Above: Trade Minister Wilson Laleau and President Michel Martelly at the forum (Photo: OP)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haitian President Michel Martelly opened a national forum on investment in Haiti at the Hotel Karibe Monday, seeking to attract investors to boost the country’s economy.
The first day of the States-General of Investment, a three-day forum at the Karibe Hotel in Port-au-Prince was attended by government officials, business leaders, academics and lawmakers, as well as members of the diplomatic corps.
Martelly called it a “special meeting called in order to deal with a critical situation.”
Trade Minister Wilson Laleau said it was a call for economic sectors to become aware of the current economic situation in order to revitalize Haitian businesses.
In the years since the earthquake, much of the funding going into Haiti has shifted from relief efforts to so-called “recovery” efforts.
The Inter-American Development Bank, for example, has been highlighting Haiti not as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but as a “land of opportunity,” IDB Haiti Country Manager Jose Agustin Aguerre told Caribbean Journal at the end of 2011.
The President said there were billions of dollars that the country had the “duty” to draw in the coming years if it wished to stimulate the economy.
“A nation without investment,” Martelly said, “is a nation doomed to poverty.”