I pass this optimistic message from our travel agent in Haiti along to all of you thirsting for some encouraging news! Jim
Begin forwarded message:
From: Jacqualine Labrom
Date: February 15, 2011 6:21:21 AM MST
Subject: Fwd: 41017: Jacob (Report) – World Economic Forum Report on Haiti (fwd)
This is a very encouraging article. I didn’t know that the prestigious World Economic Forum would intervene in the affairs of Haiti. So this is very good.
Have a good day and keep Haiti still in your hearts.
WEF is the group that organizes the annual forum at Davos Switzerland. The URL below is for the complete report. The text below is just a summary.
Report Underlines Value of Private Investment in Securing Haiti?s Growth
28 January 2011
Haiti can achieve sustainable growth with the support of the international
private sector Businesses should
consider investment opportunities in Haiti
World Economic Forum
launches new report: Private
Sector Development in Haiti:
Opportunities for Investment, Job Creation and Growth. Full report
available here: www.weforum.org/HaitiReport2011 More
information on Haiti
at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011: http://www.weforum.org/haiti
Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 28 January 2011 ? Haiti can achieve GDP
growth of 6-8% 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 (IDB) and
the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The full report is available here: 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
achieve an accelerated economic trajectory,? says 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 (SEZs). SEZS 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
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 IFC?s Chief Executive Officer and Executive
Vice-President Lars Thunell. “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 US government of a US$ 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 the IFC, Haiti?s
government and central bank (Banque de la R?publique d?Haiti ? BRH) signed an
agreement with Vietnam?s
largest mobile telephone operator Viettel for US$ 99 million. The agreement has
led Viettel to commit significant investments, including the construction of Haiti?s first nationwide fibre optic backbone.
Case studies include:
Haiti Hope: The Coca-Cola
Company?s Haiti Hope project which is taking a holistic approach to realizing
the full potential of mangos in Haiti?s
recovery. Launched in September 2010, the project aims to double the income of
25,000 Haitian mango farmers over five years. It is a partnership between The
Coca-Cola Company, the IDB?s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), USAID and
TechnoServe, with the support of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and other
international and local actors.
Mobile Money: Mobile phone operators Voila
and Digicel each have launched mobile banking services that maximize NGO
resources, bolster reconstruction efforts and provide Haiti?s ?unbanked? population access to
financial services. Though 85% of Haitian households have access to a cell
phone, there are only two banks for every 100,000 people in the country. Mobile
Money products will enable Haitians to transfer money domestically and
internationally, and complete commercial transactions wirelessly, including
using their cell phone to purchase food and non-food items from a network of
affiliated merchants throughout the country. Voila, Haiti-based Unibank, and
the international aid agency Mercy Corps have joined together to launch a
mobile banking service called T-Cash that offers beneficiaries of Mercy Corps?s
cash programme the opportunity to receive and make payments using their Voila
phones. Digicel and Canada?s
Scotiabank have partnered to create Tcho Tcho Mobile, which offers mobile
banking services that enable users to perform cash withdrawals, deposits and
transfers through their mobile phone.
Catastrophic Micro-insurance: The millions
of small-scale traders who make up the informal sector in Haiti are particularly vulnerable to natural
disasters. To address this challenge, Swiss Re, one of the world?s largest
reinsurers, has formed a partnership with Caribbean Risk Managers Limited, Guy
Carpenter Micro Risk Solutions and Haiti?s
largest microfinance institution, Fonkoze, to design a micro-insurance
scheme for catastrophes in Haiti.
The project will allow highly vulnerable Haitians to protect themselves from
natural disasters at reasonable cost.
YY Haiti: YY Haiti ? an initiative of the
Grameen Creative Lab, the Yunus Centre and SAP
AG ? intends to create the infrastructure and provide the skills needed for
social businesses in Haiti.
YY Haiti is a fund investing in social businesses in Haiti
and also providing appropriate business training. YY Haiti functions as a
self-sustainable social business that is financed through the management fees
earned from the social businesses in which it invests. Once the social
businesses have returned their initial investment, the fund reinvests this
money into new social businesses. Initial social business investments include a
cocoa processing plant and an eco-hotel in Cap
Haitien. Another 14 social businesses are currently in
the due diligence process.
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, NGOs and
multiple governments demonstrating extensive support for Haiti?s potential for a prosperous future.