EA history of growth impaired by a history of instability. In the period of the 1970’s and 1980’s Haiti lived a moment of accelerated growth, coming to have the highest rate of growth in the Caribbean. It also had the highest tourism rates, a healthy emerging industry, a flourishing economy.
During the 1980’s, international organizations like the IMF, enforced Haiti to an opening of their market. Not only Haiti’s economy was not ready for it, but the change was done without any sort of protection, its industry and agriculture were not competitive. In a few years, Haiti passed from being an exporting country into an importing one.
Haiti had to handle other major changes during the 1980’s, a brief passage through seven months of democracy, gave way to a military dictatorship. Thus, the international community imposed an economic embargo to Haiti that lasted three years. The embargo destroyed the little economic stability that the country still kept: 120% of the country’s GDP was lost during this embargo.
Though democracy has been established in the country since the 1990’s the natural conditions in the country have lately brought a series of catastrophes: the earthquake of 2010, the cyclones of the past years… In 2010, the country lost 100% of its GDP, industries were demolished and agriculture was left behind.
In a context of economic instability, the Banque of the Republique of Haiti was founded in 1979. Its founding role was to stabilize the exchange rates.
A new council, a new government, a new strategy: growth
Since 2015 a new council and a new governor of the BRH, Mr. Jean Baden Dubois were established. The new council defends a vision of stability which is the main role of the bank, but also of growth. They believe that growth must be as important as stability, if the country is to meet its full potential.
A stable currency for Haiti today, means to be dependent on the countries’ currencies it imports from. To create real economic stability the new government of Mr. Jovenel Moïse is aiming at increasing the capacities of production of the country.
Since his coming to power in February 2017, President Moïse has put a fundamental accent on agriculture. With 11 million inhabitants, Haiti must come to produce not only enough for its people, but also to export. An accent on agriculture means an accent on re-establishing production infrastructures. The Haitian soil has not been exploited for the last 50 years, this means that there is a whole economy to flourish, but also the new agriculture of Haiti could provide for the organic food market. The objective today is then to produce to consume, but also to produce to export to the US.
Haiti is facing today challenges to make the CBH’s objectives becomes true. Infrastructures must be rebuilt, brain drain must stop, the speed of growth must accelerate.
For all of this, investors must be convinced of the security of the country: according to Global Security Watch, Haiti is the safest country in the Caribbean, the country has the lowest insecurity rates in the region- believes Mr. Dubois.
The BRH faces challenges to be achieved in the coming years: making it easier and faster to open a company in Haiti; to provide not only with cheap workforce but also with a specialized one; to give tax advantages to companies that want to establish themselves in Haiti; to help financing enterprises that want to construct industrial ports; to encourage credit to production sectors and any industry linked to export with very low prime rates.
“I want the world to know what Haiti has to offer” – Mr. Jean Baden Dubois.
The CBH is ready to assume all the former challenges, and thus focus on financial growth while at the same time keeping economic stability in the country.
Industry: The low-priced workforce and the tax exemption make of Haiti a very competitive country today.
Organic agriculture: the country can offer a soil almost inexistent in any other area of the world.
Tourism: not only Haiti’s beaches are as beautiful as any other in the Caribbean, but also it has a beautiful mountainous landscape.
Culture: Haiti is the cradle of liberty. Not only it was the second country of the continent to be free from colonial power, and the first country to abolish slavery for its people, but it helped and encouraged all the other independence fights.
“From Haiti, we will reconquer the world”, says governor of the BRH, Jean Baden Dubois, “We can do anything in Haiti. There are many needs and this means there are numerous opportunities. Every foreign investment that has taken place in Haiti since 2016 is a success story. “We could reconstruct by protecting nature, it is a country where many new things can still be created”.