of the People's Republic of China. The Dominican Republic and Cuba recently established consular relations, and there is contact in fields such as commerce, culture, and sports. Although Dominican relations with its closest neighbor, the Republic of Haiti, have never been extensive, there are signs this would have changed with the government of President Hipólito Mejía. Growing immigration from and political instability in Haiti have forced the Dominican Republic to take a closer look at relations with its neighbor both country-to-country and in international fora. There is a sizeable Haitian migrant community in the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic belongs to the United Nations and many of its specialized and related agencies, including the World Bank, International Labour Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency, and International Civil Aviation Organization. It also is a member of the OAS, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, World Customs Organization the Inter-American Development Bank, and ACP Group.

The Dominican Republic has very strong ties and relations with Puerto Rico. Although a United States Commonwealth, the island is the Dominican Republic's largest trading partner. While relations between the islands have had difficulties, mainly due the huge exodus of illegal immigrants from the Dominican Republic due to the nation's history of economic woes, the islands still, with the assistance of the United States Coast Guard and the Dominican Navy have worked hard to reduce the number of Dominicans crossing the Mona Passage in recent years. Puerto Rico is home to an estimated 500,000 Dominicans, and the Dominican Republic maintains consulates in the cities of San Juan and Mayagüez.

Relations with the United States

The U.S. has a strong interest in a democratic, stable, and economically healthy Dominican Republic. The country's standing as the largest Caribbean economy, second-largest country in terms of population and land mass, with large bilateral trade with the United States, and its proximity to the United States and other smaller Caribbean nations make the Dominican Republic an important partner in hemispheric affairs. The Embassy estimates that 100,000 U.S. citizens live in the Dominican Republic; many are dual nationals. An important element of the relationship between the two countries is the fact that more than 1 million individuals of Dominican origin reside in the United States, most of them in the metropolitan Northeast and some in Florida.

U.S. relations with the Dominican Republic are excellent, and the U.S. has been an outspoken supporter of that country's democratic and economic development. The Dominican Government has been supportive of many U.S. initiatives in the United Nations and related agencies. The two governments cooperate in the fight against the traffic in illegal substances. The Dominican Republic has worked closely with U.S. law enforcement officials on issues such as the extradition of fugitives and measures to hinder illegal migration.

The United States supports the Fernández administration's efforts to improve Dominican competitiveness, to attract foreign private investment, to fight corruption, and to modernize the tax system. Bilateral trade is important to both countries. U.S. firms, mostly manufacturers of apparel, footwear, and light electronics, as well as U.S. energy companies, account for much of the foreign private investment in the Dominican Republic.

Exports from the United States, including those from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to the Dominican Republic in 2005 totaled $5.3 billion, up 11% from the previous year. The Dominican Republic exported $4.5 billion to the United States in 2006, equaling some 75% of its export revenues. The Dominican Republic is the 47th-largest commercial partner of the U.S. The U.S. Embassy works closely with U.S. business firms and Dominican trade groups, both of which can take advantage of the new opportunities in this growing market. At the same time, the Embassy is working with the Dominican Government to resolve a range of ongoing commercial and investment disputes.

The Embassy counsels U.S. firms through its Country Commercial Guide and informally via meetings with business persons planning to invest or already investing in the Dominican Republic. This is a challenging business environment for U.S. firms, especially for medium to smaller sized businesses.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) mission is focused on improving access of underserved populations to quality health care and combating HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; promoting economic growth through policy reform, support for CAFTA-DR implementation, and technical assistance to small producers and tourism groups; environmental protection and policy reform initiatives; improved access to quality primary, public education and assistance to at-risk youth; a model rural electrification program; and improving participation in democratic processes, while strengthening the judiciary and combating corruption across all sectors. [ [http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35639.htm U.S. Department of State: Dominican Republic] ]

ee also

*Diplomatic missions of the Dominican Republic
*List of diplomatic missions in the Dominican Republic

References

External links

*es icon [http://www.serex.gov.do/default.aspx Dominican Secretary of State for Foreign Relations]
*en icon/es icon [http://www.consuladord-ny.org Dominican Consulate in New York City]
*en icon/es icon [http://www.dominicanembassy.org.uk Dominican Embassy in London, United Kingdom]
*en icon/es icon/fr icon [http://www.drembassy.org Dominican Embassy in Ottawa, Canada]
*es icon/fr icon [http://www.amba-dominicaine-paris.com Dominican Embassy in Paris France]
*en icon/es icon} [http://www.domrep.org Dominican Embassy in Washington, DC]
*pt icon/es icon [http://www.embajadadebrasil.org.do/ Embassy of Brazil in Santo Domingo]
*es icon/fr icon [http://www.funredes.org/ambafrance/article.php3?id_article=271 Embassy of France in Santo Domingo]
*jp icon/es icon [http://www.do.emb-japan.go.jp Embassy of Japan in Santo Domingo]
*en icon/es icon [http://www.bm30.es/socios/consulados/repdomin_es.html Honorary Consulate of the Dominican Republic in Bilbao, Spain]
*en icon [http://www.dominicanconsulate.org.pk Honorary Consulate of the Dominican Republic in Lahore, Pakistan]
*en icon/es icon [http://un.cti.depaul.edu/cgi-bin/spider.py?_request=0&country=DominicanRepublic Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations]
*en icon/es icon [http://www.usemb.gov.do United States Embassy in Santo Domingo]


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