Manufacturing, particularly assembly operations in free zones, constituted one of the most dynamic sectors of the Dominican economy in the 1980s. As had been true of mining, the growing role of manufacturing accelerated the industrialization and the diversification processes affecting the island's economy. Manufacturing in 1988 contributed about 17 percent of GDP, employed 8 percent of the labor force, and generated about onethird of exports, although assembly exports did not appear in normal trade data because of their free zone origins. The sector consisted of traditional manufacturing, with large roles for both the public and the private sectors, and free-zone manufacturing, consisting mainly of assembly operations with some agroprocessing as well. Growth in manufacturing during the 1980s centered on the free zones; their projected employment of as many as 180,000 workers by 1991, when compared with a total of only 16,000 workers in 1980, was expected to represent the most dramatic increase in assembly labor in the world during that tenyear period. Manufacturing's export performance was equally dramatic. Manufactured goods went from 11 percent of total exports in 1980 to 31 percent by 1987.
|Country Studies main page | Dominican republic Country Studies main page|