I've just come back from Davos, Swizterland where I participated at the 42nd annual World Economic Forum. I took advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate to those present that as of now, Haiti is once more open to foreign investors. And it is of incredible importance that I convince them to come to my country, and see what I mean.
I explained that the time to invest in Haiti is now. I drew attention to my country's recent struggles, and demonstrated how they can be the perfect opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and investments. Opportunities that before would not have been possible.
I recognize the importance of adopting measures to maintain a climate of stability. I am absolutely convinced that potential investors will not be disappointed. The corruption of yesterday, which was known to harm both local and foreign investors, is today no longer tolerated. We lead a zero tolerance policy when it comes to corruption.
My government will take it upon itself to guarantee the full satisfaction of our investors. Last November, Haiti welcomed more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, 479 of which were foreign investors coming from 30 countries from around the world, each in search of new opportunities. Recent investments in tourism, textiles, agriculture, fishing, livestock, construction, and telecommunications have been valued at over US$200 million; these are the key economic industries for new investors.
Haiti (a founding member of the World Tourism Organization) is making an energetic return in the field of international tourism after a 25-year absence. This was one of my political and economic objectives when running for the presidency, and I'm happy to say, foreign investments have already begun to pour into the country. In light of this, by 2014, Haiti will have opened its first tourist resort to further promote tourism and leisure in the country.
Since the beginning of my presidency, the following plans and initiatives have either been completed, or are in the process of being finalized:
- 930,000 students have been subsidized as part of a program to offer free education.
- $15.9 million from international money transfers has been collected for the National Education Fund
- 35,000 people living in camps have been moved to permanent housing.
- 150,000 people participating in the 16/6 Project have been re-localized.
- 3,400 houses are in the process of being reallocated to their main beneficiaries
- The construction of the Caracol Industrial Park, which will generate 60,000 new jobs in the long term, and 20,000 by next March
- The Aba Grangou Project: Aims to reduce hunger by 50 per cent, and have it completely eradicated by 2025.
- The "Ban m Limye, Ban m Lavi" program: Within less than two years, we will have equipped 200,000 homes with electricity. Eventually, it will be the entire country.
I've taken advantage of this platform to reaffirm my commitment to fulfilling the needs of my people in new and different ways. My wish is to propel Haiti onto the path of economic stability and sustainable development.