SANTO DOMINGO – The Dominican Republic’s economy grew 6.6 percent last year and tourism revenues increased 10 percent to $6.7 billion, President Danilo Medina said on Monday in his state of the nation report to Congress.
The Caribbean country will add 6,000 hotel beds this year, leading to the creation of 10,000 new jobs, Medina said.
Some 6 million foreign tourists arrived in the Dominican Republic in 2016, or nearly 400,000 more than in the previous year.
The 6.6 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth placed the Dominican Republic “in the lead in the Americas,” with 26.5 percent growth in mining, an 11 percent expansion in financial services and 9.6 percent growth in agriculture, Medina said.
The president also highlighted 6.4 percent growth in the hotel industry; 5.3 percent growth in transportation and storage; 4.28 percent growth in local manufacturing; and an 8.8 percent expansion in construction.
Multilateral financial institutions, such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), have praised the country’s economic growth and stability, Medina said.
The prosperity will continue in 2017, when the country will receive new industrial sector investment, the president said.
Medina noted the Dominican Republic’s currency stability and an inflation rate that came in below expectations, saying that the goal of creating 100,000 jobs annually was surpassed for the fourth straight year in 2016, with the creation of new jobs exceeding the target by 30 percent.
The head of state also discussed the wage increases championed by his administration in the health care, education and public safety areas, along with investment in building new classrooms and efforts to promote environmental protection.