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Haiti - Economy : Dramatic restrictions on binational markets
17/11/2010 10:28:53

Haiti - Economy : Dramatic restrictions on binational markets
Trade of used clothes, is prohibited on the binational markets (Dajabon, Jimani, and Elías Piña) since Monday as part of preventive measures against the cholera epidemic, the first case, from Haiti, was officially confirmed yesterday in the Dominican Republic.

Monday at Dajabón, a binational market located about 300 kilometers northwest of Santo Domingo, opened with 4 hours late because of this new measure. The soldiers prevented the Haitian used clothes traders, to enter with their goods. After restrictions on food and drink homemade, now, our countrymen will be able to sell what ?

Bales of used clothes from USA and shoes donated by Canada and the European Union, which represent the main products sold by Haitians merchants will no longer be sold, as cholera is not under control in Haiti. Economically, this will be hard to Haitian shopkeepers. The Center for Export and Investment (CEI-RD) estimate that this market represents $3 million annually.

Bautista Rojas, Dominican Minister of Health, said that this new measure aimed to prevent the spread of cholera. Although there is no evidence that these goods can be a vector of disease, the minister said he could not assure the public that it was safe. He noted that these garments are then sold at flea markets and small boutiques around throughout the Dominican Republic.

In fact, cholera is a good excuse for the Dominicans, who had tried unsuccessfully since 2002 to ban the import of goods used (which interfered, according to them, to the local production...). But under pressure from importers, the Dominican government had failed to stop such imports.

Other measures are planned and will significantly affect the Haitians in the neighboring country. Indeed, Luis Garcia, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, explained that a mechanism to limit the mobility of Haitian vendors in the streets would be implemented. Knowing that most Haitian street vendors in the neighboring country are illegal, it is feared that this measure either a pretext for the Dominican government to increase the number of deportation of Haitian refugees on their territory.

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