Economy of Haiti

Haiti is a free market economy[6][7] with low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for many of its exports. Its major trading partner is the United States. Haiti has preferential trade access to the US market through the Haiti Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) and Haiti Economic Lift Program Encouragement Acts (HELP) legislation, which allows duty-free access, for a variety of textiles, to the US market.

Haiti has an agricultural economy. Over half of the world's vetiver oil (an essential oil used in high-end perfumes) comes from Haiti, and bananas, cocoa, and mangoes are important export crops. Haiti has also moved to expand to higher-end manufacturing, producing Android-based tablets [8] and current sensors and transformers.[9]

Vulnerability to natural disasters, as well as poverty and limited access to education are among Haiti's most serious disadvantages.[1] Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation.[1] Haiti suffers from a severe trade deficit, which it is working to address by moving into higher-end manufacturing and more value-added products in the agriculture sector. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling nearly 20% of GDP.[1] Haiti's economy was severely impacted by the 2010 Haiti earthquake which occurred on 12 January 2010.[1]

Economy of Haiti
Port au prince-haiti
CurrencyHaitian gourde (HTG)
1 October – 30 September
Trade organizations
Bank of the Republic of Haiti
WTO CARICOM
Statistics
GDP$19.93 billion (2017 est. PPP).[1]
GDP rank149th by volume (at PPP) (2017); 213th by per capita (at PPP) (2017)
GDP growth
1.2% (2015), 1.5% (2016),
1.2% (2017e), 1.8% (2018f) [2]
GDP per capita
$1,800 (2017 est.).[1]
GDP by sector
Agriculture 21.9%
industry 20.8%
services 57.3% (2017 est.)[1]
14.67% (2017 est.) [1]
Population below poverty line
58.5% (2012 est.)[1]
Labor force
4.594 million [1]
Labor force by occupation
Agriculture 38.1%
industry 11.5%
services 50.4% (2010 est.)
Unemployment13.2%
Main industries
Sugar refining, flour milling, textile, cement, light assembly, industries based on imported parts
181st (2017)[3]
External
Exports$960.1 million (2017 est.)[1]
Export goods
apparel, manufactures, essential oils (Vetiver), cocoa, mangoes, coffee, bitter oranges (Grand Marnier)
Main export partners
 United States 80.8%
 Dominican Republic 5.1% (2016 est.)[4]
 Chile 3.7% (2016 est.)[4]
Imports$3.621 billion (2017 est.)[1]
Import goods
food, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials
Main import partners
 United States 19.3%
 China 18.9%
 EU 18.1%
 Indonesia 6.5% [5]
 Colombia 4.8% (2016 est.)[5]
FDI stock
$1.46 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[1]
$2.607 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[1]
Public finances
31.1% of GDP (2017 est.)[1]
Revenues$1.58 billion (2017 est.)[1]
Expenses$2.251 billion (2017 est.)[1]
Economic aid$600 million (FY04 est.)
Foreign reserves
$2.044 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[1]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

Economic history

Before Haiti established its independence from French administration in 1804, Haiti ranked as the world's richest and most productive colony.[10] In the formative years of independence, Haiti suffered from isolation on the international stage, as evidenced by the early lack of diplomatic recognition accorded to it by Europe and the United States; this had a negative impact on willingness of foreigners to invest in Haiti. One very significant economic obstacle in Haiti's early independence was its necessary payment of 150 million francs to France beginning in 1825; this did much to drain the country of its capital stock.

According to a 2014 study, the Haitian economy stagnated due to a combination of weak state power and adverse international relations.[11] The authors write:[11]

For the newborn ‘Negro republic’, it was hard to become recognised as a sovereign nation state, it was difficult to form strategic alliances, to get access to foreign loans, and to safeguard trade interests, and it was overloaded with debt under threat of external violence (the French indemnity). Self-chosen isolation, for instance by prohibiting foreign landownership, further reduced the choice set of successive Haitian administrations. When opportunities for export-led growth opened up in the late 19th century, the odds were stacked against Haiti.

Under President René Préval (President from 1996 to 2001 and from 2006 until 14 May 2011), the country's economic agenda included trade and tariff liberalization, measures to control government expenditure and increase tax revenues, civil-service downsizing, financial-sector reform, and the modernization of state-owned enterprises through their sale to private investors, the provision of private sector management contracts, or joint public-private investment. Structural adjustment agreements with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and other international financial institutions aiming at creating necessary conditions for private sector growth, have proved only partly successful.

