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Haiti - Economy : A dozen new garment factories in 2019...
04/12/2018 09:06:52

Haiti - Economy : A dozen new garment factories in 2019...
Georges Sassine President of the Association of Industries of Haiti (ADIH), estimates that at least a dozen Asian garment companies will start by mid-2019, while highlighting the challenge to be met in particular in terms support infrastructure "The main challenge is the lack of buildings, which we are trying to solve [...] At present, two new businesses are already established, but they are waiting for buildings."

In addition, the shortage of skilled workers is another problem, said Sassine, convinced however that the two training centers specializing in the clothing sector can address it "The challenge is to train more people permanently to ensure that workers are competent and available."

Several textile industry experts in Haiti are optimistic that the sector, which currently includes 20 factories (including 13 Asian ones), could continue to grow, provided the government ensures economic and social stability...

South Korean operators are leading with 10 factories. Indeed, the South Korean company, S & H Co Ltd (SAE-A) which started operations in Haiti in 2012, has since become the largest employer of the apparel sector in Haiti with more than 13,000 workers.

Taiwanese companies have also built 3 factories, one of which is operated by a subsidiary of MAS Holdings, based in Sri Lanka. Giri Chandrasena, Director of Special Projects for MAS Akansyel, who makes sportswear, said Haiti's proximity to the United States and tariff benefits have helped convince its high-end customers to form a partnership in Haiti.

Currently, MAS Akansyel employs approximately 1,000 workers and plans to hire another 600 workers. According to Chandrasena, his company is not content to only increase sustainably the production of its first manufacture but is considering an extension of its production and is currently looking for a space to further develop its operations in Haiti. In addition, he emphasizes that MAS has innovated in the garment industry by ensuring that all employees have bank accounts. An automated teller machine has also been installed on the premises of the company "Thus, we avoid cash payments and wages are paid directly into the bank account of each employee. All of our employees have transportation to and from work and have uniforms," said Chandrasena.

Sassine said that in addition to Haiti's proximity to the United States and the benefits of the HOPE and HELP laws, the availability of labor makes our country very attractive to Asian business leaders stressing "The level of Unemployment is very high in Haiti [...] So people want to work, they do not care to know who owns the factories. For them, all the plants are identical. Adding that some Asian garment factories are paying well above the government-mandated minimum wage of 420 Gourdes (+20%) per 8-hour work day.

SL/ HaitiLibre

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