The Dominican economy has been dependent on agriculture - primarily bananas - in years past, but increasingly has been driven by tourism as the government seeks to promote Dominica as an "ecotourism" destination. Moreover, Dominica has successfully developed an offshore medical education sector. In order to diversify the island's economy, the government is also attempting to develop an offshore financial sector and plans to sign agreements with the private sector to develop geothermal energy resources. In 2003, the government began a comprehensive restructuring of the economy - including elimination of price controls, privatization of the state banana company, and tax increases - to address an economic and financial crisis and to meet IMF requirements. Hurricane Dean struck the island in August 2007 causing damages equivalent to 20% of GDP. In 2009, the economy contracted as a result of the global recession and growth remains anemic. Economic growth in 2010-2011 was about 1%. Although debt levels in 2012 continued to exceed pre-recession levels, the debt burden notably declined from 80% to approximately 70% of GDP.
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