For use of information media - Not an official recordUNCTAD/PRESS/PR/2012/009
UNCTAD advises Haiti on practical steps for attracting foreign investment
President, ministers at high-level government meeting plan to carry out reforms; UNCTAD to conduct Investment Policy Review at Government’s request
Port-au-Prince, , 16 March 2012
UNCTAD experts have advised the President of Haiti and other high-level officials on a new investment strategy for the country. The Organization also has been reqested by the Government to carry out an Investment Policy Review.
UNCTAD economists specializing in foreign investment participated in the first Haiti States General on Investment from 12 to 14 March, and advised the Government to carefully reform regulations and institutions dealing with investment, focusing on pragmatic results and on attracting financing to rebuild and improve national infrastructure such as roads and ports. UNCTAD has also been requested to provide technical assistance to Haiti, including carrying out an Investment Policy Review –a comprehensive study of national rules and practices that has already been performed for 30 developing countries. Governments implementing the recommendations of previous investment policy reviews have often managed to attract higher levels of foreign direct investment.
"It is time to stop looking for excuses and start working,”Haitian President Michel Joseph Martelly told the three-day meeting. He said that the country must tackle constraints to investment and growth.
Mr. Wilson Laleau, Haiti's Minister of Commerce and Industry, said that limited access to credit and highly bureaucratic and burdensome regulations had been among the obstacles preventing investment and economic development. Mr. André Lemercier Georges, the country's Minister of Economy and Finance, said that a new policy course would be explored to reduce the costs of doing business and to increase legal transparency in the field of investment.
Among the UNCTAD experts at the meeting was Ms. Chantal Dupasquier, Chief of Investment Policy Reviews, who encouraged the Government to adopt a phased and selective approach to regulatory and institutional reform, infrastructure development and investment promotion, so as to avoid a dispersion of efforts and resources. She said that the priority should be for government measures that have a high impact on attracting investment that can fund improved infrastructure and create jobs.