Haiti looks to private sector to help its port



With the maritime world anxiously awaiting the completion of the expansion of the Panama Canal, Haiti wants its private sector to begin thinking about investing in the development of its ports.

Alix Celestin, head of the National Port Authority, will lead a two-day seminar Monday and Tuesday at the Royal Oasis hotel in Petionville on port development in Haiti in hopes of encouraging the business community to assist Haiti in developing a maritime economy.

Observers have long argued that any long-term improvement in Haiti’s economy depends on both repairing and reforming its underused port system, which has been a pocket of corruption and cronyism.

Celestin said the current government’s strategy calls for investing in rural ports, while encouraging investors to develop private ports, including those that could help Haiti compete for business from the expanded canal.

Haiti currently has 13 seaports.

Already several ports in the region, as well as Miami’s port, are positioning themselves to better handle the large cargo ships that will cross the expanded Panama Canal. Haiti, meanwhile, is still trying to reconstruct its Port-au-Prince seaport, which was severely damaged in the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. About $70 million worth of improvements are to begin shortly, Celestin said.

Among those scheduled to attend the conference are Miami-Dade County port officials and Commissioner Jean Monestime. Miami-Dade has agreed to provide Haiti with technical assistance on improving its port system in both Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien.

Read more Haiti stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category