In the aftermath of the 1994 restoration of constitutional governance, Haitian officials have indicated their commitment to economic reform through the implementation of sound fiscal and monetary policies and the enactment of legislation mandating the modernization of state-owned enterprises. A council to guide the modernization program (CMEP) was established and a timetable was drawn up to modernize nine key parastatals. Although the state-owned flour-mill and cement plants have been transferred to private owners, progress on the other seven parastatals has stalled. The modernization of Haiti's state-enterprises remains a controversial political issue in Haiti.

Comparative social and economic indicators show Haiti falling behind other low-income developing countries (particularly in the Western hemisphere) since the 1980s. Haiti's economic stagnation results from earlier inappropriate economic policies, political instability, a shortage of good arable land, environmental deterioration, continued use of traditional technologies, under-capitalization and lack of public investment in human resources, migration of large portions of the skilled population, and a weak national savings rate.

Haiti continues to suffer the consequences of the 1991 coup. The irresponsible economic and financial policies of de facto authorities greatly accelerated Haiti's economic decline. Following the coup, the United States adopted mandatory sanctions, and the OAS instituted voluntary sanctions aimed at restoring constitutional government. International sanctions culminated in the May 1994 United Nations embargo of all goods entering Haiti except humanitarian supplies, such as food and medicine. The assembly sector, heavily dependent on U.S. markets for its products, employed nearly 80,000 workers in the mid-1980s. During the embargo, employment fell from 33,000 workers in 1991 to 400 in October 1995. Private, domestic and foreign investment has been slow to return to Haiti. Since the return of constitutional rule, assembly sector employment has gradually recovered with over 20,000 now employed, but further growth has been stalled by investor concerns over safety and supply reliability.

If the political situation stabilizes, high crime levels wane, and new investment increases, tourism could take its place next to export-oriented manufacturing (the assembly sector) as a potential source of foreign exchange. Remittances from abroad have consistently constituted a significant source of financial support for many Haitian households.

The Haitian Ministry of Economy and Finance designed the Haiti economic reforms of 1996 to rebuild the economy of Haiti after significant downturns suffered in the previous years. The primary reforms centered around the Emergency Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) and were followed by budget reforms.

Haiti's real GDP growth turned negative in FY 2001 after six years of growth. Real GDP fell by 1.1% in FY 2001 and 0.9% in FY 2002. Macroeconomic stability was adversely affected by political uncertainty, the collapse of informal banking cooperatives, high budget deficits, low investment, and reduced international capital flows, including suspension of IFI lending as Haiti fell into arrears with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and World Bank.

Haiti's economy stabilized in 2003. Although FY 2003 began with the rapid decline of the gourde due to rumors that U.S. dollar deposit accounts would be nationalized and due to the withdrawal of fuel subsidies, the government successfully stabilized the gourde as it took the politically difficult decisions to float fuel prices freely according to world market prices and to raise interest rates. Government agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a staff monitored program (SMP), followed by its payment of its $32 million arrears to the IDB in July, paved the way for renewed IDB lending. The IDB disbursed $35 million of a $50 million policy-based loan in July and began disbursing four previously approved project loans totaling $146 million. The IDB, IMF, and World Bank also discussed new lending with the government. Much of this would be contingent on government adherence to fiscal and monetary targets and policy reforms, such as those begun under the SMP, and Haiti's payment of its World Bank arrears ($30 million at 9/30/03).

The IMF estimated that real GDP was flat in FY 2003 and projected 1% real GDP growth for FY 2004. However, GDP per capita— amounting to $425 in FY 2002 — will continue to decline as population growth is estimated at 1.3% p.a. While implementation of governance reforms and peaceful resolution of the political stalemate are key to long-term growth, external support remains critical in avoiding economic collapse. The major element is foreign remittances, reported as $931 million in 2002, primarily from the U.S. Foreign assistance, meanwhile, was $130 million in FY 2002. Overall foreign assistance levels have declined since FY 1995, the year elected government was restored to power under a United Nations mandate, when the international community provided over $600 million in aid.

A legal minimum wage of 36 gourdes a day (about U.S. $1.80) was set in 1995, and applies to most workers in the formal sector. It was later raised to 70 gourdes per day. Actually this minimum is 200 gourdes a day(about U.S. $4.80). 39.175 gourds= a U.S dollar.

