Above: Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
South Korean firm Willbes Co, Ltd will be expanding its facility in Haiti’s Port-au-Prince with up to $4 million in loans approved by the Inter-American Development Bank.
The facility at the Parc Industriel Metropolitain in Haiti’s capital could lead to jobs and training for 918 new Haitian workers, according to the bank.
“The Bank´s loan will enable Willbes to pursue a longer-term expansion creating additional jobs and associated economic benefits for Haiti,” said Alexandre Fernandes de Oliveira, Chief of the Industries and Services Division in the Structured and Corporate Finance Department. ¨It is expected that the company will hire significantly more women than men, contributing to greater gender equality in the workplace — the project will also help ensure compliance with international environmental and labour standards.”
The expansion, which is slated to take several years, could ultimately add up to 4,500 jobs to Haiti’s economy, the bank said, with “direct and indirect benefits that would affect as many as 38,700 people.”
Willbes, which is based in Cheonan, South Korea, is the oldest and largest private investor in Haiti’s garment sector.
The expansion aims to increase sewing capacity by 37 percent.