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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 $612.0 million (1,652.5 million Eastern Caribbean dollars) in 2022. Like most of the Eastern Caribbean, the country continues to grapple with the fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply-chain issues and rising food and fuel prices associated with Russia’s war on-Ukraine. As of May 2023, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast that the economy will grow by 4.9% in 2023.

Reconstruction efforts continue from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.  Losses from Hurricane Maria were estimated at $1.37 billion or 226 percent of GDP.  The efforts were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic however the government has recently restarted infrastructural projects in housing and tourism. The Government of Dominica is also placing impetus on the modernization and expansion of the agricultural sector ad enhanced food security efforts.

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 Germany and the UK.

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: Key Metrics and Rankings
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 45 of 180
Global Innovation Index 2022 N/A
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) 2021 N/A
World Bank GNI per capita 2021 $7,790

Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment

The Government of Dominica strongly encourages foreign direct investment (FDI), particularly in industries that create jobs, earn foreign currency, and have a positive impact on local citizens.

Through the Invest Dominica Authority (IDA), the government instituted several investment incentives for businesses considering locating in Dominica.  Government policies provide liberal tax holidays, duty-free import of equipment and materials, exemption from value added tax on some capital investments, and withholding tax exemptions on dividends, interest payments, and some external payments and income.  The IDA additionally provides support to approved citizenship by investment projects. Dominica also has a citizenship by investment program to facilitate certain forms of FDI (see section on Laws and Regulations on foreign investment for additional details).

The IDA launched a new Investment Promotion Strategy in 2021.  The new strategy is focused on four sectors: organic agri-business, aquaculture and manufacturing; renewable energy, tourism, and knowledge services such as business processing operations.  Other sectors include film, music, and video production, bulk water export and bottled water operations, medical and nursing schools, and English language training services.  The government continuously reviews these sectors. While these sectors are priorities, the government broadly welcomes FDI. More information is available on the IDA website: .

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Local laws do not place any limits on foreign control in Dominica.  Foreign investment in Dominica is not subject to any restrictions, and foreign investors are entitled to receive the same treatment as nationals of Dominica. Foreign investors are entitled to hold up to 100 percent of their investment.  The only restriction is the requirement to obtain an Alien Landholders License for foreign investors seeking to purchase property for residential or commercial purposes.  Local enterprises generally welcome joint ventures with foreign investors in order to access technology, expertise, markets, and capital.

The IDA has the authority to review all proposed investments that apply for government incentives to ensure that the project is consistent with the country’s laws and national interest and would provide economic benefits to Dominica. The review process is transparent. The investor must complete a series of steps to obtain a business license. These steps are listed at .

Other Investment Policy Reviews

In May 2023, the World Trade Organization (WTO) conducted a trade policy review of the OECS of which Dominica is a member. The full report is available at . There have not been any investment policy reviews of Dominica by civil society organizations in the past five years.

Business Facilitation

The IDA is Dominica’s main business facilitation unit. It facilitates foreign direct investment into priority sectors and advises the government on the formation and implementation of policies and programs to attract investment in Dominica. The IDA provides business support services and market intelligence to all investors. It offers an online tool useful for navigating laws, rules, procedures, and registration requirements for foreign investors. Its website is .

All potential investors applying for government incentives must submit their proposals for review by the IDA to ensure the project is consistent with the national interest and provides economic benefits to the country.

The Companies and Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) maintains an e-filing portal for most of its services, including company registration on its website. However, this only allows for the preliminary processing of applications prior to the investor physically making a payment at the Supreme Court office and submitting the printed signed forms to the CIPO. Investors are advised to seek the advice of a local attorney prior to starting the process. Further information is available at .

Businesses must register with CIPO, the Tax Authority, and the Social Services Institute. The general practice for registration is to retain an attorney who prepares all the relevant incorporation documents.

Outward Investment

Local laws do not place any restrictions on domestic investors seeking to do business abroad. Local companies in Dominica are actively encouraged to take advantage of export opportunities specifically related to the country’s membership in the OECS Economic Union and the Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy (CSME), which enhance the competitiveness of the local and regional private sectors across traditional and emerging high-potential markets.

