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Haiti making progress on investor-friendly environment

 

Haiti lawmakers have passed several laws to make the country more business friendly. More are on the way, head of the Senate tells Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

jcharles@MiamiHerald.com

Haiti lawmakers are committed to passing investor-friendly laws to help the earthquake-recovering nation attract more foreign businesses and create jobs, Simon Desras, the president of the Haitian Senate told hundreds of Miami business men and women Wednesday.

Among the laws the Haitian parliament has already passed, Desras said: reducing the time to obtain a construction permit from 1,110 days to just 60 days, and the number of days to register a new business from 180 days to 10.

Such changes along with other investor-friendly laws in the pipeline, “demonstrate the commitment by the Haitian government to attract,” investors, said Desras, the keynote speaker during the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon at Miami’s Parrot Jungle.

“Without a long-term sustainable solution to our situation we will continue to be trapped in a hopeless cycle of poverty,” he said. “Haitians want solutions to move past this terrible cycle.”

One investment Desras highlighted was the Caracol Industrial Park in northern Haiti. The $300 million park is jointly being funded by the U.S. government and Inter-American Development Bank, and is expected to create about 60,000 jobs.

“This is the new Haiti which is going to attract individuals such as yourself,’’ he said.

Prior to addressing the room, Desras presented the “Heart of Haiti” award to Barry Johnson, the president/CEO of the Miami Chamber of Commerce for his constant efforts to present Haiti in a positive light to the world. On Thursday, he will meet with students from Gulliver Prep in South Miami-Dade County to thank them for a water purification system they built on behalf of the country.

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