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Dominica

Executive Summary

The Commonwealth of Dominica (Dominica) is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).  The Government of Dominica strongly encourages foreign direct investment, particularly in industries that create jobs, earn foreign currency, and have a positive impact on its citizens.  Dominica remains vulnerable to external shocks such as climate change impacts, natural hazards, and global economic downturns.  According to Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) figures, the economy of Dominica had an estimated GDP of $409.9 million USD (1,107.78 billion Eastern Caribbean dollars) in 2021, which signified a slight recovery from a 15.4 percent contraction in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting stagnation of the tourism sector.  The IMF forecasts real GDP growth of 7.9 percent in 2022 and expects GDP to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2023.

The economy also continues to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.  Losses from Hurricane Maria were estimated at $1.37 billion or 226 percent of GDP.  Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government was primarily focused on reconstruction efforts, with support from the international community.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Dominica has received financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to provide fiscal assistance and macro-economic stability and support in health-related expenditures, loss of household income, food security, and the agricultural sector.

Through its economic policies, the government is seeking to stimulate sustainable and climate-resilient economic growth by implementing a revised macroeconomic framework that includes strengthening the nation’s fiscal framework.  The government states it is committed to creating a vibrant business climate to attract more foreign investment.

Dominica remains a small emerging market in the Eastern Caribbean, with investment opportunities mainly in the service sector, particularly in eco-tourism, information and communication technologies, and education.  Other opportunities exist in alternative energy, including geothermal energy, and capital works due to reconstruction and new tourism projects.

The government provides some investment incentives for businesses that are considering establishing operations in Dominica, encouraging both domestic and foreign private investment.  Foreign investors can repatriate all profits and dividends and can import capital. Dominica’s legal system is based on British common law.  It does not have a bilateral investment treaty with the United States, though it does have bilateral investment treaties with the UK and Germany.

In 2018, the Government of Dominica signed an Intergovernmental Agreement to implement the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), making it mandatory for banks in Dominica to report the banking information of U.S. citizens.

Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2021 45 of 180 http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview 
Global Innovation Index N/A N/A https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator 
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) N/A N/A https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/ 
World Bank GNI per capita 2020 7,270 https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD 

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

2. Bilateral Investment Agreements and Taxation Treaties

Dominica has not signed a bilateral investment treaty with the United States.  It benefits from the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), which was implemented in January 1984. CBERA is intended to facilitate the development of stable Caribbean Basin economies by providing beneficiary countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for most goods. Dominica has bilateral investment treaties with the UK and Germany.  Dominica has bilateral tax treaties with the United States and the UK.

Dominica is a member of the OECD Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Sharing and is party to the Inclusive Framework’s October 2021 deal on the two-pillar solution to global tax challenges, including a global minimum corporate tax.

Dominica is also party to the following agreements:

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

The Treaty of Chaguaramas established CARICOM in 1973 to promote economic integration among its 15 member states.  Investors operating in Dominica have preferential access to the entire CARICOM market.  The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas established the CSME, which permits the free movement of goods, capital, and labor within CARICOM member states.

Organization of Eastern Caribbean States

The Revised Treaty of Basseterre established the OECS.  The OECS consists of seven full members: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and four associate members: Anguilla, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and the British Virgin Islands.  The OECS aims to promote harmonization among member states concerning foreign policy, defense and security, and economic affairs.  The six independent countries of the OECS ratified the Revised Treaty of Basseterre, establishing the OECS Economic Union in 2011.  The Economic Union established a single financial and economic space within which all factors of production, including goods, services, and people, move without hindrance.

CARIFORUM- EU Economic Partnership Agreement

The European Community and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) states signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2008.  CARIFORUM consists of the independent Anglophone CARCOM member states, the Dominican Republic and Suriname. The overarching objectives of the EPA are to alleviate poverty in CARIFORUM states, to promote regional integration and economic cooperation, and to foster the gradual integration of the CARIFORUM states into the world economy by improving their trade capacity and creating an investment-conducive environment.  The EPA promotes trade-related developments in areas such as competition, intellectual property, public procurement, the environment, and protection of personal data.

CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement

The UK and CARIFORUM signed an EPA in 2019, committing to trade continuity after Britain’s departure from the European Union.  The CARIFORUM-UK EPA eliminates tariffs on all goods imported from CARIFORUM states into the UK, while those Caribbean states will continue to gradually cut import tariffs on most of the region’s imports from the UK.

Caribbean Basin Initiative

The objective of the Caribbean Basin Initiative is to promote economic development through private sector initiatives in Central America and the Caribbean by expanding foreign and domestic investment in non-traditional sectors, diversifying economies, and expanding exports.  It permits duty-free entry of products manufactured or assembled in Dominica into the United States.

Caribbean/Canada Trade Agreement

The Caribbean/Canada Trade Agreement (CARIBCAN) is an economic and trade development assistance program for Commonwealth Caribbean countries.  Through CARIBCAN, Canada provides duty-free access to its national market for the majority of its products originating in Commonwealth Caribbean countries.

3. Legal Regime

4. Industrial Policies

5. Protection of Property Rights

6. Financial Sector

7. State-Owned Enterprises

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Dominica work in partnership with ministries, or under their remit to carry out certain specific ministerial responsibilities.  The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown is aware of 20 SOEs currently operating in areas such as tourism, investment services, broadcasting and media, solid waste management, and agriculture.  There is no published list of these SOEs.  They are all wholly owned government entities.  Each is headed by a board of directors to which senior management reports.  The SOE sector is affected by financial sustainability challenges, with resources insufficient to cover capital replacement.

8. Responsible Business Conduct

The private sector is involved in projects that benefit society, including support of environmental, social, and cultural causes.  The government encourages philanthropy but does not have regulations in place to mandate such activities by private companies.

9. Corruption

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials; however, government implementation and enforcement of the law is inconsistent.   Members of the political opposition and civil society representatives allege that officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Local media and opposition leadership continued to raise allegations of corruption within the government, including in the Citizenship by Investment program.  Dominica acceded to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in 2010.  The country is party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

The Integrity in Public Office Act, 2003 and the Integrity in Public Office (Amendment) Act 2015 require government officials to account annually for their income, assets, and gifts.  All offenses under the act, including the late filing of declarations, are criminalized.  The Integrity Commission was established to monitor the functions under this Act.  The Integrity Commission’s mandate and decisions can be found at  http://www.integritycommission.gov.dm .  Generally, the Integrity Commission reports on late submissions and on inappropriately completed forms but does not share financial disclosures of officials with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Integrity Commission has not updated documents on its website since 2016.

The Director of Public Prosecutions is responsible for prosecuting corruption offenses, but it lacks adequate personnel and resources to handle complicated money laundering and public corruption cases.

10. Political and Security Environment

Dominica held parliamentary elections in December 2019.  Voting was held under heightened security following weeks of protests and legal challenges seeking electoral reform.  The protests were led by the United Workers’ Party, which lost the election in a landslide to the ruling Dominica Labour Party.

Dominica’s economy was severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  The IMF has projected that Dominica’s GDP will grow 7.9 percent in 2022.  In May 2020, the government unveiled a disaster resilience strategy that was based on three key pillars: structural resilience, financial resilience, and post-disaster resilience.  Both the IMF and the World Bank provided support to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

11. Labor Policies and Practices

The government last raised Dominica’s minimum wage in June 2008.  It varies according to the category of worker, with the lowest minimum wage set at approximately $1.50 an hour and the maximum set at approximately $2.06 an hour.  The standard workweek is 40 hours for five or six days of work.  The law provides overtime pay for work in excess of the standard workweek.  Dominica has a labor force of approximately 32,630, with a literacy rate of 95 percent.

The local state college largely meets the country’s technical and training needs.  There is also a small pool of professionals to draw from in fields such as law, medicine, engineering, business, information technology, and accounting.  Many of the professionals in Dominica trained in the United States, Canada, the UK, or the wider Caribbean, where many of them gained work experience before returning to the country.

The labor legislation in Dominica is applicable to all employees and employers.  There are no waivers or exceptions regarding the application of labor laws and standards in Dominica.

Employers usually advertise job vacancies in local newspapers.  The government recommends that the advertisement be placed on three separate occasions to ensure transparency and equal opportunity for Dominican residents to apply.  The Embassy is not aware of any instances of government interference with the employer’s right to make hiring determinations.

