Hundreds of investors in Haiti for two-day forum
“This is a very special day. It is truly a day of change,” Luis Alberto Moreno, the head of the Inter-American Development Bank said Monday.
The bank, which invests hundreds of millions of dollars in Haiti, is sponsoring a two-day investment forum in Port-au-Prince beginning Tuesday. So far, 1,000 people have registered, 500 of them business people from 29 countries.
As attendees began pouring into the country and taking over every available hotel room, the IDB, President Michel Martelly, Prime Minister Garry Conille and former U.S. President Bill Clinton spent the day spreading the news in back-to-back events across the country.
Early Monday, Moreno and Martelly inaugurated a newly rehabilitated Route National 1, the country’s main road that connects the capital in the south to Cap-Haitien in the north. The symbolic ribbon-cutting culminated three years of construction by the Dominican road building firm Estrella.
Later they joined Clinton and Conille in laying the first stone of the new industrial park, an investment worth more than $300 million. The park’s first tenants include one of Korea’s biggest clothing manufactures, Sae-A, which will eventually employ 20,000 people. About 5,000 new houses will surround the area, courtesy of the IDB and U.S. Agency for International Development.
“This is the kind of change we want,” Martelly said. “This is what they call durable development.”