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8904: Job Creation, again

Subject: ANONYMOUS POST--Remove my return address please

Reading that (LA?) Times story, "Desperate Haitians Inundating
Bahamian Shores" on Corbett is heart-wrenching, and reinforces
my thinking that the Number 1 priority of the ANY Haitian
government ought to be creating employment.  Unfortunately, the
red tape and outright hostility to any job creation efforts
expressed by those in the Haitian government who ought to know
better is discouraging.  

While Honduras, the Dominican Republic and virtually every other
country in the region are attending trade fairs in the States,
and doing everything possible to encourgage job creating growth
in their countries, starting an assembly business in Haiti can
take well over a year for a patient investor.  Obtaining a
franchise to import raw material duty free should be almost
automatic, but that's not how it works in Haiti.   In Haiti,
only AFTER the patient investor has found a local partners,
incorporated a business, organized the financing, and run
through countless other time consuming and costly steps will he
discover that there is a roadblock in the Ministry of Finance in
the form of one highly-placed individual sitting on a pile of
unsigned franchise applications!  I won't mention his name, but
Haitian Customs is under strict authority to honor only those
franchises approved by the Finance Ministry, and there are
reliably reported to be 19 such applications on this gentleman's
desk at this very moment!  One broker has told me that he
personally knows of more than one instance where 40' containers
of raw material were held up for months in port awaiting a
franchise which NEVER arrived.   Needless to say the foreign
company sending in such a container MAY eventually pay some
'duty' (called blackmail in many societies) to recover his
container, but he will not be rushing to send any more and he
will hold it against the poor Haitian company that promised him
the moon in order to attract his business in the first place!

Of course, it can be argued (and has been argued on this list)
that assembly jobs are really not worth chasing anyway.  But
with so many people having NO job at all, it would seem that
some attention ought to be paid to the truly desperate situation
which is causing people to risk life and limb on the high seas. 
By making it next to impossible to open an export-based factory,
the Haitian Government does its level best to ensure that there
will be none.