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Discover The Dominican Republic

Why The Dominican Republic?


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As an introduction and to start off our discussion, you probably should make a short list of what you might be looking for in a new country in terms of relocation, retirement, business opportunities, cost of living, access to affordable health care, access to affordable education for your children, etc., .  Of course, each person is different as each person surely could be in a different point in his or her own life.  For example, younger people with children might be concerned about education and schools, and as such this could be a top priority.  Others might be close to retirement age, and are concerned about things like health care, and if their retirement income can possibly go further in one country versus another.  And yet again there might be some individuals merely concerned about business and travel, and if a particular country is convenient for international flights or if  the local investment climate is attractive for them (taxation, cost of labor, etc.).
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To offer up some possible things we consider important, here are a few items we have considered  when taking into account the current economic, social and political dynamics currently underway.  Much of these topics or themes have been covered in more detail in our monthly newsletter to clients, but to be brief, we will simply gloss over a few here for you.
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One major concern on the minds of many people these days is of course the world economy.  Which is to say specifically that many people are justifiably worried about inflation, devaluation of currencies and the resultant cost of living issues that result.  In conjunction, what countries might be held hostage to higher and higher prices for imported goods and the social upheaval that follows if such goods cannot be obtained?  In this regard, one should consider that the Dominican Republic is a major producer of agricultural and food products:  Chicken, Beef, Pork, Rice, Diary Products (Milk, Cheese, Butter), Coffee, Sugar, Potatoes, Platano and other kinds of Bananas, Root  Vegetables such as Yuca and Batata, Fruit such as Mango, Pineapple, Oranges (and other Citrus Fruits), Cherries, Grapes and even Apples.  In addition, items such as cooking oil is all locally produced as well.  In fact,  local Dominican farmers produce  about 85 percent of the local food sold inside the country with the balance made up by imports geared to the more affluent consumer that wishes to buy certain foreign items - - but generally speaking the country is certainly self sufficient in terms of  food production.  Meaning, Dominicans can find everything at home, grown at home.  If they purchase any imported or foreign food items it is because they want to, not because they have to.  And with that said, even though many Dominicans of course will complain about higher food prices (that have been felt by the consumer in all countries recently), it is also true that local meat and vegetables are LESS expensive in the Dominican Republic than what consumers are paying in countries such as the US and Canada (on average, for locally produced items).
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Moving along with our economic theme, it is of interest to note that the Dominican Republic reported about 5 percent positive GDP growth in the last few years, and it is estimated that 2013 will finish up with about 4 percent positive GDP growth as well, which is quite impressive considering the growth rates in Europe and the US currently.  One can see this growth visually or physically with the number of new stores, shopping malls and related business activity in the country, which is a direct result of the rising middle class that has spawned a number of higher end luxury stores in the country also.  As just one example, the luxury goods chain Louis Vuitton recently established a new store in Santo Domingo.  This of course is not to say that the country has become less affordable because higher end stores are being established.    And in addition, a number of both American and European stores have established new investments into the country, either directly or indirectly by investing into existing local Dominican businesses.  The American supermarket chain IGA is one very recent example of a US business investing into a local Dominican supermarket chain without changing the name of the local Dominican brand.  The comment is made to simply highlight the economic progress that has taken place in the country over the past 15 to 20 years, and to state that the Dominican Republic is an up and coming nation, economically speaking.  Foreign businesses now want to invest in the Dominican market to participate in this positive growth, to offset declining revenues in their own home country in some cases.  Where would you rather relocate to - - a country on the decline or one that is on the way up ?
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For those people that like the idea of living in a warm Caribbean climate, but are somewhat concerned about getting island fever (because the particular island they are considering is so small as to create anxiety) the Dominican Republic is located on the second largest island in the Caribbean.  In terms of making a size comparison, it is roughly 35,000 square miles or about the size of the US state of South Carolina.  In addition, aside from offering typical Caribbean beaches, it also offers the highest mountain peak in the Caribbean (Pico Duarte), which means that those people preferring a cooler mountain climate can have that as well.  In fact, you may not believe it, but if you drive up to the higher elevated areas around the town of Jarabacoa, you will find pine trees and ferns, a topography that is quite similar to the northeastern part of the United States (New England).  This area is actually called the ALPS of the Caribbean, and while it can be hard to imagine, one truly can have the best of both worlds (mountains and the beach) living in a place with such diverse topography. 
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In terms of housing, the other interesting thing about the Dominican Republic is that real estate prices have historically been more affordable in comparison to other Caribbean destinations, making the country a preferred choice for both middle class and higher net worth persons coming from Europe or North America.  But maybe even more important is the lack of mortgage – housing problems that have plagued countries such as the US and Spain in recent years.  Which is to say, there never has been any kind of low interest rate no money down – no documentation mortgage loans in the Dominican Republic.  Because of that, real estate prices have not fallen due to boom - bust cycles because of cheap or easy credit over the past few years (in fact they have gone up) and there is no glut of abandoned of foreclosed properties in the country either.  This has been the case more due to the very conservative lending practices of the local Dominican Banks rather than any any other reason, but regardless, the real estate market in the country has maintained an even keel during a period of economic storms elsewhere.  Investors that have purchased real estate in the Dominican Republic over the past few years usually have found very favorable results in terms of maintaining value and resale value as well.
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This leads us to discuss banking, which is some what tied in to the real estate commentary mentioned above.  In this regard, the truth of the matter is that Dominican Banks in general are quite conservative by nature as is the government banking regulatory authority that supervises the banking industry.  In addition, a government maintained banking insurance fund does indeed exist to insure banking deposits (and it is quite healthy in comparison the current banking insurance programs as they currently exist elsewhere).  In terms of banking options for the consumer, most of the larger banks in the Dominican Republic offer US Dollar, Euro and Dominican Peso Savings Accounts plus Certificates of Deposit also.  Since there are no currency or exchange controls, bank depositors are free to exchange between these currencies as they wish, and send in or remit out funds without restriction as well.  In addition, local commercial paper and government bonds (denominated in either Pesos or US Dollars) are 100 per-cent locally tax-free also, allowing for comfortable monthly income for investors or retirees.
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Should you wish to obtain more information about residency, banking, incorporation services or real estate, please feel free to read the articles listed below or you may use our reply reply form also, which you can access via the link directly below".
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residency and naturalized citizenship

