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#2931: Talks for construction of DR-Haiti free zones advance (fwd)

From: Yacine Khelladi <yacine@aacr.net>

> ********************************************************************************
> DR1 Daily News  Tuesday, 21 March 2000

> 5. Talks for construction of DR-Haiti free zones advance
> El Siglo newspaper reports that talks are advanced with the governments of France, US and Canada for funding to build industrial free zones on the Dominican-Haitian frontier. The DR has sold these countries the idea of the free zones as part of an integral solution to reduce unemployment in Haiti and start building infrastructure that would contribute to improving living conditions for Haitian and Dominican frontier areas. The DR government wants to reduce migration of the very poor to the DR, while increasing their buying power for Dominican goods. The new jobs would relieve social pressure in Haiti.
> The idea is for Haitians to cross the border during the day to work at the industrial plants, and return to the newly created towns in the late afternoon.
> Rosa Ng de Eberle, spokesperson for the project from her role as Deputy Technical Secretary of the Presidency, said the project envisions an investment of US$250 million in the parks and complementary works.
> The DR government is convincing the governments of France, US and Canada to participate in the funding of the project. Also involved are multilateral organizations such as the World Bank and the Interamerican Development Bank.
> The idea is modeled on the US-Mexico frontier model. Years back, Donald Reid Cabral proposed a similar project.