The Labor Contract Act stipulates that an employee shall receive a contract from his/her employer within 14 days of engagement outlining the terms and conditions of employment.

The labor laws clearly regulate and define layoffs and the conditions under which layoffs can occur.  Severance by redundancy is also regulated by law.  People employed for three years or more qualify for severance pay.  Social security benefits are payable only when the employee reaches retirement age.

The Industrial Relations Act provides for and regulates trade unions in both public and private sectors.  Dominican law provides for the right of workers to form and join independent unions, the right to strike, and the right of workers to bargain collectively with employers.  The government generally enforces laws governing worker rights effectively, and penalties generally were sufficient to deter violations.  Administrative and judicial procedures are not generally subject to lengthy delays or appeals.  Government mediation and arbitration are free of charge.  The law prohibits anti-union discrimination by providing that employers must reinstate workers who file a successful complaint of illegal dismissal, which can cover being fired for engaging in union activities or other grounds of wrongful dismissal. Employers generally reinstated or paid compensation to employees who obtained favorable rulings by the ministry following a complaint of legal dismissal.

Collective bargaining is permitted in all firms (both public and private) where the employees are unionized.  A copy of the collective bargaining agreement must be filed at the Ministry of Labor.  There are no sectoral collective agreements.  All unionized firms are obliged by law to negotiate terms and conditions of employment of all workers, whether or not they are members of a trade union.  Dominica ratified all of the International Labor Organization (ILO)’s eight core conventions on human rights and labor administration.

The government deemed emergency, port, electricity, telecommunications, and prison services employees, as well as banana, coconut, and citrus fruit cultivation workers “essential,” deterring workers in these sectors from going on the strike.  The ILO noted the list of essential services is broader than international standards.  Nonetheless, in practice essential workers conducted strikes and did not suffer reprisals.  The procedure for essential workers to strike is cumbersome, involving appropriate notice and submitting the grievance to the labor commissioner for possible mediation.  These actions are usually resolved through mediation by the Office of the Labor Commissioner, with the rest referred to the Industrial Relations Tribunal for binding arbitration.

The Industrial Relations Act also mandates the establishment of the Industrial Relations Board and the Industrial Relations Tribunals as dispute resolution mechanisms.  The Division of Labor acts as the first arbitrator with matters of investigation, mediation, and conciliation.  Matters are referred only to the tribunals by the minister when conciliation fails or by request of any of the disputing parties.

Enforcement is the responsibility of the Labor Commissioner within the Ministry of Justice, Immigration and National Security.  Labor laws provide that the labor commissioner may authorize the employment of a person with disabilities at a wage lower than the minimum rate to enable that person to work.  The Employment Safety Act provides occupational health and safety regulations that are consistent with international standards.  Workers have the right to remove themselves from unsafe work environments without jeopardizing their employment and the authorities effectively enforced this right in practice.

The informal economy plays a significant role in the labor market and economy of Dominica. The IMF has estimated that the informal economy averaged 46 percent of GDP over the 2011-2019 period. Nearly forty percent of informal sector workers were in wholesale and retail trade, with another 24 percent in manufacturing, 9 percent in agriculture, forestry, and fishing, and 29 percent in other industries. Despite the significance of the informal economy in Dominica, there is little evidence of its impact on contracts or access to industries of interest to U.S. and other foreign investors.

13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics

Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or International Source of Data: BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
Economic Data Year Amount Year Amount
Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD) 2020 $503.7 2020 $504.2 www.worldbank.org/en/country 
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data: BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A N/A N/A BEA data available at https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/ 
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A 2020 $0 BEA data available at https://www.bea.gov/international/direct-investment-and-multinational-enterprises-comprehensive-data 
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP N/A N/A 2020 66.8% UNCTAD data available at https://unctad.org/topic/investment/world-investment-report 

* Source for Host Country Data: Eastern Caribbean Central Bank  https://www.eccb-centralbank.org/statistics/dashboard-datas/ .

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDIData not available.

