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Haiti - Economy : Summary, challenges and perspectives of the textile sector
23/12/2018 09:52:06

Haiti - Economy : Summary, challenges and perspectives of the textile sector
The Association of Industries of Haiti (ADIH) presents its report on the textile industry for the year 2018 and will soon present the results of the National Production. Despite a year marked by political turmoil, which caused the closure of companies and discouraged potential investors, the textile sector has made slight progress.

Summary of the Textile Sector :
From January to November the number of workers in the textile sector increased from 48,820 to 52,950 among them 10,019 works in the free zone for the Dominican Company for Industrial Development (CODEVI) in Ounaminthe https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-26459-haiti-economy-a-dominican-responsible-for-more-than-20-of-textile-jobs-in-the-country.html (Ouanaminthe) and 12,636 work at the Industrial Park of Caracol (PIC), two zones lying outside of Port-au-Prince.

According to figures released by the US Department of Commerce, the total amount of imports rose from more than 720 million in October 2017 to more than 926 million in September 2018.

The Metropolitan Industrial Park Training Center proceeded with the graduation of 7 Promotions, where 1,326 operators, 251 quality control workers and 47 supervisors received free training thanks to the USAID/LEVE project. Some of the trained workers are already employed in the industry and others are ready to join the sector.

ADIH proceeded last November, at the inauguration of a second training center at the Caracol Industrial Park (PIC) thanks to the support of the Korean Government, the Inter-American Development Bank, Electra Sewing and the Haitian Government.

3 new companies have set up in the Metropolitan Industrial Park (PIM) : Elansia, COPEN United LLC and Centri Group S.A.

The company RSI has signed a contract with Lafito Industrial Free Zone and plans to open in 2019, which will first employ the people of the area.

Challenges :
The Palm Apparel Group has built four buildings totaling 330,000 sq. Ft. for US $ 15 million in the Digneron free zone located in Roche Blanche (Croix-des-Bouquets). This investment by a group of Haitians has lost the opportunity to sign two major contracts because of the socio-political situation and the lack of road infrastructure. Indeed, it would take eight kilometers of road to serve this free zone which is also waiting for a bridge to cross the river Grise from Tabarre.

HANSAE, South Korea's second-largest clothing company, has signed a contract with the Haitian state since December 2015 for the construction of four production buildings at the Sonapi Metropolitan Industrial Park. Three years later, there is only one production building employing 1,600 workers. It's a deficit of at least 5,000 new jobs.

The Taiwanese company, Everest Textiles Far Eastern group has made an investment of three buildings in the Industrial Park Caracol (PIC), today employs more than a thousand workers and faces serious problems due to institutional failures States : OFATMA, AGD, SONAPI...

Foreign investors from Korea, Taiwan and Sri Lanka, among others, complain about the lack of support from Haitian state agencies.

Perspectives for 2019 :
The renewal of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) is essential for the growth of the textile sector and will have to be realized before 2020. We project that the number of jobs in the sector will then be around 60,000 and the export amount will exceed the billion dollars. ADIH is anxious that the development plan, which has been stuck for more than a year, should allow the expansion of the Caracol Industrial Park (PIC) through the construction of additional infrastructures.

According to the new budget (2018-2019) currently under discussion, the income tax threshold has been reduced from 60,000 gourdes to 150,000 gourdes, which will have the effect of relieving the workers' stock market.

We also wish the implementation of the social accompaniments promised by the Haitian Government to the workers.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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