The ADIH fully supports the renewal of HOPE

Twenty personalities from the private, business, and public sectors responded to the invitation of the Association of Haitian Industries (ADIH in French), on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, and attended a meeting at the Villa Therèse Hotel, where various steps were taken by the association in order to pass the renewal of the HOPE II legislation by the US Congress.

Publié le 2014-12-19 | Le Nouvelliste

Lakay Weekly -

llJanuary 12, 2015 will be a crucial date for the Haitian assembly sector. The sector scrambles to support the HOPE II Act, a bill accepted by the US Congress which expires in 2018. Georges Sassine and Lionel Delatour, both of whom are pushing hard for the bill on behalf of ADIH, believe this is a tough task. "2018 is tomorrow," Sassine explained, to justify the steps already taken by investors and members of the ADIH, with the US Congress for the Hope Act to be extended for ten more years. He and Delatour spoke to members and partners of the Association at the evening meeting. The two players explained the merits of that Act for the Haitian economy and why it should be renewed at any cost. "As of October 31, 2014, the assembly sector generates 36,266 direct jobs; 72% of these jobs depend on HOPE," said Carl Frederic Madsen, ADIH President, in a note to members and partners of the association. In addition, textile is responsible for 90% of Haiti’s exports which are estimated at about 800 million USD. According to Delatour, Haiti’s textile exports account for 1% of US imports. A reality that the ADIH want to change by expanding the Hope Act. "After six months of procedures, the ADIH in the interest of transparency, took the opportunity to update the people on all the procedures related to the renewal of this legislation that will be submitted shortly to the US Senate, with the support of Senator Bill Nelson of Florida," said Madsen. These steps are a series of meetings with US congressmen in order to ensure their support in the passage of this law. But as suggested by Sassine, domestic support is just as important as that of Washington. "We need to be sure we're on the same page and that all our partners speak the same language. We would feel much better if we know that you are behind us," said Sassine to attendees December 10th. In addition to support from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the BRH, and other national companies, the Investment Facilitation Center (CFI in French) also came to the rescue of Haitian investors who are betting big on the renewal of the Hope Act. According to Norma Powell, CFI General Director, “We will support them and we will assist them in their next trip when they go to lobby for the extension of Hope program. We will show the US congressmen that we are interested in the work they do in Haiti.” Haiti is the only country in the world which has such a law. Therefore, how is it that it is unable to supplant other countries in the region, such as Honduras for example, in terms of production? In answer to this question, Sassine wanted to convey the main points. "Honduras started in 1992, the year that Haiti was under embargo. Out of 187 industries, it dropped down to 9. They have mostly filed their cases in Honduras." Since then, he admitted, "This country has set up a system capable of attracting investors.” While doing his best to remain impassive, Sassine, former ADIH President, said that foreign investors are already on their guard, with their concerns growing over the pre-electoral crisis that seems for the moment, to be a non-issue. Article by Juno Jean Baptiste and Patrick Saint Pre Translated from Le Nouvelliste by Stefan Viard

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