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Haiti - Economy : AHE wonder about the reality of the economic consequences
24/09/2010 10:50:45

Haiti - Economy : AHE wonder about the reality of the economic consequences
Eddie Labossiere, President of the Haitian Association of Economists (Association Haïtienne des Économistes AHE), deplored the signature at the beginning of week of a contract of US$295.000 between the Haitian government and the Foundation Prince Charles (British) within the framework of the rebuilding of the downtown area of Port-au-Prince. The Foundation Prince Charles will provide, within the framework of this contract, proposals on the spatial organization of the perimeter declared of public utility. He regretted that the government does not appeal to a Haitian firm, stating that "The reconstruction of Haiti should take into account the historical and cultural dimensions" doubting that a foreign company "is able to consider these factors".

On this last point, Eddie Labossiere, seems not to take into account the fact that the Institute for the Protection of National Heritage (Institut de Sauvegarde du Patrimoine National ISPAN), by decree of July 12, 2010 is a member of the Facilitation Committee of the Reconstruction of Downtown Port-au-Prince, chaired by Ronald Baudin, Minister of Economy and Finance. This committee is responsible for coordinating the efforts of public and private sectors aimed at the rehabilitation and redevelopment of downtown in the Haitian capital. Although the presence of ISPAN is not a guarantee of the preservation of heritage in this vast project. At least we are entitled to expect that ISPAN will do its best to accommodate the cultural needs and economic center.

In addition, the president of the AHE believes that much of international aid to Haiti will be given by NGOs, he recalled that "the interventions of NGOs worldwide have ever allowed to develop a country". In regard to the announcements of new industrial park, Eddie Labossiere believes this is good news in terms of job creation, but he says he will not be processing raw materials companies, but business subcontracting. "These companies certainly offer thousands of jobs, but these are small jobs that can not guarantee the development of Haiti".

The AHE has all the more reason to wonder about the future and the economic impact that recent announcements of locations of textile factories are mainly related to two main factors, a cheap labor force and promulgation of Law HELP (formerly HOPE III) by the U.S. Congress who are helping Haiti to benefit from duty-free privileges offered for export to the U.S. market, Dominicans are quickly understood and already established in Haiti, whose projects in this area are increasing.

If the perspective of creating tens of thousands of jobs in the medium and long term in this industry is certainly good news, the operation of a cheap labor is not a factor in improving the level of life of our Haitian workers. Finally, we must ask what will these factories where the benefits of the law expire HELP. Lastly, it is necessary to wonder what these manufactures will do when the advantages of law HELP expire. Many examples in the world show that these manufactures have a great mobility move easily from one country to another in order to maintain or increase their profits. It is not meant to be pessimistic, but to ask the right questions so that appropriate decisions are taken to ensure strong and sustainable economic foundation for Haiti.

S/ HaitiLibre

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