Business & Finance

This is related to the business and financial issues related to Haiti and the Haitan community. We discuss issues such as job opportunities, how to create a business in Haiti, how to finance a project, and more.

Haitian Currency, La gourde and its History

The current Haitian currency is La gourde that was introduced in the year 1813. It was then that livre, the previous currency was replaced at the rate of 8 livre and 5 sous equaling 1 gourde. The gourde or goud has a division of 100 centimes. The currency was first issued in form of coins of denominations 6, 12 & 25 centimes with coins for 50 & 100 centimes being introduced in 1827 and the following year, 1 & 2 centimes were pushed in market. The silver coins first introduced were later replaced by bronze coins in 1863 of 5, 10 & 20 centimes. These were the last of first gourde coins.

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Haitian Government, Private Sector, How to Revamp the Economy

After Haiti was torn apart by the earthquake in January 2012, the Haitian government and the private sector joined hands to make the country stand back on its feet and grow. To start with, a meeting between the representatives of the private sector, the government and Inter-American Development Bank was held as a part of a broader process of attracting international aid for reconstructing and developing the key sectors of Haiti through a New York meet that was held on 31st March, 2010.

In the meeting, the Prime Minister of Haiti thanked local private sector, foreign investors and international agencies for coming forward and said that modernization and rebuilding of Haitian economy largely depends on financing from both local and foreign private firms.

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Private Sector Development in Haiti: Opportunities for Investment

According to a report of World Economic Forum, Haiti has the fundamental capabilities of registering a sustained growth but it requires help. According to the report, the private sector in Haiti needs to play a very crucial role to accelerate economic growth. The report also points out the various unexplored business opportunities present in the country and that steps need to be taken so that the private sector is encouraged to develop SEZs or Special Economic Zones. These are the zones where commercial development can take place very rapidly if proper regulatory and infrastructure frameworks are present.

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The Resilience of Haiti's Private Sector

Haiti is gradually coming out of its image of a corrupt and insecure country for investment. In October 2009, a project for investment generation was started and that worked as a base for quick recovery for Haiti after it was struck by a devastating earthquake in 2010. World Bank Group (WBG) created Investment Climate Teams (ICTs) that were responsible for removing hindrances to economic growth like lack of SEZs or Special Economic Zones and repulsion of foreign investors.

Implementation of the SEZ model was the primary objective of the ICTs along with creation of highly international environment, improving employee condition and social standards. Implementation of SEZ model also meant Public-Private Partnerships. After the devastating earthquake, through the partnership of Haiti's government, private sector and donor partners, the Haitian economy is slowly recovering. The highlights of Haiti's Private Sector's resilience include:

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Start a Business in Haiti, Regulatory Environment

Doing a business in Haiti involves a set of laws and regulations. Starting a business is not something that can be done instantly as it requires permits, planning and processes. However, because Haiti wants to make opening a business in the country easier and more efficient, the authorities have made some changes in the country's regulatory system. This way, businessmen might fast-track the opening of a business while making sure that all regulations are followed.

One of the changes involves the publication of Articles of Incorporation (AOI). Currently, such publication can be done two months earlier than usual because the office of the prime minister or the president no longer has to vet the AOI. A new law, on the other hand, has been implemented to improve the application for credit in the country. The new law enables businesses to use a wider variety of assets for collateral.

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Impact of Second-hand clothing market On Haiti

The Second hand Clothe market in Haiti is where people can buy second-hand yet branded clothes from the United States at a cheaper price. Also called Pepe, many Haitians prefer use clothes because not only it is more affordable but also it is stylish, modern and has a high quality. Though the demand for pepe products is high, not everyone is happy with it. There are businessmen seeking to ban the import of second-hand clothes from the United States, saying that the trade is hurting other industries and making Haiti a "trash can."

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Incorporating a business in Haiti

Business incorporation in Haiti comes in different types. It has categories and each one has its own standards and regulations to follow. Each company starting a business in the country must register its operation and determine which type of business incorporation it will undertake. To know more about it, here are the types of business incorporation in the country.

Limited Liability Corporation in Haiti involves three shareholder partners and board members. However, at least one of the board members must be a Haitian citizen to make it an eligible business. When it comes to obligations, each partner has a role to play depending on its contributions. Branch of a Foreign Public Limited Company, on the other hand, is a type of business incorporation that must be registered at Haiti's Book of Commerce. It should also be filed at other government business agencies involving the fiscal and social sectors.

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Business and Labor Regulation in Haiti

With a new approach to new businesses, the Haitian government hopes that doing business in the country will be easier and more efficient. The government has been taking steps in adjusting the country's business system with a new proactive approach. It aims to help smooth out the process of starting a business in Haiti, as well as attract more investors to boost the economy. Unnecessary bureaucratic requirements that prolong the process of doing a business will also be scrapped with the new approach.

This approach applies to industrial and commercial companies that employ a maximum of 50 workers. The companies that have a capital that is 10 times Haiti's per-capita gross national income are the ones covered in this approach.

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Protest By Workers In Haiti On A 7 Dollar Pay Wage

Around 29000 workers working in the garment assemblies are fighting a wage of $7 for eight hours work which is 300 Haitian gourds per day.

In early October, around three dozen workers from Port au Prince, Delmas district, in Haiti went and shared their grievances about their struggle to earn better wages in Haiti with the United States activists.

They were willing to sit in the heat and dark for hours together to share their grievance. One of the employees at Multiwear Assembly Plant complained that he had to pay for his own transportation and couldn't do anything much with the salary earned.

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Trade Partnership of Dominican Republic and Haiti Ignores Ban

Haiti has overtaken Central America as second in volume of imports from its neighbor, the Dominican Republic (DR). During 2012, $97,530,000 of goods was imported from the DR, a 50% increase over 2011's figure of $64,730,000. This $32,800,000 rise in import dollars was due in part to more egg imports, a 50% gain from 6,390,000 eggs in 2011 to 12,400,000 in 2012. The Center for Export and Investment of the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD) compiled the 2011-2012 figures.

This rise in egg imports indicates although the government of Haiti has enforced a ban on egg imports beginning in 2008, it is being ignored by the trading partnership of Haiti and the DR.

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