Focus was placed on the development of Haiti’s business sector last week when the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) supported Haiti’s private sector in the organization of the Business Future of the Americas (BFA) Conference. The BFA is a regional and annual business conference where American Chambers of Commerce (AMCHAM) members from all over Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) meet to discuss regional trade and investment issues.
Caribbean Export sponsored 7 Caribbean Companies and 2 Business Support Organisations (BSOs) to attend the conference which was held in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on June 15-17. The conference brought together over 275 participants from Latin America and the Caribbean to focus on Diaspora Investments in LAC. The conference was officially opened by H.E. Paul Evans, Prime Minister of Haiti. Speakers included top level government representatives Stephanie B. Villedrouin, Minister of Tourism & Creative Industries of Haiti, Robert Labrousse, Minister of Haitians Living Abroad and Fresner Dorcin, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Foreign investors Maarten Boutte, Chairman of Digicel Haiti and Peter Hall, Sr. Vice-President of Business Development of Heineken Americas (Heineken owns the local brewery BRANA), local business leaders, and leaders in development and investment organizations had an active participation. A special forum on “Doing Business in Haiti” provided participant with a panoramic view of the Haitian economy and its growth sectors (tourism, agri-business and telecommunications).
As part of the agenda of the conference, the delegates were invited to a dinner in which the Haitian President Michael Martelly exposed the actions being implemented by the Haitian Government with a view to improving the country’s business climate.
Vice President of AMCHAM Ms. Régine René-Labrousse had this to say about the outcome of the conference “We are proud of the outcome of the conference and are very mindful that it would not have been as successful without [the support of Caribbean Export] from the beginning”.
Caribbean Export sponsored the participation of regional businessmen and women from Trinidad & Tobago, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominican Republic, Barbados, and Jamaica, looking to source and/or establish business partnerships with Haitian firms. Business-to-business matchmaking sessions were arranged by AMCHAM Haiti.
The Agency also supported the participation of the Chamber of Commerce of Santo Domingo and the Dominican Federation of Chambers of Commerce, its main Business Support Organization partners in the Dominican Republic in view of strengthening ties between the Haitian and Dominican private sector.
Caribbean Export organized this mission within the framework of the Haiti/Dominican Republic Binational Programme, funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).
Pictured from left:Carlos Espinal of the Dominican Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Jonathan Aragonez of the Chamber of Commerce of Santo Domingo, and Horacio Alvarez, CEDA staff, at the BFA Conference.