|Thousands of new jobs for Haiti|
|Thursday, 01 December 2011 14:09|
Over 20,000 new jobs are on the horizon for Haitians with the opening of Caracol Industrial Park, one of the largest and most modern in the region.
The U.S. government, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Korean apparel manufacturer Sae-A Co. Ltd., recently joined the Haitian government in officially laying the foundation stone for the new 246-hectare park. Haitian President Michel Martelly, along with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, presided at the ceremony.
In his keynote speech, President Martelly underscored his administration's commitment to seek investment to create jobs in Haiti. "Haiti is open for business," he said.
"The Caracol Industrial Park shows the positive impact foreign investment can have in rebuilding a better Haiti," said President Clinton. "It will bring tens of thousands of jobs to Haitians."
Sae-A Co. Ltd. is investing $78 million to develop park operations and has committed to hiring at least 20,000 Haitians. This is the largest single investment in modern Haitian history.
Sae-A Chairman Kim spoke of the investment's long-term positive impacts, showcasing that "The Haitian people are hard working, highly competitive, and ready to build a brighter future for their families."
The IDB is providing $55 million for the initial phase of Caracol's construction and will also finance programs to help local small and medium-sized businesses to supply goods and services to the industrial park's tenants and workers.
The U.S. government has committed more than $124 million to build electrical power generation, improve regional health facilities, construct up to 5,000 housing units near the towns of Ouanaminthe, Fort Liberte, Terriere Rouge, Trou Du Nord, Caracol, and Quartier Morin in Northern Haiti in partnership with the IDB and Food for the Poor, and modernize regional port facilities. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is carrying out the projects.
Meanwhile, the IDB also announced its partnership in two other Haitian projects, the completion of the rehabilitation of a key stretch of Route Nationale 1 (RN1), one of Haiti's principal highways and the approval of $50 million to support education reform to expand access to free, quality education for all Haitian children.
The bank provided $70 million for the rehabilitation of an 80-kilometer (50-mile) section between Titanyen, outside of Port-au-Prince, and the city of Saint Marc. Transportation infrastructure is one of the largest components in the Bank's $1 billion project portfolio in Haiti.
RN1 links the Haitian capital with the north of the country. The highway's rehabilitation will help reduce travel times by half, enabling a quicker transportation of passengers and goods.
The Korean government and USAID were also among several donors who are supporting different aspects of the project.
The IDB offered to support the ambitious five-year plan with $250 million from its own resources and to raise $250 million more from other donors. Among other goals, the reform calls for the construction of thousands of schools, training tens of thousands of teachers and free education for millions of children.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 01 December 2011 17:11|