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#2782: NATIONS SEEK $281M AID (DR-HAITI) (fwd)


Published Monday, March 6, 2000, in the Miami Herald 

 In a rare show of unity, Caribbean neighbors Haiti and the Dominican
Republic have asked foreign countries for a $281 million aid package to
help develop border towns. Representatives from both countries recently
presented their proposal during a three-hour meeting with Spanish,
Italian, Canadian and U.S. officials, the Dominican government said.
Officials from the Inter-American Development Bank and the United
Nations also attended. The request includes loans and grants,
 with $79 million going to agriculture investment, $45 million for
environmental protection and $129 million for transportation,
communication and energy development.

 The Barbados-based Caribbean Export Development Agency has officially
opened its Trade and Development Office in Havana to help the Caribbean
region's private sector do business with Cuba. Earl Bacchus, the
organization's executive director, told the Caribbean news agency the
office ``is the result of private sector-driven demand, and we are happy
to bring it into existence in keeping with our overall thrust to expand
trade and investment.''