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Cablegate: Haiti Economic Weekly Update for September 7 to September

P 211221Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0383
INFO HAITI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO

UNCLAS PORT AU PRINCE 000818


STATE FOR WHA/EX AND WHA/CAR
S/CRS
SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD
STATE PASS AID FOR LAC/CAR
INR/IAA
WHA/EX PLEASE PASS USOAS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ENRG EAID EAGR EINV ETRD BEXP HA
SUBJECT: HAITI ECONOMIC WEEKLY UPDATE FOR SEPTEMBER 7 TO SEPTEMBER
11, 2009

1. (U) Summary. This is a weekly report on a variety of topics of
interest which do not merit full reporting cables. End summary.

Budget
------

2. (U) The lower house of the Haitian parliament voted in the FY10
budget with numerous changes on September 9 (septel).

3. (U) The European Union signed a budgetary support agreement with
the GoH for EUR 27 million (USD 39.5 million) covering 2009 to 2011.
EUR 2 million (USD 2.9 million) are earmarked for the Ministry of
Finance and budget management. Initial payments will be made this
September.

Energy
------

4. (U) The Brazilian government has given USD 3 million to the GoH
for start-up costs on construction of a new hydroelectric plant in
Mirebalais. The project will eventually flood 450 hectares of
arable land. President Preval met with farmers/residents from the
Central Plain who do not want the dam project to go forward.

5. (U) The World Bank approved a USD 5 million grant to implement
the Electricity Loss Reduction Project in Haiti. This is a two-year
project providing technical assistance to Electricite D'Haiti (EDH)
and advising the Ministry of Public Works on oversight of the energy
sector.

6. (U) The Parliament ratified a tripartite energy security
agreement between Haiti, Cuba, and Venezuela. The trilateral
treaty, which continues the Petrocaribe agreement with Venezuela,
includes upgrades to the international airport in Cap Haitian and a
20,000 barrel per day oil refinery near Gonaives.

International Investment Community
----------------------------------

7. (U) A Brazilian textile delegation is scheduled to visit Haiti
from September 27 to October 3. The delegation includes
representatives from the Brazilian Association of Textile and
Clothing (ABIT) and the Brazilian Association of Man-Made Fibers
(ABRAFAS). They will meet with GoH officials, international
institutions, and textile factory owners. Participants plan to
visit textile assembly plants in Port-au-Prince and the free-trade
zone of Ouanaminthe.

8. (U) The 10th Annual Caribbean Business Forum is planned for
October 21 to 24 in Haiti. The forum will provide Caribbean
investors and entrepreneurs an opportunity to create business
partnerships with the Haitian private sector. Funding for the event
is being provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the
GoH, and USD 100,000 from the Taiwanese government.

9. (U) The Organization of American States (OAS), in conjunction
with the Mexican government, is organizing a working meeting to be
held in Mexico next November for coordination of international
cooperation of Haitian socio-economic development.

10. (U) Former President Bill Clinton, the UN Special Envoy to
Haiti, will be hosting an international business meeting in
Port-au-Prince on October 1 and 2, to encourage more U.S. private
sector investment in Haiti, particularly in the apparel assembly
sector. Dozens of U.S. businesspersons and investors are scheduled
to participate.

11. (U) The World Bank 2010 Doing Business Report ranked Haiti as
one of the worst countries for doing business in the Latin
American-Caribbean region. Haiti, however, did improve three ranks
from last year (from 154 to 151 out of 183 countries surveyed).
Improvements were made in securing property rights and employing
workers. Haiti also expanded access to credit by modifying
collateral standards and accelerated trade with an online document
handling system and 24-hour port operations.

Urban Renewal
-------------

12. (U) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is initiating a renovation
project of the Bicentenaire area (downtown Port-au-Prince). USD
500,000 is being provided by the Taiwanese government and other
entities, such as the Haitian Central Bank.

13. (U) The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) initiated a
USD 50,000 sanitation project in the city of Les Cayes.


Customs
-------

14. (U) A new customs office was opened in Thomassique in the
Central Plateau to strengthen border controls and fight smuggling
activities in the region.

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

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