Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, January
28, 2011—Haiti can achieve GDP growth of 6–8 percent over the next
decade, if the right public policies are put in place, the national and
international private sector become increasingly engaged, and support from
the international community is sustained.
This is the finding of the World Economic
Forum’s report, Private Sector Development in Haiti: Opportunities
for Investment, Job Creation and Growth, launched today in partnership
with the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and IFC. The
full report is available at http://www.weforum.org/HaitiReport2011.
“Despite the challenges, Haiti possesses
the economic fundamentals to experience sustained growth. However, it cannot
achieve it alone. The private sector played an important and innovative
role in supporting humanitarian assistance to Haiti right after the earthquake
and now it has an equally important role to play in helping Haiti achieve
an accelerated economic trajectory,” said Robert Greenhill, Managing Director
and Chief Business Officer, World Economic Forum. “The World Economic
Forum hopes this joint report will lead more companies to consider the
investment opportunities presented in Haiti.”
The report outlines opportunities for
businesses in Haiti and measures taken to encourage private sector engagement
such as the development of Special Economic Zones, which are areas identified
by the government as fast-track zones for commercial development to be
equipped with the infrastructure and regulatory framework to attract business.
The World Bank and IFC are actively engaged with the Haitian government
to improve its investment climate.
“The World Bank Group remains committed
to helping Haiti catalyse private investment and improve the business environment.
We are convinced that the private sector is essential for Haiti’s long-term
development, to create jobs and help the country break its dependence on
aid,” said Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO. “This
joint report highlights the opportunities and challenges in improving Haiti's
investment climate, in particular business regulation, access to basic
infrastructure, logistic and financial services, and access to skills.
Multilateral banks, donors, the government of Haiti, and the private
sector should develop the framework that will address these challenges.”
The report outlines specific areas where
the private sector can become involved, highlighting opportunities in construction
and infrastructure development, agriculture, manufacturing, finance, tourism,
and energy. A specific example from the manufacturing sector is the
IDB’s recent announcement of its support along with the United States
government of a $250 million deal to develop an industrial park in the
north that is expected to generate as many as 65,000 jobs.
“Haiti has countless needs, but what
it desperately requires to climb out of poverty is more jobs,” said IDB
President Luis Alberto Moreno. “Our goal is to persuade several
companies from diverse industrial sectors to set up shop in the north,
not only to boost employment and economic activity outside of Port-au-Prince
but also to change common risk perceptions about Haiti, so that many more
investors may follow them.”
Finally, the report highlights examples
of how international businesses are actively engaged in mutually beneficial
partnerships designed to help grow Haiti’s economy. Under a public-private
partnership structured by IFC, Haiti’s government and central bank (Banque
de la République d’Haiti – BRH) signed an agreement with Vietnam’s largest
mobile telephone operator Viettel for $99 million. The agreement
has led Viettel to commit significant investments, including the construction
of Haiti’s first nationwide fibre optic backbone.
The report concludes by calling upon
the international private sector to realize its potential to improve the
situation by investing in Haiti stressing that despite clear challenges
profitable investment opportunities exist today in Haiti and increased
private sector engagement will create further investment opportunities
in the future.
This report has benefited from a broad
multistakeholder steering committee that features representatives from
the Haitian and international private sector, international organizations,
nongovernmental organizations, and multiple governments demonstrating extensive
support for Haiti’s potential for a prosperous future.
World Economic Forum: Adrian Monck,
World Bank: Sergio Jellinek, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Inter-American Development Bank: Peter