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 Germany and the UK. 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:

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. CARICOM has bilateral agreements with Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. In 2013, CARICOM entered into a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement with the United States.

Organization of Eastern Caribbean States

The Treaty of Basseterre established the OECS in 1981. 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, the British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, and Martinique). The purpose of the Treaty is to promote harmonization among member states in foreign policy, defense and security, and economic affairs. The seven full members ratified the Revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing the OECS Economic Union, which entered into force in 2011. The Economic Union established a single financial and economic space within which goods, services, and people move without hindrance.

Caribbean Basin Initiative

The Caribbean Basin Initiative facilitates the economic development and export diversification of the Caribbean Basin economies. It encourages private sector initiatives by expanding foreign and domestic investment in non-traditional sectors, diversifying country economies, and expanding their imports, and it permits duty-free entry of eligible products manufactured or assembled in Dominica into the United States.

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/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 most products originating in Commonwealth Caribbean countries.

Transparency of the Regulatory System

The Government of Dominica provides a legal framework to foster competition and establish clear rules for foreign and domestic investors in the areas of tax, labor, environment, health, and safety. The Ministry of Finance and the IDA provide oversight of the transparency of the system as it relates to investment.

Rule-making and regulatory authority lies within the unicameral parliament. The parliament has 21 members elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies, nine appointed members, one speaker, and one clerk.

Relevant ministries develop laws which are drafted by the Ministry of National Security and Legal Affairs. FDI is governed principally through the laws that oversee the IDA and the Citizenship by Investment program. Laws are available online at .

Although some draft bills are not subject to public consultation, the government generally solicits input from various stakeholder groups in the formulation of laws. In some instances, the government convenes a special committee to make recommendations on provisions outlined in the law. The government uses public awareness campaigns to sensitize the general population on legislative reforms. Copies of proposed regulations are published in the official gazette shortly before the bills are taken to parliament. Although Dominica does not have legislation guaranteeing access to information or freedom of expression, access to information is generally available in practice. The government maintains a website and an information service on which it posts information such as directories of officials and a summary of laws and press releases.

The International Financial Accounting Standards, which stem from the General Accepted Accounting Principles, govern the accounting profession in Dominica. Accounting, legal, and regulatory procedures are generally transparent and consistent with international norms.

The Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner or Ombudsman guards against excesses by government officers in the performance of their duties. The Ombudsman is responsible for investigating complaints related to any decision or act of any government officer or body in any case in which a member of the public claims to be aggrieved or appears to the Ombudsman to be the victim of injustice as a result of the exercise of the administrative function of that officer or body. The government does not promote nor require companies’ environmental, social, and governance disclosures.

Dominica’s membership in regional organizations, particularly the OECS and its Economic Union, commits it to implement all appropriate measures to ensure the fulfillment of its various treaty obligations. For example, the Banking Act, which establishes a single banking space and the harmonization of banking regulations in the Economic Union, is uniformly in force in the eight member territories of the ECCU, although there are some minor differences in implementation from country to country. The enforcement mechanisms of these regulations include penalties or legal sanctions.

The enforcement mechanisms of these regulations include penalties or legal sanctions. The IDA can revoke an issued investment certificate if the holder fails to comply with certain stipulations detailed in the IDA Act and its regulations. The regulatory enforcement process is not digitized.

International Regulatory Considerations

As a member of the OECS and the ECCU, Dominica subscribes to a set of principles and policies outlined in the Revised Treaty of Basseterre. The relationship between national and regional systems is such that each participating member state is expected to coordinate and adopt, where possible, common national policies aimed at the progressive harmonization of relevant policies and systems across the region. Thus, Dominica is obligated to implement regionally developed regulations such as legislation passed under OECS authority, unless it seeks specific concessions.

