Dominica

Region: Caribbean

Capital: Roseau

Population: 73,449 (July 2014 CIA est.)

Surface area: 751 sq km

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $14,300 (2013 CIA est.)

Background:
Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica’s fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia Charles, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean.

Economy – Overview:
The Dominican economy has been dependent on agriculture – primarily bananas – in years past, but increasingly has been driven by tourism as the government seeks to promote Dominica as an “ecotourism” destination. Moreover, Dominica has successfully developed an offshore medical education sector. In order to diversify the island’s economy, the government is also attempting to develop an offshore financial sector and plans to sign agreements with the private sector to develop geothermal energy resources. In 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy – including elimination of price controls, privatization of the state banana company, and tax increases – to address an economic and financial crisis and to meet IMF requirements. In 2009, the economy contracted as a result of the global recession; growth remains anemic. Although public debt levels continue to exceed pre-recession levels, the debt burden declined from 78% of GDP in 2011 to approximately 70% in 2012, one of the lowest levels in the Eastern Caribbean. (CIA, 2014)

Major Export Commodities: bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges

Remittances inflows:US $23 million (World Bank 2012 est.)

Human Development Index 2013: 72 out of 186 countries (UNDP 2013)

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners:
Net ODA US $25,660,000 million (OECD 2012).
Major development partners include Caribbean Development Bank, the IMF, and the European Community.

Total External DebtUS $3274.9 million (31 December 2012 CIA est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth: 76.59 years (CIA 2014)

Environmental Indicators:
Endangered Species (as a % of all species): 8.6
Forested Area (percentage of land area): 59.5
CO2 Emissions (tonnes per capita): 1.9
(UNDP 2013)

New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Commonwealth of Dominica to the United Nations
800 Second Avenue, Suite 400H
New York, N.Y. 10017 USA
Telephone: (212)-949-0853
Fax: (212)-808-4975, 661-0979
E-mail: domun@onecommonwealth.org; dominicaun@gmail.com
Website: www.un.int/wcm/content/site/dominica/

Sources:
CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov
World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org
Human Development Report 2013. United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org

Updated January 2015