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Caribbean Export assists Haiti

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

Caribbean Export assists Haiti

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THE CARIBBEAN EXPORT Development Agency (Caribbean Export) recently held a series of high level meetings in Haiti aimed at strengthening relations with the country and setting the agenda for the agency’s commitment to supporting Haiti’s buoyant private sector.
In a meeting with Haiti’s Minister of Trade and Industry Wilson Laleau, Caribbean Export’s executive director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton said “Haiti has a role to play in integrating the Caribbean in to the world economy and there is a need to drive production and the export capacity”.
The delegation of Caribbean Export also met with National Authorising Officer of the European Development Fund Jean-Edner Nelson who expressed his gratitude for Caribbean Export efforts to drive the amalgamation of Haitian people into the Caribbean.
The meetings in Haiti were part of a road show the agency is undertaking to raise awareness regarding the grants that have been awarding to firms across the region under the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme.  
In Haiti, eleven firms have been awarded grants with a total value of some US$324 000 over the 9th and 10th EDF with five of those being awarded in the most recent call for proposals.  The companies were Caribbean Craft; Délicious Fruits, SA; Gade, SA; Kenscoff Manufacturing, SA and Produits des Iles (PISA), SA.  These firms represent the agro-processing, manufacturing and creative industries.
Caribbean Export said with an overall increase of 200 per cent of grant funding awarded to Haitian firms between the 9th and 10th EDF, the results are encouraging.   However, given the location and size of Haiti, it noted that the opportunity for growth is immense and the country has the potential – and is poised to become – the exporting centre of the region.
The agency will be hosting their annual Caribbean Exporters Colloquium during Caribbean Export Week and it is hoped that there will be significant involvement from Haiti in the activities.
Caribbean Export opened an office in Haiti in 2012 to facilitate the bi-national programme between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  Now with a full complement of staff, it is anticipated that the team will not only develop stronger trade relations between Haiti and the Dominican Republic but also with the rest of CARICOM. (PR/NB)