14. Contact for More Information

Political/Economic SectionU.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States246-227-4000Email:  BridgetownPolEcon@state.gov 

Dominica

Executive Summary

The Commonwealth of Dominica (Dominica) is a member of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).  The Government of Dominica strongly encourages foreign direct investment, particularly in industries that create jobs, earn foreign currency, and have a positive impact on its citizens.  Dominica remains vulnerable to external shocks such as climate change impacts, natural hazards, and global economic downturns.  According to Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) figures, the economy of Dominica had an estimated GDP of $409.9 million USD (1,107.78 billion Eastern Caribbean dollars) in 2021, which signified a slight recovery from a 15.4 percent contraction in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting stagnation of the tourism sector.  The IMF forecasts real GDP growth of 7.9 percent in 2022 and expects GDP to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2023.

The economy also continues to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.  Losses from Hurricane Maria were estimated at $1.37 billion or 226 percent of GDP.  Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government was primarily focused on reconstruction efforts, with support from the international community.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Dominica has received financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to provide fiscal assistance and macro-economic stability and support in health-related expenditures, loss of household income, food security, and the agricultural sector.

Through its economic policies, the government is seeking to stimulate sustainable and climate-resilient economic growth by implementing a revised macroeconomic framework that includes strengthening the nation’s fiscal framework.  The government states it is committed to creating a vibrant business climate to attract more foreign investment.

Dominica remains a small emerging market in the Eastern Caribbean, with investment opportunities mainly in the service sector, particularly in eco-tourism, information and communication technologies, and education.  Other opportunities exist in alternative energy, including geothermal energy, and capital works due to reconstruction and new tourism projects.

The government provides some investment incentives for businesses that are considering establishing operations in Dominica, encouraging both domestic and foreign private investment.  Foreign investors can repatriate all profits and dividends and can import capital. Dominica’s legal system is based on British common law.  It does not have a bilateral investment treaty with the United States, though it does have bilateral investment treaties with the UK and Germany.

In 2018, the Government of Dominica signed an Intergovernmental Agreement to implement the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), making it mandatory for banks in Dominica to report the banking information of U.S. citizens.

Table 1
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2021 45 of 180 http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview 
Global Innovation Index N/A N/A https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator 
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) N/A N/A https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/  
World Bank GNI per capita 2020 7,270 https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD   

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment

2. Bilateral Investment Agreements and Taxation Treaties

Dominica has not signed a bilateral investment treaty with the United States.  It benefits from the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), which was implemented in January 1984. CBERA is intended to facilitate the development of stable Caribbean Basin economies by providing beneficiary countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for most goods. Dominica has bilateral investment treaties with the UK and Germany.  Dominica has bilateral tax treaties with the United States and the UK.

Dominica is a member of the OECD Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Sharing and is party to the Inclusive Framework’s October 2021 deal on the two-pillar solution to global tax challenges, including a global minimum corporate tax.

Dominica is also party to the following agreements:

Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

The Treaty of Chaguaramas established CARICOM in 1973 to promote economic integration among its 15 member states.  Investors operating in Dominica have preferential access to the entire CARICOM market.  The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas established the CSME, which permits the free movement of goods, capital, and labor within CARICOM member states.

Organization of Eastern Caribbean States

The Revised Treaty of Basseterre established the OECS.  The OECS consists of seven full members: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and four associate members: Anguilla, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and the British Virgin Islands.  The OECS aims to promote harmonization among member states concerning foreign policy, defense and security, and economic affairs.  The six independent countries of the OECS ratified the Revised Treaty of Basseterre, establishing the OECS Economic Union in 2011.  The Economic Union established a single financial and economic space within which all factors of production, including goods, services, and people, move without hindrance.

CARIFORUM- EU Economic Partnership Agreement

The European Community and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) states signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2008.  CARIFORUM consists of the independent Anglophone CARCOM member states, the Dominican Republic and Suriname. The overarching objectives of the EPA are to alleviate poverty in CARIFORUM states, to promote regional integration and economic cooperation, and to foster the gradual integration of the CARIFORUM states into the world economy by improving their trade capacity and creating an investment-conducive environment.  The EPA promotes trade-related developments in areas such as competition, intellectual property, public procurement, the environment, and protection of personal data.

CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement

The UK and CARIFORUM signed an EPA in 2019, committing to trade continuity after Britain’s departure from the European Union.  The CARIFORUM-UK EPA eliminates tariffs on all goods imported from CARIFORUM states into the UK, while those Caribbean states will continue to gradually cut import tariffs on most of the region’s imports from the UK.

Caribbean Basin Initiative

The objective of the Caribbean Basin Initiative is to promote economic development through private sector initiatives in Central America and the Caribbean by expanding foreign and domestic investment in non-traditional sectors, diversifying economies, and expanding exports.  It permits duty-free entry of products manufactured or assembled in Dominica into the United States.

Caribbean/Canada Trade Agreement

The Caribbean/Canada Trade Agreement (CARIBCAN) is an economic and trade development assistance program for Commonwealth Caribbean countries.  Through CARIBCAN, Canada provides duty-free access to its national market for the majority of its products originating in Commonwealth Caribbean countries.

3. Legal Regime

4. Industrial Policies

5. Protection of Property Rights

6. Financial Sector

7. State-Owned Enterprises

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Dominica work in partnership with ministries, or under their remit to carry out certain specific ministerial responsibilities.  The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown is aware of 20 SOEs currently operating in areas such as tourism, investment services, broadcasting and media, solid waste management, and agriculture.  There is no published list of these SOEs.  They are all wholly owned government entities.  Each is headed by a board of directors to which senior management reports.  The SOE sector is affected by financial sustainability challenges, with resources insufficient to cover capital replacement.

8. Responsible Business Conduct

The private sector is involved in projects that benefit society, including support of environmental, social, and cultural causes.  The government encourages philanthropy but does not have regulations in place to mandate such activities by private companies.

9. Corruption

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials; however, government implementation and enforcement of the law is inconsistent.   Members of the political opposition and civil society representatives allege that officials sometimes engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Local media and opposition leadership continued to raise allegations of corruption within the government, including in the Citizenship by Investment program.  Dominica acceded to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in 2010.  The country is party to the Inter-American Convention against Corruption.

The Integrity in Public Office Act, 2003 and the Integrity in Public Office (Amendment) Act 2015 require government officials to account annually for their income, assets, and gifts.  All offenses under the act, including the late filing of declarations, are criminalized.  The Integrity Commission was established to monitor the functions under this Act.  The Integrity Commission’s mandate and decisions can be found at  http://www.integritycommission.gov.dm .  Generally, the Integrity Commission reports on late submissions and on inappropriately completed forms but does not share financial disclosures of officials with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Integrity Commission has not updated documents on its website since 2016.

The Director of Public Prosecutions is responsible for prosecuting corruption offenses, but it lacks adequate personnel and resources to handle complicated money laundering and public corruption cases.

10. Political and Security Environment

Dominica held parliamentary elections in December 2019.  Voting was held under heightened security following weeks of protests and legal challenges seeking electoral reform.  The protests were led by the United Workers’ Party, which lost the election in a landslide to the ruling Dominica Labour Party.

Dominica’s economy was severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  The IMF has projected that Dominica’s GDP will grow 7.9 percent in 2022.  In May 2020, the government unveiled a disaster resilience strategy that was based on three key pillars: structural resilience, financial resilience, and post-disaster resilience.  Both the IMF and the World Bank provided support to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

11. Labor Policies and Practices

The government last raised Dominica’s minimum wage in June 2008.  It varies according to the category of worker, with the lowest minimum wage set at approximately $1.50 an hour and the maximum set at approximately $2.06 an hour.  The standard workweek is 40 hours for five or six days of work.  The law provides overtime pay for work in excess of the standard workweek.  Dominica has a labor force of approximately 32,630, with a literacy rate of 95 percent.

The local state college largely meets the country’s technical and training needs.  There is also a small pool of professionals to draw from in fields such as law, medicine, engineering, business, information technology, and accounting.  Many of the professionals in Dominica trained in the United States, Canada, the UK, or the wider Caribbean, where many of them gained work experience before returning to the country.

The labor legislation in Dominica is applicable to all employees and employers.  There are no waivers or exceptions regarding the application of labor laws and standards in Dominica.

Employers usually advertise job vacancies in local newspapers.  The government recommends that the advertisement be placed on three separate occasions to ensure transparency and equal opportunity for Dominican residents to apply.  The Embassy is not aware of any instances of government interference with the employer’s right to make hiring determinations.