The Dominica Bureau of Standards develops, maintains, and promotes standards for improving industrial development, industrial efficiency, promoting the health and safety of consumers, protecting the environment, and facilitating trade. It also conducts national training and consultations in international standards practices. As a signatory to the WTO Agreement on the Technical Barriers to Trade, Dominica, through the Dominica Bureau of Standards, is obligated to harmonize all national standards to international norms to avoid creating technical barriers to trade.

Dominica ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in 2016. Ratification of the Agreement is an important signal to investors of the country’s commitment to improving its business environment for trade. The TFA aims to improve the speed and efficiency of border procedures, facilitate trade costs reduction, and enhance participation in the global value chain. Dominica has already implemented a number of TFA requirements. A full list is available at: .

As a member of CARICOM, Dominica utilizes the Advanced Cargo Information System, a computer-based system developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to harmonize and standardize electronic cargo information in order to improve the capability to track cargo efficiently and to support regional and international trade. The Advanced Cargo Information System forms a critical part of the World Customs Organization SAFE Framework of Standards. Dominica has also fully implemented the Automated System for Customs Data.

Legal System and Judicial Independence

Dominica bases its legal system on British common law. The Attorney General, the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, junior judges, and magistrates administer justice in the country. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Act establishes the Supreme Court of Judicature, which consists of the High Court and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal. The High Court hears criminal and civil matters and makes determinations on the interpretation of the constitution. Parties may appeal to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, an itinerant court that hears appeals from all OECS members.

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is the regional judicial tribunal, established in 2001 by the Agreement Establishing the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. The CCJ has original jurisdiction to interpret and apply the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. In 2015, Dominica acceded to the CCJ, making the CCJ its final court of appeal.

The United States and Dominica are both parties to the WTO. The WTO Dispute Settlement Panel and Appellate Body resolve disputes over WTO agreements, while courts of appropriate jurisdiction in both countries resolve private disputes.

Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

The IDA reviews all proposals for investment concessions and incentives to ensure the project is consistent with the national interest and provides economic benefits to the country. The Cabinet makes the final decision on investment proposals.

The main laws concerning investment in Dominica are the Invest Dominica Authority Act (2007), the Tourism Act (2005), and the Fiscal Incentives Act. Regulatory amendments have been made to the Income Tax Act, the Value Added Tax Act, the Title by Registration Act, the Alien Landholding Regulation Act, and the Residential Levy Act. The IDA provides a full list of the relevant legislation and other information on investment is available on the website: .

Citizenship by Investment

Under Dominica’s citizenship by investment program, qualified foreign investors may obtain citizenship without voting rights. Applicants can contribute a minimum of $100,000 (270,225 Eastern Caribbean dollars) to the Economic Diversification Fund for a single person or invest in designated real estate with a value of at least $200,000 (540,510 Eastern Caribbean dollars). Applicants must also provide a medical certificate, undergo a background check, and provide evidence of the source of funds before proceeding to the final stage of an interview. The government introduced a citizen by investment certificate in order to minimize the risk of unlawful duplication. Further information is available at: .

Competition and Antitrust Laws

Chapter 8 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas outlines the competition policy applicable to CARICOM States. Member states are required to establish and maintain a national competition authority for implementing the rules of competition. CARICOM established a Caribbean Competition Commission (CCC) to apply rules of competition regarding anti-competitive cross-border business conduct. CARICOM competition policy addresses anti-competitive business conduct such as agreements between enterprises, decisions by associations of enterprises, and concerted practices by enterprises that have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction, or distortion of competition within CARICOM, and actions by which an enterprise abuses its dominant position within CARICOM. Dominica is a member of the CCC.

The OECS has agreed to establish a regional authority to regulate competition in the economic union and would be a part of the CCC. To date, the draft OECS Competition Bill remains under review. As such, there is currently no legislation or authority outside of the CARICOM framework that regulates competition in Dominica.

Expropriation and Compensation

There are no known pending expropriation cases involving American citizens. In such an event, Dominica would employ a system of eminent domain to pay compensation when property must be acquired in the public interest. There were no reported tendencies of the government to discriminate against U.S. investments, companies, or landholdings. There are no laws mandating local ownership in specified sectors.

