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Country Profile: Dominican Republic at a glance


Fun With Flags A white cross divides the flag into four rectangles; blue on the left upper and right lower corners and red on the top right and bottom left. A small coat of arms featuring a shield supported by a laurel branch and a palm branch is at the center of the cross; above the shield a blue ribbon displays the motto, Dios, Patria, Libertad (God, Fatherland, Liberty).

Location: Caribbean; shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The island is located between Cuba and Puerto Rico

Size: Twice the size of New Hampshire

Population: 10.5 million

Capital: Santo Domingo, where one-third of population lives

Natural hazards: Located in the hurricane belt

Degree of risk for major infectious diseases: High

Nationality: Dominican

Ethnic makeup: 73% of mixed heritage, 16% white, 11% black

Official language: Spanish

Religion: 95% Roman Catholic

Median age: 27 years

Labor force: 4.93 million

Unemployment: 14%

GDP: $62.5 billion

GDP per capita: $14,900 (up $700 from 2014)

Government: Presidential republic

Franchise law: none, plus no relationship laws

U.S. Ambassador: James “Wally” Brewster

Citizenship: Not by birth, one parent must be a citizen of the DR

Measurements: Metric system

Time difference: One hour ahead of EST

Internet users: 46% of population (2013 figure)

Poverty line: About 43% live below it

Ease of doing business: 84th (out of 189 economies)

Global Corruption Perception Index: 115th out of 175 countries

International phone code: 809 (there are no city codes; phone numbers are seven digits)

Fiscal year: Calendar year

Retail: Few stores open on Sunday

Weekday hours: Shops are closed for two-hours in the middle of the day

Taxes: Hotels and restaurants add a 23% government tax to all bills (which is added to the bill, not included in the price)

Tips: An extra 10% to 15% is appreciated by wait staff

Business visas: US$125 for multiple entries; US$115 for 60 days, one entry

Visa processing time: 10 to 15 working days. Apply at http://www.domrep.org/visa.html#Businessvisa

Examples of U.S. franchises there: Century 21, Coverall, Gold’s Gym, Sweet Frog, Chili’s, Fuddrucker’s, Ethan Allen

Culinary: A typical breakfast includes mangú (boiled and mashed plantains), fried eggs and fried salami. Lunch, the largest meal of the day, consists of rice, red beans and some sort of meat, with a side salad.

Sources: CIA World Factbook, The World Bank website, dominicanrepublic.com, wikipedia, U.S. Commercial Service website, World Economic Forum, AM/CHAM

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