“There is enormous opportunity that has been untapped, right now in Haiti,”
Four years after the devastating earthquake, the impoverished Caribbean country is making strides attracting foreign investors and “building back better,” UNESCO’s special envoy for Haiti said Wednesday.
“There are many factors that make Haiti a land of opportunity. It’s strategically located in a very dynamic region with easy access. And Canada has a relation [with the country] that is a long one and one of quality,” Ms. Jean said after a session on the proposed reform of Haiti’s electric utility, held at Concordia University’s John Molson MBA International Case Competition.
Haiti’s government is committed to economic reform with a view to making the country an investors’ destination, Ms. Jean said. “This is a country that is depending a lot on international aid but wants to come out of it, and wants to build strategically a new economy.”
But observers say political and judicial corruption and a problematic regulatory environment are among a host of obstacles that still make Haiti one of the most difficult countries in the world to do business in.
“Political stability is one thing that is still a concern,” Ms. Jean said, adding that there is a more productive dialogue now taking place between political parties. “The goodwill is there.”
Haiti must shed its image as simply a recipient of charity and demonstrate its ability to reinvent itself, Ms. Jean told participants in the MBA case study competition.