The Dominican Republic is a country of origin of a large number of emigrants. Several estimates have shown that there are around one million Dominican emigrants in the world, the vast majority in the United States, Spain and Italy. This means that around 10% of Dominican population currently lives abroad. In fact, Dominican immigrants in the United States are the fourth-largest Latin American immigrant group.
The Dominican Republic is also a significant migration destination and transit country. Among the Caribbean countries, the Dominican Republic currently hosts the largest number of foreign-born population. The Dominican Republic had an estimated 450,000 immigrants in 2010 according to the World Bank. This means that around 4.5 per cent of its total population is foreign-born. Likewise, the Dominican Republic is a major country of transit for continental and extracontinental migration flows, much of the irregular, which are intending to migrate primarily to the United States and some countries in the Caribbean.
Since its establishment in the country, IOM Dominican Republic focused on qualified human resource transfer, return and reintegration of qualified nationals, selective migration, and integration of experts programs, among others.
The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for approximately half of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about 7% of GDP, equivalent to about a third of exports and two-thirds of tourism receipts. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement came into force in March 2007, boosting investment and manufacturing exports.
The Dominican Republic's economy rebounded from the global recession in 2010-16, and the fiscal situation is improving. A tax reform package passed in November 2012, a reduction in government spending, and lower energy costs helped to narrow the central government budget deficit from 6.6% of GDP in 2012 to 2.6% in 2016. A liability management operation in January 2015, in which the government paid down over $4 billion of the country’s Petrocaribe debt at a discount of 52% with proceeds from the sale of $2.5 billion in global bonds, reduced the country’s debt load by approximately by 4% of GDP. Since 2015 the Dominican Republic has posted the fastest economic growth in Latin America.
More recently IOM Dominican Republic has been providing technical cooperation to Dominican partners on topics such as: the fight against trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, secure travel documents and systems of issuance and inspection, labour migration, protection of vulnerable migrants and assisted voluntary returns for irregular migrants in the Dominican Republic.