The Labor Contract Act stipulates that an employee shall receive a contract from his/her employer within 14 days of engagement outlining the terms and conditions of employment.

The labor laws clearly regulate and define layoffs and the conditions under which layoffs can occur.  Severance by redundancy is also regulated by law.  People employed for three years or more qualify for severance pay.  Social security benefits are payable only when the employee reaches retirement age.

The Industrial Relations Act provides for and regulates trade unions in both public and private sectors.  Dominican law provides for the right of workers to form and join independent unions, the right to strike, and the right of workers to bargain collectively with employers.  The government generally enforces laws governing worker rights effectively, and penalties generally were sufficient to deter violations.  Administrative and judicial procedures are not generally subject to lengthy delays or appeals.  Government mediation and arbitration are free of charge.  The law prohibits anti-union discrimination by providing that employers must reinstate workers who file a successful complaint of illegal dismissal, which can cover being fired for engaging in union activities or other grounds of wrongful dismissal. Employers generally reinstated or paid compensation to employees who obtained favorable rulings by the ministry following a complaint of legal dismissal.

Collective bargaining is permitted in all firms (both public and private) where the employees are unionized.  A copy of the collective bargaining agreement must be filed at the Ministry of Labor.  There are no sectoral collective agreements.  All unionized firms are obliged by law to negotiate terms and conditions of employment of all workers, whether or not they are members of a trade union.  Dominica ratified all of the International Labor Organization (ILO)’s eight core conventions on human rights and labor administration.

The government deemed emergency, port, electricity, telecommunications, and prison services employees, as well as banana, coconut, and citrus fruit cultivation workers “essential,” deterring workers in these sectors from going on the strike.  The ILO noted the list of essential services is broader than international standards.  Nonetheless, in practice essential workers conducted strikes and did not suffer reprisals.  The procedure for essential workers to strike is cumbersome, involving appropriate notice and submitting the grievance to the labor commissioner for possible mediation.  These actions are usually resolved through mediation by the Office of the Labor Commissioner, with the rest referred to the Industrial Relations Tribunal for binding arbitration.

The Industrial Relations Act also mandates the establishment of the Industrial Relations Board and the Industrial Relations Tribunals as dispute resolution mechanisms.  The Division of Labor acts as the first arbitrator with matters of investigation, mediation, and conciliation.  Matters are referred only to the tribunals by the minister when conciliation fails or by request of any of the disputing parties.

Enforcement is the responsibility of the Labor Commissioner within the Ministry of Justice, Immigration and National Security.  Labor laws provide that the labor commissioner may authorize the employment of a person with disabilities at a wage lower than the minimum rate to enable that person to work.  The Employment Safety Act provides occupational health and safety regulations that are consistent with international standards.  Workers have the right to remove themselves from unsafe work environments without jeopardizing their employment and the authorities effectively enforced this right in practice.

The informal economy plays a significant role in the labor market and economy of Dominica. The IMF has estimated that the informal economy averaged 46 percent of GDP over the 2011-2019 period. Nearly forty percent of informal sector workers were in wholesale and retail trade, with another 24 percent in manufacturing, 9 percent in agriculture, forestry, and fishing, and 29 percent in other industries. Despite the significance of the informal economy in Dominica, there is little evidence of its impact on contracts or access to industries of interest to U.S. and other foreign investors.

13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment Statistics

Table 2
Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
Economic Data Year Amount Year Amount  
Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD) 2020 $503.7 2020 $504.2 www.worldbank.org/en/country 
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A N/A N/A BEA data available at https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A 2020 $0 BEA data available at https://www.bea.gov/international/direct-investment-and-multinational-enterprises-comprehensive-data
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP N/A N/A 2020 66.8% UNCTAD data available at

https://unctad.org/topic/investment/world-investment-report

* Source for Host Country Data: Eastern Caribbean Central Bank  https://www.eccb-centralbank.org/statistics/dashboard-datas/ .

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI
Data not available.

Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment
Data not available.

14. Contact for More Information

Political/Economic Section
U.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
246-227-4000
Email:  BridgetownPolEcon@state.gov 

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