Dispute Settlement

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Dominica is not a party to the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes. However, it is a member of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, also known as the New York Arbitration Convention. The Arbitration Act of 1988 is the main legislation that governs arbitration in Dominica. It adheres to the New York Arbitration Convention.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Investors are permitted to use national or international arbitration for contracts entered with the state. Dominica does not have a bilateral investment treaty or a Free Trade Agreement with an investment chapter within the United States.

The court system and bureaucracy are widely seen as slow and as hindrances to timely resolution of commercial disputes. Through the Arbitration Act of 1988, the local courts recognize and enforce foreign arbitral awards issued against the government. Dominica does not have a recent history of investment disputes involving a U.S. person or other foreign investors.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court is the domestic arbitration body. Local courts recognize and enforce foreign arbitral awards. The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court’s Court of Appeal also provides mediation.

Bankruptcy Regulations

Under the Bankruptcy Act (1990), Dominica has a bankruptcy framework that grants certain rights to debtor and creditor. A full copy of the act is available for download from the government’s website.

Investment Incentives

The Government of Dominica implemented a series of investment incentives codified in the Fiscal Incentives Act.  These include tax holidays for up to 20 years for approved hotel and resort development projects, duty-free concessions on the purchase of machinery and equipment, and various tax exemptions.  While there is no requirement for enterprises to purchase a fixed percentage of goods from local sources, the government encourages local sourcing.  There are no requirements for participation by nationals or the government in foreign investment projects.

Under the Fiscal Incentives Act, four types of enterprise qualify for tax holidays.  The length of the tax holiday for the first three types of enterprises depends on the amount of value added in Dominica.  The fourth type of enterprise, known as an enclave industry, must produce goods exclusively for export outside of the CARICOM region.

Enterprise  Value Added  Maximum Tax Holiday 
Group I  50 percent or more  15 years 
Group II  25 percent to 50 percent  12 years 
Group III  10 percent to 25 percent  10 years 
Enclave  Enclave  15 years 

Companies that qualify for tax holidays are allowed to import into Dominica duty-free all equipment, machinery, spare parts, and raw materials used in production.

The Hotel Aid Act provides relief from customs duties on items brought into the country for use in construction, extension, and equipping of a hotel of not less than five bedrooms.  In addition, the Income Tax Act provides special tax relief benefits for approved hotels and villa development.  A tax holiday for up to 20 years is available for approved hotel and resort developments and up to 10 years for income accrued from the rental of villas in approved developments.  The Cabinet must approve these developments.

The standard corporate income tax rate is 25 percent.  There is no capital gains tax.  International businesses are exempt from tax.  Corporate tax does not apply to exempt companies or to enterprises that have been granted tax concession.

Dominica provides companies with a further tax concession effective at the end of the tax holiday period.  In effect, it is a rebate of a portion of the income tax paid based on export profits as a percentage of total profits.  Full exemption from import duties on parts, raw materials, and production machinery is also available.

The government offers incentives for investors in the renewable energy sector, including the reduction or exemption of import duties and VAT on related inputs and a reduction in corporate tax.

The Government of Dominica does not have a practice of issuing guarantees or jointly financing foreign direct investment projects.

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation

There are currently no foreign trade zones or free ports in Dominica.

Performance and Data Localization Requirements

Dominica does not mandate use of local equipment. The provisions of the Labor Code outline the requirements for acquiring a work permit and prohibit anyone who is not a citizen of Dominica or the OECS to engage in employment unless they have obtained a work permit. When the government grants work permits to senior managers because no qualified nationals are available for the post, the government may recommend a counterparty trainee who is a Dominican citizen. There are no excessively onerous visa, residency, or work permit requirements.

As a member of the WTO, Dominica is party to the Agreement to the Trade Related Investment Measures. While there are no formal performance requirements, the government encourages investments that will create jobs and increase exports and foreign exchange earnings. There are no requirements for participation by nationals or by the government in foreign investment projects. There is no requirement that enterprises must purchase a fixed percentage of goods or technology from local sources, but the government encourages local sourcing. Foreign investors receive national treatment. There are no requirements for foreign information technology providers to turn over source code and/or provide access to surveillance. There are no measures or draft measures that prevent or restrict companies from freely transmitting customer or other business-related data outside the country. The country has not adopted any specific data protection legislation.

