The Dominican Republic is often considered an example of the successful implementation of Special Economic Zones in the Western hemisphere. The zones fueled economic growth during the 1980s and 1990s. Surgical equipment, chemicals and plastics, and footwear have recently emerged as the new drivers of export dynamism in the zones (World Bank, 2015).
Special Economic Zones in the DR are regulated by Law No. 8-90 dated January 15, 1990 (hereinafter “Law 8-90”) and its Implementing Regulations, approved by Decree No. 366.97 dated August 29, 1997.
They are defined as geographic areas of the country, delimited and subject to special customs and fiscal controls established by law, which allow the installation of companies that destine their production or services to the external market, by granting the necessary incentives that Promote their development (Article 2 of Law 8-90). They are monitored and controlled by the Customs Agency.
Special Economic Zones began in the Dominican Republic in 1969 and more than 40 years later, there are around 57 parks spread throughout the country and 565 companies, which offers more than 160,000 jobs.
The most developed activity in the Free Zones has been the textile manufacture, with others of importance being the manufacture of footwear, jewelery manufacture, assembly of electronic components, medical products, tobacco processing and telecommunications.