Abinader Has a Chance to Cement the Dominican Republic’s Economic Success

Abinader Has a Chance to Cement the Dominican Republic’s Economic Success
Dominican President Luis Abinader waves to supporters alongside his wife, Raquel Arbaje, and Vice President Raquel Peña in Santo Domingo, May 19, 2024 (AP photo by Matias Delacroix).

Despite pristine natural beauty, rich history and persistent allure, much of the Caribbean region has navigated choppy economic waters and endured stormy political conditions over many years.

The region’s largest island, Cuba, remains embroiled in a deep economic crisis characterized by shortages of basic staples and intermittent public services. Although the Puerto Rican economy is expected to grow moderately during 2024, this comes after more than a decade of economic decline. Meanwhile, Haiti’s political, security and economic crises show no signs of abating.

Amid these turbulent conditions, the Dominican Republic has quietly become not only the Caribbean’s stellar performer but also one of Latin America’s overlooked success stories, achieving political stability and sturdy economic growth for the past two decades—a major milestone in a region characterized by dramatic political U-turns and boom and bust economic cycles. While the recent past is certainly laudable, continued success is by no means ensured and newly reelected president Luis Abinader will need to implement key changes and policy reforms to keep his country on a development path and evade the middle-income trap that has ensnared many Latin American countries.

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