July 22, 2010

Lugar calls on President Préval to help attract investment to Haiti

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar today released a report urging President Préval and the Government of Haiti to enact essential business reforms in order to rebuild Haiti.

The report, “Without Reform, No Return on Investment in Haiti,” is available at http://lugar.senate.gov/issues/foreign/lac/haiti/.  

“This report highlights the key political and business impediments, which are threatening the reconstruction effort and making Haiti an even less attractive place for foreign investment. President Préval should act decisively to ensure that the property titling system is modernized and onerous regulatory barriers that make it difficult to start and operate a business in Haiti are reformed,” Lugar said. “The U.S. government should expedite funding and technical assistance in response to and in support of such reforms.”

“The American people and other donors deserve a committed partner in the rebuilding effort. It is incumbent upon Congress to reassess our government's investments in Haiti if this partnership is in question,” Lugar concluded.

The recommendations contained in the report call for the U.S. Department of State to ask President Préval to push for principled compromises among national stakeholders to:  

  • Reform and modernize the property titling system, so that Haitian citizens, new investors, and NGOs can possess a clear title to property that they purchase or lease for their facilities.
  • Streamline the procedures, time, and costs required to start a business in Haiti (e.g., make the Center for Investment Facilitation the “one-stop shop” it was meant to be).
  • Streamline the procedures, time, and costs required to operate a business in Haiti (e.g., modernize business law; create national laws for enabling e-commerce and e-governance; etc.).
  • Evaluate investment proposals within six months. The Government needs to evaluate investment proposals quickly because some dragged on for years until investors simply gave up. 

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Press Contact

Andy Fisher • 202-224-2079 • andy_fisher@lugar.senate.gov