MESSAGE FROM LAURENT LAMOTHE FOR THE DIASPORA AND FRENCH COMPANIES
(Haiti Libre) -
As part of his exploration mission to France, Laurent Lamothe, the Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke this morning on the air of France Info, to encourage the diaspora to return home, and invited French companies to seize the opportunities available to them in Haiti.
"[...] I say to the Haitians [...] we come to see them and to comfort them on the various actions taken by the new Haitian government as part of reconstruction, through the establishment of a policy to rebuild hope in Haiti, and allow for their return to Haiti [... ]
Haiti has a human resources problem which is very serious. We lose over 85% of our teachers who have left the country; so there is a shortage of teachers. There is a shortage of executives; therefore, we must have the return of the diaspora to help us, to accompany us in the refoundation project of Haitian society and the reconstruction of Haiti [...] I think that generally the Haitians living outside want to return to their country. They are very proud to be Haitian, and we are very proud to have executives, doctors, Haitian nurses worldwide. I think that it will be necessary to accompany them. Firstly, the wages are missing; it is necessary that wages are complemented by the Government of Haiti, to have these executives. We're working on that. We have a support plan for executives, we work with many partners to support the Haitian professionals who live abroad, in France, to support their return.
[...] January 12, 2010, created a very difficult situation in Haiti, however, this situation has created opportunities, today, for French business leaders. Club Med, for example, could return to Haiti [...] there were many families who lived on jobs created by the Club Med [...] Unfortunately, after 1986, Club Med has left. Now we are working so that the Club Med will come back, and exploit the beautiful beaches that we have in Haiti.
In Haiti today, we have various agreements with the United States; for example, the HELP agreement, that allows Haitian assembly companies to export to the United States without paying customs duties [...] French employers, French companies are welcome in Haiti.
We have various opportunities in the oil sector. There is Total, that we will meet with today. We hope to work with them for a new strategic reserve, because the storage capacity of Haiti is low; so we will work with them to improve and expand the capacity, and on various other points, Total is welcome in Haiti.
To get investments, for example the support of the French authorities, COFACE [French Insurance Company for Foreign Trade] will be necessary, We'll ask it to return. It is responsible for the accompaniment, of insurance, which gives confidence to companies. We will also ask the company PROPARCO [Society for the Promotion and Participation for Economic Cooperation] that I met yesterday, to commit themselves, to invest more.
[...] There is no emergency in Haiti. Now we must pass to the physical reconstruction phase. We are not there yet; the Government is ready to begin, but it is necessary that the rest of the world follow...
President Martelly wants to maintain excellent relations with France, and he thanks President Sarkozy for being the first French President to have visited Haiti in 208 years....