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a704: Durban on Pina Rice Scandal Comments (fwd)

From: Lance Durban <lpdurban@yahoo.com>

Sorry Kevin Pina, but your observation that the current rice
scandal is simply about traditional rice importers being upset
about facing new competition from "unfair and illegal" rice
imports misses the point.  No one is saying that Haiti isn't
rife with oligopolies that somehow manage to maintain pricing
that gouges the public.  And no one is saying that more
competition to drive such pricing down is not a good thing.

HOWEVER, what the critics ARE saying is that you simply can't
have elected officials feeding at the public trough.  Heck,
there are apparently even a few deputies wise enough to figure
this out.

You also err in blaming oligopolies as
   "the major contributing factor to Haiti's lopsided trade
   imbalance with an estimated 80% of income generated by
   imports while exports account for a mere 20% or less".

Why the imbalance?  That's easy.  While importing is relatively
risk free, to have something to export you need some serious
investment, and even with the best marketing skills you are then
facing a highly competitive world marketplace.  Combine that
with an almost total lack of Haitian government support, and it
is not surprising that very few people are interested in
investing in the export sector.

Lance Durban

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