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Port-au-Prince, Haiti November 23, 2017:  The development of a stronger, united region that works together to achieve its mutual goal of development lays at the foundation of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and European Union and the work that is carried out across the region.  Most recently the Agency convened a public-private dialogue and workshop in Haiti named “Chita Pale Ak MCI” on October 26 and 27, 2017.

Over 100 participants from the private sector, civil society, government and international agencies gathered in in Cap-Haïtien to discuss the challenges faced by the private sector and to find solutions to build a better enabling environment that allowed for increased private sector growth.

Hosted by Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Haiti (MCI), the National Authorizing Officer of Haiti (BONFED) and several Haitian Business Support Organizations the open, candid dialogue between the many entrepreneurs representing the Haitian private sector and MCI and business enablers was the first to occur in Haiti and is a key step in their development and an important activity of the 10th EDF Haiti-Dominican Republic Bi-National Programme.

The workshop was co-presided by Mr. Daniel Denis, Director General of MCI and Marc Georges, President of the Northern Chamber of Commerce and Industry and sought to foster synergies between entrepreneurs, private sector associations and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to better harness the private sector development and trade facilitation services offered by the Ministry, discuss corporate social responsibility and related legislation and regulations.

This consultation also allowed the identification of policy measures and institutional reforms that will contribute to the development of the country’s economy. Participants proposed solutions to constraints related to the creation of companies, enhancement of support mechanisms as well as a revision of the legal framework in which Haitian companies evolve. The event concluded with concrete proposals on how to improve the business environment, promote priority value chains, and attract domestic and foreign direct investment. Such proposal included, among others:

  1. An enhanced participation and representation of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the operations of the Private Sector Economic Forum of Haiti (FESP);
  2. The drafting of bill with a view to limiting monopolies in Haiti;
  3. The drafting of regulations with a view to promoting the formalization of non-registered companies;
  4. The creation of a SME development training programme between the Chamber of Commerce of Haiti and national universities focused on management, accounting and taxes.

In the closing ceremony Mr. Denis qualified the exercise as exemplary and committed the Ministry of Trade and Industry to continue to collaborate with the private sector and the civil society with a view to enhancing the overall business climate of the country. He also invited participants to continue working with government as to ensure that the recommendations are followed with concrete actions within a comprehensive workplan with timetables and monitoring mechanisms.

Mr. Marc Georges vowed to continue cooperating with the public sector to promote an attractive investment framework in the country while urging all governments agencies to strengthen their representation in the various regions of the country and decentralize their services with a view to better servicing investors and entrepreneurs.

Mr. Vincent Durruty from the European Union’s Delegation in Haiti confirmed the EU’s commitment to continue promoting the sustainable development of Haiti, among others, via the strengthening of the production capacity of the country, fostering public-private sector dialogue and cooperation with Haiti’s neighbors such as CARICOM States and the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Herve Philippe from BONFED congratulated all participants for their positive attitude and constructive participation and vowed to continue working with Haiti’s international partners to promote the international competitiveness of the country.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Escipion Oliveira, Deputy Executive Director of Caribbean Export, congratulated the MCI and the staff of Caribbean Export’s Office in Haiti for their dedication and professionalism in organizing such dialogue, which he qualified as one of the highest points in the execution of the Haiti-DR binational programme.