Real Property

Civil law protects physical property and mortgage claims. There are some special license requirements for the acquisition of land, development of buildings, and expansion of existing construction, and special standards for various aspects of the tourism industry. Individuals or corporate bodies who are not citizens and who are seeking to acquire land require an Alien Landholders License prior to the execution of transactions, depending upon the amount of land in question.

Local laws dictate that a foreign national may hold less than one acre of land for residential purposes or less than three acres for commercial purposes without obtaining an alien landholding license. If more land is required then a license must be obtained, and the applicant must pay a fee of $2,220 (6,000 Eastern Caribbean dollars) to the Office of the Accountant-General. Applicants must meet all the submission requirements before Cabinet can consider granting the license. Failure to apply for the license will result in a penalty of $7,400 (20,000 Eastern Caribbean dollars). Upon acquiring land under Section 5 for an approved development, foreign investors must apply for development permission under the Physical Planning Act within six months of acquiring the land and must start construction of the approved development within one year of receipt of development permission. If property legally purchased is unoccupied for over twelve years, property ownership can revert to other owners, such as squatters. This was affirmed by the CCJ in a 2019 ruling.

Intellectual Property Rights

The country is not listed in the U.S. Trade Representative’s 2023 Special 301 Report or in its 2022 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy. Dominica has a legislative framework that supports the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR). While the legal structures governing IPR are generally adequate, enforcement could be strengthened. The Attorney General is responsible for the administration of IPR laws. The Companies & Intellectual Properties Office (CIPO) registers patents, trademarks, and service marks.

Dominica is signatory to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. It is also a member of the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Article 66 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (2001) establishing the CSME commits all 15 CARICOM members to implement IPR protection and enforcement. The CARIFORUM-EU EPA contains the most detailed obligations regarding IPR in any trade agreement to which Dominica is party. The EPA recognizes the protection and enforcement of IPR. Article 139 of the EPA requires parties to “ensure an adequate and effective implementation of the international treaties dealing with intellectual property to which they are parties, and of the [WTO] Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).” As a member of the WTO, Dominica recognizes the WTO TRIPS Agreement.

The Comptroller of Customs of Dominica spearheads the enforcement of IPR, which includes the detention, seizure, and forfeiture of goods. The Customs and Excise Department investigates customs offenses and administers fines and penalties.

For additional information about national laws and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at .

Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

Dominica is a member of the ECCU. As such, it is a member of the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange (ECSE) and the Regional Government Securities Market. The ECSE is a regional securities market established by the ECCB and licensed under the Securities Act of 2001, a uniform regional body of legislation governing the buying and selling of financial products for the eight member territories. It is regulated by the Eastern Caribbean Regulatory Commission.

The ECSE and its subsidiaries, the Eastern Caribbean Central Securities Depository and the Eastern Caribbean Central Securities Registry, facilitate activities on the ECSE. The main activities are the primary issuance and secondary trading of corporate and sovereign securities, the clearance and settlement of issues and trades, maintaining securities holders’ records, and providing custodial, registration, transfer agency, and paying agency services while respecting listed and non-listed securities. As of March 2022, there were 164 securities listed on the ECSE, comprising 135 sovereign debt instruments, 13 equities, and 16 corporate debt securities. Market capitalization stood at $703 million (1.9 billion Eastern Caribbean dollars). Dominica is open to portfolio investment.

Dominica has accepted the obligations of Article VIII of the IMF Agreement, Sections 2, 3, and 4 and maintains an exchange system free of restrictions on making payments and transfers for current international transactions. Dominica does not normally grant foreign tax credits except in the case of taxes paid in a British Commonwealth country that grants similar relief for Dominica taxes or where an applicable tax treaty provides a credit. The private sector has access to credit on the local market through loans, purchases of non-equity securities, trade credits, and other accounts receivable that establish a claim for repayment.

