Free zones sector forecast to get US$500 million in 2023

The Free Zone sector projects an investment of more than US$500 million and the generation of some 32,500 direct jobs by year’s end of 2023, according to data offered by the Dominican Association of Free Zones (Adozona), the Ministry of Industry & Commerce (MICM) and the National Council of Free Export Zones. The announced US$500 million are scheduled to be invested in the sector creating an additional 32,500 jobs in 2023. The announcement was made during the celebration of the 25th Conference of Free Zones of IberoAmerica, of the Association of Free Zones of the Americas (AFZA). This is the fourth time, the DR hosts the important regional event that this year took place at the Westin Punta Cana Resort & Club from 1-2 December 2022.

President Luis Abinader gave the welcoming remarks, highlighting the stellar performance of the free zone sector and its contributions to the national economy. The sector has been growing in generation of jobs, exports, number of companies, total investment and local purchases and in training of staff.

Industry & Commerce Minister Victor (Ito) Bisonó stressed the free zone sector operations are 100% formal, with close to 192,000 jobs by the end of October 2022. “And I must add that these are not only more jobs, but jobs that require considerable technical or professional skills. He highlighted that women make up 50% of the free zone workforce.

From January to October 2022, exports from free zones reached US$6.53 billion, 10% more than the previous year. The Dominican Republic free zones are a global leader in cigars and machine-manufactured cigarettes, with 36% of exports. At a regional level, the country is a leader in the categories of medical devices, electrical, textile and footwear.

For his part, the president of Adozona, Luis José Bonilla Bojos said that the free trade zones are deeply rooted in the country, with more than half a century of history, generating direct jobs, professionalizing the Dominican labor force and promoting productive linkages and the growth of exports.

“Overall, the sector’s value chains and their impact generate 379,900 jobs for our economy, for a multiplier of 2.19 with respect to direct employment. In other words, for every 100 direct jobs, 119 jobs are generated in other productive sectors,” said Bonilla Bojos.

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  • 2022