November 1, 2001
Perhaps nothing has been quite so important to the Dominican Republic's economy over the past two decades as its ever increasing number of free zones - industrial parks where anything from shoes to cigars is manufactured or assembled for export under a highly favorable tax regime.
The country's 46 free zones, now joined by another opened in mid-October by President Hipólito Mejía, produced exports worth almost $4.8 billion last year, up from $3.1 billion in 1996. That represents 83% of tota
The country's free zones have created 200,000 jobs and an export boom, but are now trying to stay out of the chill winds from a US downturn.