Money and Banking System

The eight participating governments of the ECCU have passed the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Agreement Act. The act provides for the establishment of the ECCB, its management and administration, its currency, relations with financial institutions, relations with the participating governments, foreign exchange operations, external reserves, and other related matters. Dominica is a signatory to this agreement and the ECCB controls Dominica’s currency and regulates its domestic banks.

The Banking Act (2015) is a harmonized piece of legislation across the ECCU. The ECCB and the Ministers of Finance of member states jointly carry out banking supervision under the act. The Minister of Finance usually acts in consultation with, and on the recommendation of, the ECCB with respect to those areas of responsibility within the minister’s portfolio.

Domestic and foreign banks can establish operations in Dominica. The Banking Act requires all commercial banks and other institutions to be licensed in order to conduct any banking business. The ECCB regulates financial institutions. As part of ongoing supervision, licensed financial institutions are required to submit monthly, quarterly, and annual performance reports to the ECCB. In its latest annual report, the ECCB listed the commercial banking sector in Dominica as stable. Assets of commercial banks totaled $781.8 million (2.1 billion Eastern Caribbean dollars) at the end of the last reported year of 2019. The reserve requirement for commercial banks was six percent of deposit liabilities. There are minimal alternative financial services.

The Caribbean region has witnessed a withdrawal of correspondent banking services by U.S. and European banks. CARICOM remains committed to engaging with key stakeholders on the issue and appointed a Committee of Ministers of Finance on Correspondent Banking to monitor the issue.

Bitt, a wholly U.S. owned company founded in Barbados, developed digital currency DCash in partnership with the ECCB. The first successful DCash retail central bank digital currency (CDBC) consumer-to-merchant transaction took place in Grenada in February 2021 following a multi-year development process. The ECCB and BITT signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2018 and launched their fintech pilot project and regulatory sandbox in four member countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia a year later. In March 2021, DCash was officially rolled out. Bitt launched DCash in Dominica in December 2021. After some challenges in early 2022, the DCash online platform remained online and available for transactions during the reporting period.

In 2022, Dominica passed the Virtual Asset Business Bill in Parliament. The bill will regulate virtual currencies with the expectation that they will become increasingly prevalent. The bill is intended to facilitate the ease of doing business in a cashless society, and to combat theft, fraud, money laundering, Ponzi schemes, and terrorist financing. All businesses in this sector must register under this Act. This bill was drafted by the ECCB.

Foreign Exchange and Remittances

Foreign Exchange

Dominica is a member of the ECCU and the ECCB. The currency of exchange is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (denoted as XCD). As a member of the OECS, Dominica has a fully liberalized foreign exchange system. The Eastern Caribbean dollar has been pegged to the United States dollar at a rate of XCD 2.70 to $1.00 since 1976. As a result, the Eastern Caribbean dollar does not fluctuate, creating a stable currency environment for trade and investment in Dominica.

Remittance Policies

Local laws dictate that companies registered in Dominica have the right to repatriate all capital, royalties, dividends, and profits free of all taxes or any other charges on foreign exchange transactions. There are no restrictions on the repatriation of dividends for totally foreign-owned firms. However, a mixed foreign-domestic company may repatriate profits to the extent of its foreign participation.

As a member of the OECS, there are no exchange controls in Dominica and the invoicing of foreign trade transactions is allowed in any currency. Importers are not required to make prior deposits in local funds and export proceedings do not have to be surrendered to government authorities or to authorized banks. There are no controls on transfers of funds. Dominica is a member of the CFATF.

In 2018, the government signed an Intergovernmental Agreement in observance of FATCA, making it mandatory for banks in Dominica to report the banking information of U.S. citizens.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

Neither the Government of Dominica, nor the ECCB, of which Dominica is a member, maintains a sovereign wealth fund.

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.

Privatization Program

Dominica does not currently have a targeted privatization program.

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.

