Foreign Investment in Haiti in decline

A recent report on the "Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean" released by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in the last week of May (2015) indicates that the inflows of foreign exchanges in most Caribbean countries, typically depend heavily on their own individual specific sectors. However, the Dominican Republic, the largest economy in the region, is an exception in this regard where the FDI inflows are evenly distributed, in a balanced way, among several sectors like manufacturing, tourism, natural resources and others. The Bahamas and some of the organizing countries of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) generate maximum inflows from the tourism sector, while the major FDI inflows in Suriname, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago come from natural sources. In the last year (2014), Haiti and Jamaica had received their maximum FDIs in the transport and telecommunication sectors. The amount of Foreign Direct investment in Haiti between the years 2001 to 2014 shows the following corresponding values of investment (as per index mundi & Santandertrade):


Year 2001, $4 million; 2002, $6 millions; 2003, $14 millions; 2004 $6 million; 2005, $26 million; 2006, $160.6 million; 2007, $74.5 million; 2008, $29.8 million;, 2009, $37.95 million; 2010, $150 millions; 2011, $181 millions (following the earthquake, all-time high till 2011); 2012, $156 millions (an industrial park was inaugurated at Caracol); 2013, $186 millions (Venezuela became an important sponsor through a program of exchange of oil for agricultural products), but unfortunately the figure dropped to $99 millions in 2014. Despite the gradual increase in the FDI, the business climate in Haiti had remained mediocre, the country ranks 177 in the classification of "Doing Business 2014" issued by the World's Bank.

Foreign direct investment is the net inflows of investment, the sum of equity capital, reinvestment of earnings, other long-term, and short-term capital as shown in the balance of payments. Grossly, it reflects the foreign ownership (minimum 10% of the value of the company) of production facilities. Haiti ranks 24th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region with an overall score below the regional average. However, it shows an improvement of 2.4% over the last year's figure. With its huge population and large diaspora, Haiti is the fourth most popular destination in the sub-region for non-regional flights, mostly from the USA. It has a huge potential to be developed as a premier tourist destination.

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