Haiti - Diplomacy : Farewell Dinner of Ambassador Kenneth Merten
At this dinner were present among others, the President of the Republic Martelly, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, members of the diplomatic corps as well as parliamentarians.
Recall that during his tenure, Ambassador U.S. has among others : accompanied the Haitian government in the management of the crisis caused by the earthquake of January 12, 2010 and the cholera epidemic in the same year ; given its support during the presidential and parliamentary elections from 2010 to 2011 ; contributed to the reorientation of the priorities of development aid in the country ; directed the program of the United States for the creation of the Industrial Park Caracol [North].
Extract of farewell speech of Ambassador Keneeth Merten :
"[...] Haiti is a beautiful country with beautiful beaches, a beautiful craft. Haiti is creativity, Haiti it is the good music troubadour, roots with the music that I prefer, good Konpa. For me, Haiti is the rice with peas, pikliz, griot and salt fish... This is a country that has pride for its history [...] who each time it thinks to the battles that it led for its independence, finds the courage to overcome the difficulties of today [...]
When one will talk about me, I would not like we talk about the Ambassador who helped you during the earthquake, I'd like that one speaks of the U.S. Ambassador, who worked with you all, so that the country takes off.
The U.S. Government is proud of its contribution in the country, but as I always said, it is not only the development aid that Haiti needs, but good changes, that will be able transform the country. It is only the private sector investment, national and international, that can bring that change. It is only investment that can create the jobs that the Haitian need. It is the only investment, that can help to make enter taxes that the Haitian government needs.
When people have jobs, they have dignity because they take care of their families and have the freedom to make their own choices. Similarly, when the government makes enter more taxes, it can fund better schools, better hospitals, better roads and more police officers better equipped to provide security in the streets of the country of Haiti. [...]
More than 2 years after the earthquake, we find that there is always the determination and good will from the outside ; all the time, companies are looking for opportunities [...] and these companies would like to come for one reason only, because it's Haiti. But we must be clear, sympathy is not a strategy to attract business.
So that Haiti seize the opportunity of this historic moment, the country must make reforms, including the costs and time to start a business. To attract investment, Haiti should make things easier, for people create businesses [...]"
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