Additional Resources

Department of State

Department of the Treasury

Department of Labor

Climate Issues

Dominica’s climate policy is guided by its Climate Resiliency and Recovery Plan 2020-2030 and its Nationally Determined Contribution for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. It does not have a specific strategy in place for monitoring natural capital. Following the devastation wrought by 2017’s Hurricane Maria, the government plans for Dominica to become fully climate resilient. Associated activities include a full transition to renewable energy, strengthening community disaster-response resources, and adaptation of homes and infrastructure to better survive severe weather events. Dominica has indicated that quickly achieving these goals will require substantial support from the international donor community. The government offers incentives for investors in the renewable energy sector, including the reduction or exemption of import duties and VAT on related inputs and a reduction in corporate tax. Public procurement policies do not include environmental and green growth considerations.

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 . 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.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:
Steve Hyacinth
Chairman, Integrity Commission
Cross Street, Roseau, Dominica
Tel: 1-767-266-3436
Email: .

Dominica is considered politically stable and does not have a recent history of political violence. Dominica parliamentary elections are usually peaceful and are regarded as free and fair. The ruling Dominica Labour Party won the 2022 snap elections in a landslide, among calls for electoral reform. The next general elections are constitutionally due in 2027.

There is no publicly available current data on the active labor force in Dominica. 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. The law provides for the right of workers to form and join independent unions, bargain collectively, and conduct legal strikes; workers exercised these rights. Workers exercised the right to collective bargaining primarily in the nonagricultural sectors of the economy, including in the civil service. The law prohibits antiunion discrimination.

The government and employers generally respected freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. The government generally enforced applicable laws, and penalties generally were sufficient to deter violations. Administrative and judicial procedures were not subject to lengthy delays or appeals, and there were no such problems during the year. Few disputes escalated to strikes or sickouts. A company, a union representative, or an individual may request mediation by the Ministry of Justice, Immigration, and National Security.

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 they often also gain work experience before returning to the country.

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. Small, family-owned farms employed most agricultural workers, and workers on such farms were not unionized. 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.

Dominica is classified as an upper-middle income country under the World Bank’s definition. The DFC may consider investments in certain projects in upper-middle-income countries that address key U.S. government priorities.

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy
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) 2022 $612 2022 $612
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A N/A N/A BEA data available at
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) N/A N/A N/A N/A BEA data available at
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP N/A N/A 2021 92.8% UNCTAD data available at

* * Source for Host Country Data: Eastern Caribbean Central Bank:

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI

The Commonwealth of Dominica is not included in the survey. Data not available.

Political/Economic Section
U.S. Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
Tel: 246-227-4000

On This Page

  2. 1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment
    1. Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment
    2. Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
    3. Other Investment Policy Reviews
    4. Business Facilitation
    5. Outward Investment
  3. 2. Bilateral Investment and Taxation Treaties
  4. 3. Legal Regime
    1. Transparency of the Regulatory System
    2. International Regulatory Considerations
    3. Legal System and Judicial Independence
    4. Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment
    5. Citizenship by Investment
    6. Competition and Antitrust Laws
    7. Expropriation and Compensation
    8. Dispute Settlement
      1. ICSID Convention and New York Convention
      2. Investor-State Dispute Settlement
      3. International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts
    9. Bankruptcy Regulations
  5. 4. Industrial Policies
    1. Investment Incentives
    2. Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation
    3. Performance and Data Localization Requirements
  6. 5. Protection of Property Rights
    1. Real Property
    2. Intellectual Property Rights
  7. 6. Financial Sector
    1. Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment
    2. Money and Banking System
    3. Foreign Exchange and Remittances
      1. Foreign Exchange
      2. Remittance Policies
    4. Sovereign Wealth Funds
  8. 7. State-Owned Enterprises
    1. Privatization Program
  9. 8. Responsible Business Conduct
    1. Additional Resources
    2. Climate Issues
  10. 9. Corruption
    1. Resources to Report Corruption
  11. 10. Political and Security Environment
  12. 11. Labor Policies and Practices
  13. 12. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Other Investment Insurance or Development Finance Programs
  14. 13. Foreign Direct Investment Statistics
  15. 14. Contact for More Information
2023 Investment Climate Statements: Dominica
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