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Haiti - Economy : «Haiti and CARICOM : opportunities and challenges»
18/02/2013 08:20:59

Haiti - Economy : «Haiti and CARICOM : opportunities and challenges»
In preliminary to the 24th meeting of Heads of State and Government of CARICOM [18 and 19 February 2013], Wilson Laleau, Minister of Commerce and Industry, had convened last week the forces of the Haitian private sector for a dinner meeting on the theme "Haiti and CARICOM : opportunities and challenges". The objective of this meeting was to raise awareness the Haitian private sector of the need to become more involved in the Caribbean Common Market and take advantage of opportunities offered by the CARICOM. The President Martelly, who attended the meeting declared that "the Caribbean integration may be particularly beneficial for Haiti".

After constructive dialogue with representatives of the private sector, Mrs. Marie-Carmel Jean-Marie, Minister of Economy and Finance has assured the latter that his ministry was ready to support them in this process of appropriation of the Caribbean market.

Extracts from the speech of the Minister Laleau :

"[...] This meeting is a way to call for the mobilization of the private sector and civil society in Haiti, on an issue of crucial importance for the future of the country. It is true that the Haitian private sector, civil society in Haiti, the Haitian government, have accumulated a lot of delay in the implementation of decisions taken in relation to CARICOM. Since 2002, Haiti ratified the Treaty of Chaguaramas, devoting its accession, the country has not yet updated the documents relating to the rules of origin and standards in force in the Community.

And it did nor adopted the legal measures aimed at aligning the national tariff to the Common External Tariff (CET) applied in the region. Other important issues refers for example :

to the measures to be taken by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, to finalize the country's participation in the work of the Caribbean Court of Justice ;

to the signature and ratification of the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice ;

to the deepening of the work initiated in the Ministry of Trade and Industry with the regional organization of quality standards (CROSQ) ;

to the establishment at the airport, at the arrival and departure, of a line reserved for nationals of member countries of the Caribbean Community, etc...

[...] In general, in the experiences of formation of regional blocs, the initiative returns to the private sector and the government follows what its private sector told it to do. The expected objective of this meeting is to obtain that the private sector actively reinvest this scope. We must recognize that the Haitian private sector has been hard hit by public policy measures at least inappropriate. All these policies were oriented towards the defense of the purchasing power of consumers regardless of their effects on the national productive system. They turned the country into 'funder universal of economies of the region'. Whether it is monetary policy, trade policy or fiscal policy, everything has been done to regulate this purchasing power at the expense of productive investment.

[...] CARICOM is a market of 18 million inhabitants with a flow of 23 million tourists last year. Making it a potential market of 41 million consumers with real purchasing power. Imagine if BRANA or Barbancourt, or any other Haitian company, could sell their products, even to only 20% of this population. Investments that would result, or the jobs it would create in the value chains of these products would be incommensurate with their current reality.

In reality, everyone knows what to do, except that it must be done. The government is working to accelerate the process of aligning our tariffs on the Common External Tariff Caribbean. This exercise coupled with the study of the exportable supply, that we are launching will enable us to take full advantage of investments [...] The same applies to the establishment of the National System of Quality by the recent creation of the Haitian Bureau of Standards, of Metrology Laboratory, and the creation of a tool to ensure the traceability of our products. In addition, the President of the Republic made ​​it a point of honor to place at the head of the agenda of the Conference, the creation of a Caribbean Merchant Shipping. This initiative aims to facilitate the connectivity of countries of the region in order to have of exchange more sustained.

You must take this jumping ball, which constitutes a real chance to boost production and growth in Haiti."

The Minister Laleau, will participate on 18 and 19 February at the meeting of Heads of State and Government of CARICOM in order to present important projects for the economic development of Haiti within the regional market.

See also :

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