Haiti Promises To Decentralize Its Economy And Make Massive Investments With Aid
By Dialogo March 25, 2010Haiti will decentralize its economy and has designed for this purpose an infrastructure investment plan that will be presented at the international donor conference to be held in New York on 31 March, Haitian finance minister Ronald Boudin declared. “Hypercentralization did not serve the goal of development. We can’t reproduce the Haiti that existed before the 12 January earthquake,” Boudin declared during the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The capital, Port-au-Prince, and its surrounding region, severely affected by the earthquake, concentrated around 60% of the Caribbean country’s economic activity. In New York, Haiti hopes to present “an ambitious reconstruction plan” based “on the decentralization and relocation” of industrial production, the minister explained. Speaking to the member countries of the IDB, Boudin promised a plan of “massive infrastructure investments” for this purpose. These plans will be implemented by a mixed commission, headed by the Haitian prime minister and a representative of the international community, before then becoming entirely Haitian. Haiti hopes to obtain a minimum of 3.8 billion dollars for the next year and a half at the New York conference, and up to 11.5 billion for the next decade. Boudin confirmed earlier information from a source at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that tax collections will fall 50% for 2009, representing a budget gap of up to 350 million dollars.