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Dominica - Information About Island and State

The Commonwealth of Dominica, better known as Dominica, is a state, situated in the West Indies also called the Caribbean. Sometimes it is confused with Dominican Republic. Dominica is an island in the middle of the Caribbean change of islands. On the North is the French island of Guadeloupe and on the South another French island - Martinique.

The island was discovered by Columbus on Sunday, the 3rd of November 1493 and was named after this day (in Latin "Dominica" means "Sunday"). Before that there lived Indians - Arawaks, who were later forced out by more militant Indians - Caribs. The Caribs still live on Dominica and are the last natives of the Caribbean Islands. Originally, they called the island "Waitukubuli" which means "Tall is her body". And they had a good reason to call it so; Dominica is a very mountainous country.

Many springs and small crystal clear rivers with waterfalls flow from mountains, covered with wild tropical vegetation. They form wonderful natural pools and lakes. Native people say, that the number of rivers equals to the number of days in the year - 365. Because of its great natural beauty Dominica is known as the "Nature isle of the Caribbean".

Dominica is a volcanic island:

They say that if Columbus had an opportunity to come back, he would recognize only Dominica out of all the places, he discovered. This is because Dominica has kept it's primeval state.

All these factors favour the tourism development. There is a constant increase in number of tourists, visiting the island, the number of sea cruises also increase.

Total area: 751 km2 (290 miles)

Time zone: GMT - 5;

Capital: Roseau

Language: The official language of Dominica is English. It is spoken by almost all inhabitants. There is also a local Creole dialect - French patois - which is based on French with adaptations from the languages of Caribbean Indians and West-African syntax. Now it is used mostly in remote villages and in the speech of elderly inhabitants.

Population: 72,386

Ethnic groups: Mainly, these are descendants of African settlers (86%), mulattos (8,9%), native Caribbean Indians (2,9%), small number of descendants of European settlers.

Religion: The majority of the faithful are the Catholics (77%) and Protestants (15%).

Dominica Governmental System:

In 1763, Dominica was taken over by the British from the French. It remained a British colony until 1978, when it became an independent parliamentary democratic republic The President is the head of State; the Prime-minister is the head of Government.

Dominica is a member of United Nations (UN), Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Media and communication:

Dominica entered the world book of records as a first country in the world which installed completely digital communication system. Communication services are of the highest quality and it is possibly to get access to phone, fax, and internet from almost any part of the island.

Mobile sim-cards can be bought at any company, providing telecommunication services: Cable & Wireless, Marpin Telecoms, AT&T Wireless, Orange and Digicel and their representatives.

In Dominica it is allowed to dial international phone-numbers directly from hotel rooms and call centers.

Zone phone code is 1, country code is 767 and seven-place number of telephone subscriber.

There are mail and messenger services: FedEx, DHL and UPS.


Electricity on Dominica:

The main power supplier is the Dominica Electricity Services Company Ltd., which is a private company. Electrical network covers the whole country and provides 220/440 Watts.

Dominican Economy:

Monetary unit is EC$ - Eastern-Caribbean dollar (XCD). It is one of the strongest currencies of the Caribbean. It is tied to American dollar. The exchange rate has remained the same for 36 years: 1$ US = 2.7 EC$.

For a long time economy of Dominica was based on agriculture only. It mainly exported bananas to Great Britain according to privileged arrangement. But then it faced the enforcement from the GATT and WTO, so it was decided to develop other directions of economy: light industry, coco and citrus plants export, tourism and financial services.

GPD in 2004 was: agriculture - 17,7%, industry - 32,8%, services - 49,5%.

Financial services: offshore tax haven Dominica

The basis for registration of offshore companies in Dominica for international businessmen and investors is based on modern laws. The International Business Companies Act of June 26 1996 completely exempts the offshore companies, registered in Dominica, from taxes. The law also provides the privacy of information.

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