Haiti's economy suffered a severe setback in January 2010 when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake destroyed much of its capital city, Port-au-Prince, and neighboring areas. Already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty, the earthquake inflicted $7.8 billion in damage and caused the country's GDP to contract 5.4% in 2010. Following the earthquake, Haiti received $4.59 billion in international pledges for reconstruction, which has proceeded slowly.[1]

Gioviboy00 wikipedia
Chart showing the history of Haiti's GDP.

US economic engagement under the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act, passed in December 2006, has boosted apparel exports and investment by providing duty-free access to the US. Congress voted in 2010 to extend the legislation until 2020 under the HELP Act; the apparel sector accounts for about 90% of Haitian exports and nearly one-tenth of GDP. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling nearly 20% of GDP and more than twice the earnings from exports. Haiti suffers from a lack of investment, partly because of limited infrastructure and a lack of security. In 2005, Haiti paid its arrears to the World Bank, paving the way for reengagement with the Bank. Haiti received debt forgiveness for over $1 billion through the Highly-Indebted Poor Country initiative in mid-2009. The remainder of its outstanding external debt was cancelled by donor countries following the 2010 earthquake but has since risen to over $600 million. The government relies on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability, with over half of its annual budget coming from outside sources. The Michel Martelly administration in 2011 launched a campaign aimed at drawing foreign investment into Haiti as a means for sustainable development.[1]

Debt cancellation

In 2005 Haiti's total external debt reached an estimated US$1.3 billion, which corresponds to debt per capita of US$169, in contrast to the debt per capita of the United States which is US$40,000.[12] Following the democratic election of Aristide in December 1990, many international creditors responded by cancelling significant amounts of Haiti's debt, bringing the total down to US$777 million in 1991. However, new borrowing during the 1990s swelled the debt to more than US$1 billion.

At peak, Haiti's total external debt was estimated at 1.8 billion dollars, including half a billion dollars to the Inter-American Development Bank, Haiti's largest creditor. In September 2009, Haiti met the conditions set out by the IMF and World Bank's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries program, qualifying it for cancellation of some of its external debt. This amounted to a cancellation of $1.2 billion. Despite this as of 2010 calls for cancellation of its remaining $1 billion debts came strongly from civil society groups such as the Jubilee Debt Campaign in reaction to the effects of the earthquake that hit the country.[13]

Primary Industries

Haiti Export Treemap
Haiti Export Treemap

Primary industries include the following:

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing

Although many Haitians make their living through subsistence farming, Haiti also has an agricultural export sector. Agriculture, together with forestry and fishing, accounts for about one-quarter (28% in 2004) of Haiti's annual gross domestic product and employs about two-thirds (66% in 2004) of the labor force. However, expansion has been difficult because mountains cover much of the countryside and limit the land available for cultivation. Of the total arable land of 550,000 hectares, 125,000 hectares are suited for irrigation, and of those only 75,000 hectares actually have been improved with irrigation. Haiti's dominant cash crops include coffee, mangoes, and cocoa. Haiti has decreased its production of sugarcane, traditionally an important cash crop, because of declining prices and fierce international competition. Because Haiti's forests have thinned dramatically, timber exports have declined. Roundwood removals annually total about 1,000 kilograms. Haiti also has a small fishing industry. Annual catches in recent years have totaled about 5,000 tons

Mining and minerals

Haiti has a mining industry which extracted minerals worth approximately US$13 million in 2013. Bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold, and marble[14] were the most extensively extracted minerals in Haiti. Lime and aggregates and to a lesser extent marble are extracted. Gold was mined by the Spanish in early colonial times. Bauxite was mined for a number of years in recent times at a site near Miragoâne on the Southern peninsula. Operating from 1960 to 1972 International Halliwell Mines, Ltd. ("Halliwell"), a Canadian corporation, through its wholly owned Haitian subsidiary, La Societe d'Exploitation et de Developpement Economique et Natural d'Haiti ("Sedren")[15] mined copper near Gonaïves.

