About the Dominican Republic

It is a country located in the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island, which it shares with the nation of Haiti. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation with an area of 48,671 square kilometres (18,792 sq. mi), and third by population with approximately 10.5 million people, of which approximately three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.

Santo Domingo, the nation’s largest city, is central to one of the nation’s most densely populated regions; founded by the Spanish in 1496, it was the first permanent town established by Europeans in the Americas. The Cibao Valley is also densely settled, particularly in its central and eastern sections at Santiago, San Francisco de Macorís, and La Vega. Santiago, the nation’s second largest city, vies with Santo Domingo in political, cultural, and economic matters. Secondary coastal centres include La Romana and San Pedro de Macorís in the southeast, Barahona in the southwest, and Puerto Plata in the north. The official language is Spanish. The currency is the Dominican Peso (DOP) (1 Dollar = 51.01 Dominican Pesos as July the 3rd)


The Dominican Republic is a representative democracy whose current constitution was promulgated in 2010. Dominicans have had universal suffrage since 1942. Citizens aged 18 and older may vote in elections unless they are members of the armed forces or the police.

The president is directly elected to a four-year term. Re-election is permitted, and in 2015 the constitution was amended to allow consecutive terms. The bicameral legislature is composed of a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies; members of both houses are directly elected to four-year terms and may be re-elected. The 32-member Senate is composed of one representative from each province and one from the National District.

The country is divided into 31 provinces and 1 National District, the site of Santo Domingo. The central government administers the provinces through governors appointed by the president. Each province is subdivided into municipalities that elect their own councils and have some local autonomy.

Danilo Medina, the Dominican Republic’s current president, succeeded Fernandez in 2012, winning 51% of the electoral vote over his opponent ex-president Hipólito Mejía.


The Dominican Republic has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years, averaging 6.3 percent per year between 2014 and 2018 -, fuelled by robust domestic demand. It was the fastest-growing Latin American economy over that five-year period.  This sustained growth has reduced poverty and inequality, and, following the elections in 2016, the government has put an even greater focus on equity and inclusion, human capital, natural resource management and competitiveness.  Currently, the Dominican Republic has a growing middle class, a stable, democratic government system and is committed to widening inward investment.

Dominican law establishes equal treatment for all domestic and foreign investors, allowing the participation of international companies in all economic sectors, excluding defense and national security.  Investors will have access to preferential markets through the free trade agreements (Agreement of Economic Association with the European Union, Central America and the United States). With its location in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is an important commercial link between Europe, North America and the rest of Latin America.

The Petroleum Sector

The Petroleum Sector is managed by the Vice Ministry of Hydrocarbons, that is a substantive institutional unit of the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), hierarchically dependent on the Minister, which exercises its authority over the Directors of Exploration and Production of Hydrocarbons, Policies, Regulation and Permits related to hydrocarbons. Some of its main attributions are:

  • Advise the minister on hydrocarbons.
  • Formulate, adopt, direct and coordinate the national policy on exploration, exploitation, import and storage of hydrocarbons, regulating and monitoring their compliance.
  • Dynamize the prospection, exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons, coal and natural gas.
  • Order and / or carry out, in coordination with the Minister, the necessary studies to evaluate the potential of fossil hydrocarbons in the Dominican Republic.
  • Coordinate with the Ministry of the Environment the environmental assessment procedures of the hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation proposals.
  • Evaluate the permits, licenses and concessions for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons
  • Design, recommend and implement policies that promote the competitiveness and systemic sustainability of the sub-sector of hydrocarbons in the national territory
  • Design, modify and execute the regulatory aspects related to the construction, operation and / or transformation of infrastructures in the field of hydrocarbons to promote their safety and environmental relevance, as well as market efficiency.
  • Promote private investment for the free commercialization of oil and petroleum products, guaranteeing access, neutrality and legal security of the actors through effective regulation and supervision of the sub-sector.
  • Manage the hydrocarbon sector statistics and make them available to the public and investors.
  • Establish and / or propose international and interinstitutional agreements for technical cooperation in the exploration, exploitation, control and control of fuels.
  • Managing technical data


The Dominican Republic has a world-class road circuit that connects all regions of the country, boosting economic activity and enabling investors to build the infrastructure required.  With 8 international airports, 12 maritime ports and 3 cruise ports, the country is emerging as an important logistics center for the Caribbean region .