Categorized | Business, National News

Haitian Gov’t Urged to Promote Ease of Business —Chamber of Commerce Planning A Trade Mission Trip

Given the recent tri-lateral agreements signed to bolster trade and investment relations between The Bahamas, Haiti and Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce (BCC) President Edison Sumner urged its members to explore investment opportunities in North Haiti, the new ‘hotspot’ for business expansion but he also urged Haitian officials to increase their efforts towards promoting ease of business for investors.

BCC members have scheduled a trade mission trip to Haiti later this year to explore investment opportunities.

This will not be the first trip for the BCC, in fact within the last 24 months, trade missions were conducted.

During a business luncheon between potential Bahamian investors and the president of Haiti on Tuesday, Mr. Sumner admitted that based on the reviews from their trips, investors raised a number of concerns that need to be addressed.

“Some of the concerns that were aired to us at the time were that there was a lack of responsiveness from the Haitian counterparts to follow up after meetings and the need to raise capital support for new business ventures in Haiti,” he said.

“There have also been reported concerns over levels of informal bureaucracy and a certain level of undue influence of trying to settle business in Haiti. We are sure now that under (President Michel Martelly’s) leadership, we should see much improvement in the area of the ease of doing business in Haiti, so we look forward with great anticipation to exploring those new opportunities that would become available to us in the country.”

A date has not been set for the trip; however the mission is scheduled for this fall.

While The Bahamas continues to strengthen its trade relations in the region, Mr. Sumner insisted that a ‘formalised Trade Information Service’ (TIS) is also needed.

He is convinced that this is the key to private sector development, economic growth and facilitating local businesses with competitive market intelligence to expand their services.

“Such a service would provide practical, strategic and analytical tools to identify growing markets to which Bahamian firms could export, having acknowledge the important role that TIS would play in the context of private sector development, The Bahamas anticipates that it can complete a consultancy to establish the foundation of a modernised TIS for The Bahamas,” he said.

To get the ball rolling on establishing such a service, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was drafted between Ministry of Financial Services and the BCC.

Mr. Sumner said this will ensure that the private sector has access to markets made available through regional trade agreements.

Mr. Sumner went on to tout the Ministry of Financial Services for the progress it has made toward implementing a Standards Bureau, which he believes will contribute to increasing trade relations between The Bahamas and other countries.

On Tuesday, three agreements were signed during a trilateral meeting between The Bahamas, TCI and Haiti to improve trade relations and cooperation.

Those agreements spoke to issues of illegal migration, technical cooperation, agriculture, trade and investment and sustainable development.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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