0.5 million tons of ore were exported. The copper ore was valued at about $83.5 million. The government of Haiti received about $3 million.[16] As of 2012 there was promise of gold and copper mining in northern Haiti.[17]

Gold

In 2012, it was reported that confidential agreements and negotiations had been entered into by the Haitian government granting licenses for exploration or mining of gold and associated metals such as copper for over 1,000 square miles (2,600 km2) in the mineralized zone stretching from east to west across northern Haiti. Estimates for the value of the gold which might be extracted through open-pit mining are as high as US$20 billion. Eurasian Minerals and Newmont Mining Corporation are two of the firms involved. According to Alex Dupuy, Chair of African American Studies and John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University the ability of Haiti to adequately manage the mining operations or to obtain and use funds obtained from the operations for the benefit of its people is untested and seriously questioned. Lakwèv, where earth dug from hand-made tunnels is washed for specks of free gold by local residents, is one of the locations. In the same mineralized zone in the Dominican Republic Barrick Gold and Goldcorp are planning on reopening the Pueblo Viejo mine.[16][17][18]

Secondary Industries

Secondary industries include the following:

Manufacturing

The leading industries in Haiti produce beverages, butter, cement, detergent, edible oils, flour, refined sugar, soap, and textiles. Growth in both manufacturing and industry as a whole has been slowed by a lack of capital investment. Grants from the United States and other countries have targeted this problem, but without much success. Private home building and construction appear to be one subsector with positive prospects for growth.

In 2004 industry accounted for about 20 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), and less than 10 percent of the labor force worked in industrial production. As a portion of the GDP, the manufacturing sector has contracted since the 1980s. The United Nations embargo of 1994 put out of work most of the 80,000 workers in the assembly sector. Additionally, the years of military rule following the presidential coup in 1991 resulted in the closure of most of Haiti's offshore assembly plants in the free zones surrounding Port-au-Prince. When President Aristide returned to Haiti, some improvements did occur in the manufacturing sector.

Haiti's cheaper labor brought some textile and garment assembly work back to the island in the late 1990s. Although these gains were undercut by international competition, the apparel sector in 2008 made up two-thirds[19] of Haiti's annual 490 million US dollars exports.[20] USA economic engagement under the HOPE Act, from December 2006, increased apparel exports and investment by providing tariff-free access to the USA. HOPE II, in October 2008, further improved the situation by extending preferences to 2018.

Energy

Haiti uses very little energy, the equivalent of approximately 250 kilograms of oil per head per year. In 2003, Haiti produced 546 million kilowatt-hours of electricity while consuming 508 million kilowatt-hours. In 2013, it stood 135th out of 135 countries in net total consumption of electricity.[21]

Most of the country's energy comes from the burning of wood. Haiti imports oil, consuming about 11,800 barrels per day (1,880 m3/d), as of 2003. The Péligre Dam, the country's largest, provides the capital city of Port-au-Prince with energy. Thermal plants provide electricity to the rest of the country. Even with the country's low level of demand for energy, the supply of electricity traditionally has been sporadic and prone to shortages. Mismanagement by the state has offset more than US$100 million in foreign investment targeted at improving Haiti's energy infrastructure. Businesses have resorted to securing back-up power sources to deal with the regular outages. The potential for greater hydropower exists, should Haiti have the desire and means to develop it. The government controls oil and gas prices, to an extent insulating Haitians from international price fluctuations.

Tertiary Industries

Tertiary industries include the following:

Services

Haiti's services sector made up 52 percent of the country's gross domestic product in 2004 and employed 25 percent of the labor force. According to World Bank statistics, the services sector is one of the few sectors of Haiti's economy that sustained steady, if modest, growth throughout the 1990s.

Banking and finance

Lack of a stable and trustworthy banking system has impeded Haiti's economic development. Banks in Haiti have collapsed on a regular basis. Most Haitians do not have access to loans of any sort. When reelected in 2000, President Aristide promised to remedy this situation but instead introduced a non-sustainable plan of "cooperatives" that guaranteed investors a 10 percent rate of return. By 2000, the cooperatives had crumbled and Haitians had collectively lost more than US$200 million in savings.

Haiti's central bank, the Bank of the Republic of Haiti, oversees 10 commercial banks and two foreign banks operating in the country. Most banking takes place in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The United Nations and the International Monetary Fund have led efforts to diversify and expand the finance sector, making credit more available to rural populations. In 2002, the Canadian International Development Agency led a training program for Haitian Credit Unions. Haiti has no stock exchange.

