The Dominican Republic and Germany enjoy close and multifaceted bilateral relations. However, the COVID‑19 pandemic has disrupted many activities.
The most important link between the two countries is provided by tourism. With around 200,000 tourists per year, Germans used to be one of the largest groups of tourists, after Americans and Canadians. The lack of tourists due to the pandemic has caused the country particular hardship.
There are some 7000 Germans living in the country, most of whom have settled either on the north coast (in Puerto Plata, Cabarete, Sosúa) or in the capital.
A bilateral friendship, trade and shipping agreement has been in place since 1957. Economic relations between the two countries have intensified since the start of the country’s economic upswing in the late 1990s, but these too have been hit by the pandemic.
A German company operates the largest solar park in the Caribbean in the north of the country. Germany is one of the Dominican Republic’s most important European markets for organic products (bananas, cocoa and coffee). Germany’s main exports to the Dominican Republic are vehicles and vehicle parts, machinery and chemical products.
There are some 60 German companies operating in the Dominican Republic. The German-Dominican Chamber of Commerce and Industry was set up in 1994.
German development cooperation takes the form of regional projects and focuses on the sustainable use of natural resources, the protection of biodiversity and climate change mitigation. Germany is one of the country’s principal donors alongside Spain, Canada and the US. In addition, Germany contributes over 20 percent of the development assistance provided by the EU, which is the Dominican Republic’s largest donor.
Although people in the country are interested in Germany, the German language and German culture, German is not taught in many schools. The German Embassy has provided language courses since 1957, which in recent years have been attended on average by more than 1000 Dominicans annually. Following a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, these activities have been resumed, albeit it at a reduced level.
Since 2001, a German-Dominican cultural society (Centro Domínico-Alemán) has been based in the old colonial quarter of Santo Domingo, a UNESCO World Heritage site.