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:

• 7,900 jobs to be created with USD 31 million investments as announced by 7 investors. Missions for reaching out to investors located in Dominican Republic, Brazil, Taiwan and Korea were carried out by Commerce and Industry Ministry and commission in charge of implementing HOPE Act.
• Adoption of SEZ strategy by government of Haiti for the next 20 years. This will create new jobs in Haiti through creation of 2-3 SEZs which will attract both domestic and foreign investment.
• The garments sector of Haiti recovered and clocked $500 million in export in 2010-2011 with aid from ICTs and HOPE Act enforcement commission who undertook promotion and investor aftercare targeting the buyers from US. The Parc Industriel Mêtropolitain was also announced to be fit for business allowing 30 companies to resume post-earthquake operations. This assessment also encouraged SONAPI to undertake repair work for 12 building that were damaged by earthquake and this saved nearly 3,600 jobs.

It is clear that Haiti is willing to move forward despite its economic, political, social and geographic challenges and that the private sector of Haiti is capable of recovering for every blow that comes in form. It is only a matter of time and a little help that is required for Haiti to get a sustained growth.

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