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Haiti - Reconstruction : Patterson asks to the Caribbean community to get involved
28/01/2011 10:28:01

Haiti - Reconstruction : Patterson asks to the Caribbean community to get involved
During the three-day symposium on investment and capital markets in Kingston (Jamaica), Percival James Patterson, Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Special Envoy for Haiti of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), has asked to the Caribbean business community to get involved in the rebuilding of Haiti (1).

He was convinced that this country, which has been destroyed by the earthquake of January 2010 may be the key of the regional renewal. Emphasizing that Caribbean economies not expected to recover from the international recession in the next three years, "Haiti could be the region's unlikely saviour".

Patterson explained that the reconstruction of Haiti will require expertise in agriculture, tourism and construction. Given the destruction caused by the earthquake, the construction sector will require more expertise to rebuild roads, schools, hotels and hospitals.

Recalling the billions of dollars in aid pledged by the international community for Haiti's reconstruction, he stressed that if the Caribbean community is not getting its share, the the other will take it and "we will have no one to blame but ourselves"

Patterson indicated that CARICOM has recently proposed a fund for providing loans to potential investors in Haiti, stating that a technical team is currently forming a committee to direct the fund which hopes to have a start-up budget of US$100 million, with an ultimate chest of US$1 billion.

Most of the funds would come from CARICOM members, bi-lateral and multilateral agencies, private- and public-sector interests and private donors from the Haitian and Caribbean diaspora. "I see major possibilities for our commercial banks, our development banks, our EXIM banks and the stock exchange," Patterson said. "We regard the CARICOM-Haiti Fund as an ideal vehicle to spur the development which is necessary [in Haiti]."

(1)Haiti was admitted as a full member of CARICOM in 1999.

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