Dominican Republic Real Estate: An Inflation Hedge

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Aside from such traditional inflation hedges such as gold or silver, real estate has also been one asset class that has tended to at least hold it's value during periods of currency devaluation  (currency devaluation or what is also known as inflation).  Of course, today's economic environment is a bit different than what has been experienced before, which is why we  might be seeing both inflation in consumables (higher prices for items such as food, and other consumer goods) with deflation in some asset classes, such as US based real estate.  However, not all real estate is created equal, which is why it is just as important what you pay as to where you buy.  In this regard, real estate in the Dominican Republic has held it's value, and has in fact increased in value whereby such values in countries like the US and Spain have declined.  In fact, real estate in many other emerging or developing markets can report the very same thing, and there is a reason for that.
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dominican republic free zone information
A Great Tax Saving Idea: Moving Your Small Business To The Dominican Republic
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If you currently have a small business located in one of the so-called industrialized social welfare democracy nations, there is one thing we can guarantee for you: Higher Business Taxes.  Why? Because all of these countries have social welfare benefit programs that they can no longer afford, and ever decreasing tax revenues.  The result of which is going to be higher taxes for the middle class and small business owner, and reduced benefits for all.  Why do you think large multi-national companies have set up subsidiaries and operations in other countries over the past two decades?
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Of course, many small business owners think such an idea is only for the very large conglomerates, but that is a myth.  Naturally it all depends upon what kind of business that you have, if you are a beneficial candidate to make such a move (or not), but it is not that costly or as difficult as you may think.  Certainly if you have an on-line retail business, a service business such as a travel agency or even a tax preparation service, such kinds of businesses can literally operate anywhere.  And that being the case, would you not rather be doing business in a country that does not tax you to death?
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Dominican Republic Residency & Naturalized Citizenship

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Every country on the planet usually has some process or program whereby foreigners can come to apply for legal residency, and eventually at some point, naturalized citizenship as well.  In this regard, the Dominican Republic is no different, with the only notable difference being that you will probably find the requirements and time line easier and shorter than a number of other countries.  Which is to suggest that the requirements for the residency application in the Dominican Republic is going to be much more reasonable for the average middle class person coming from another country, and also the waiting time for one to become a naturalized citizen (and obtaining a passport as a result of that) as well.
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Many people have taken advantage to become a Naturalized Dominican Citizen, and it may surprise you to learn that as of September 2011 - Dominican Passport holders can travel visa free to: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador,  Israel, Hong Kong, Japan, Peru, Nicaragua, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Uruguay.  This of course is only a partial list, and new countries have been added in recent years, so check with the Embassy or Consulate for more up to date information
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dominican republic naturalized citizenship
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The Great Escape: Why Are So Many People Leaving The US & EU ?
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It has been a bit over 15 years now that Roger Gallo wrote his very enlightening book titled: Escape From America.  Roger of course was one of the first people to identify this trend, which over time has accelerated and evolved.  Whereas it used to be the  case of retirees, or those close to retirement, primarily looking for a better place to live, it is now the younger generations that are leaving as well.  Why are they leaving?  Where are they going?  This article will answer some of these questions and offer a glimpse of a trend that we believe will only continue for a variety of reasons.  To be sure, many of these new expatriates are moving to the Dominican Republic, and a whole list of some other jurisdictions as well.  But regardless of where they are going, there are some commonalities in why they are leaving and what they are looking for (or looking to get away from also).

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Is It Really True That Dominican Republic Real Estate Can Be Tax Free ?

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Any property valued at less than RD$4 Million Pesos, or about US$100,000 is FREE from annual  government property taxes.  I know what you are thinking - how many decent properties are truly available in that price range?  The answer is quite a few actually, especially if your real estate search is geared towards a one or two bedroom condo not located in a tourist area.  But aside from that, new residents applying as retirees (or those persons living from a fixed income) can benefit from 50 PERCENT OFF TITLE TRANSFER TAXES on their first home purchase.  And best of all, unlike the Pensionado program in other countries (such as Panama), there is no age restriction in order to qualify.  Find out why many retirement bound clients (and even those people retiring young or early) have chosen the Dominican Republic over many other options.  In addition, even if you do purchase a higher priced property, in comparison to annual government taxes in the US or Europe, the Dominican Republic is still a bargain! Find out why here.

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dominican republic banking, bank accounts

Banking & Fixed Income Investments In The Dominican Republic:.
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This section is dedicated to answering the most commonly asked questions about banking, personal or corporate bank accounts, savings accounts, credit cards and tax-free fixed income investments such as commercial paper or bonds.  One common question is: Can someone actually live off the interest from investments in the Dominican Republic?  With interest rates currently at about 6 percent for US Dollar denominated commercial paper or bonds, and with interest rates at roughly 10 percent or more in Dominican Pesos, both tax-free, the answer is a resounding YES.
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Find out why smart investors are moving their money to other jurisdictions, into other currencies, and into other kinds of assets as well.  Protecting yourself from insane politicians that want to devalue the national currency where you currently live, is the only option of any sane person, and the only option for survival going forward. 


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