Tourism

Tourism in Haiti has suffered from the country's political upheaval. Inadequate infrastructure also has limited visitors to the island. In the 1970s and 1980s, however, tourism was an important industry, drawing an average of 150,000 visitors annually. Since the 1991 coup, tourism has recovered slowly. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has joined the Haitian government in an effort to restore the island's image as a tourist destination. In 2001, 141,000 foreigners visited Haiti. Most came from the United States. To make tourism a major industry for Haiti, further improvements in hotels, restaurants and other infrastructure still are needed.

Macro-Economic

The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017.[22]

Year 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
GDP in $
(PPP)
6.39 Bln. 8.05 Bln. 9.29 Bln. 9.58 Bln. 11.79 Bln. 12.88 Bln. 13.58 Bln. 14.41 Bln. 14.81 Bln. 15.38 Bln. 14.72 Bln. 15.85 Bln. 16.61 Bln. 17.59 Bln. 18.41 Bln. 18.83 Bln. 19.35 Bln. 19.93 Bln.
GDP per capita in $
(PPP)
1,077 1,241 1,310 1,224 1,378 1,391 1,443 1,507 1,526 1,561 1,471 1,562 1,614 1,686 1,741 1,758 1,783 1,814
GDP growth
(real)
7.3 % 0.8 % −0.4 % 9.9 % 0.9 % 1.8 % 2.2 % 3.3 % 0.8 % 0.9 % −5.5 % 5.5 % 2.9 % 4.2 % 2.8 % 1.2 % 1.5 % 1.2 %
Inflation
(consumer prices)
17.78 % 10.65 % 21.28 % 27.61 % 13.71 % 15.73 % 13.07 % 8.52 % 15.52 % -0.02% 5.7 % 8.4 % 6.29 % 5.85 % 4.57 % 9.02 % 13.83 % 14.67 %
Government debt
(Percentage of GDP)
... ... ... ... 55 % 47 % 39 % 35 % 38 % 28 % 17 % 12 % 16 % 21 % 26 % 30 % 34 % 32 %

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t CIA World Factbook, Haiti entry, accessed 31 Jan 2017.
  2. ^ "World Bank forecast for Haiti, June 2018 (p. 152)" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Ease of Doing Business in Haiti". Doingbusiness.org. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Export Partners of Haiti". CIA World Factbook. 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Import Partners of Haiti". CIA World Factbook. 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  6. ^ https://www.forbes.com/places/haiti/
  7. ^ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ha.html
  8. ^ "Surtab". Surtab. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Manutech". Manutech. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  10. ^ McLellan, James May (2010). Colonialism and Science: Saint Domingue and the Old Regime (reprint ed.). University of Chicago Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-226-51467-3. Retrieved 22 November 2010. [...] French Saint Domingue at its height in the 1780s had become the single richest and most productive colony in the world.
  11. ^ a b Frankema, Ewout; Masé, Aline (1 January 2014). "An Island Drifting Apart. Why Haiti Is Mired in Poverty While the Dominican Republic Forges Ahead". Journal of International Development. 26 (1): 128–148. doi:10.1002/jid.2924. ISSN 1099-1328.
  12. ^ http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_deb_ext_percap-economy-debt-external-per-capita
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Haiti marble blocks for export". Retrieved 1 June 2012. Haiti black marble portoro type
  15. ^ "544 F. 2d 105 - International Halliwell Mines Limited v. Continental Copper & Steel Industries". OpenJurist.org. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  16. ^ a b 30 May 2012. "Gold Rush in Haiti!: Who will get rich?". Haiti Grassroots Watch. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  17. ^ a b Regan, Jane (30 May 2012). "Haiti's rush for gold gives mining firms a free rein over the riches". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  18. ^ Mendoza, Martha (11 May 2012). "Gold! Haiti hopes ore find will spur mining boom". Google Hosted News. Associated Press. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  19. ^ Bloomberg.com
  20. ^ Index Mundi: Haiti exports 2008
  21. ^ "Electric power consumption (kWh) - Country Ranking". Index Mundi. 12 July 2014. Archived from the original on 27 October 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  22. ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". Retrieved 7 September 2018.

References

Much of this article is based on public domain material from the U.S. government. See: US Dept of State

  1. CIA World Factbook: Haiti
  2. Haiti Agriculture
  3. Inter-American Bank Grant To Benefit Haitian Coffee Growers
  4. Haitian Free Trade Zone
  5. IICA plants for Haiti's environment
  6. Defending Labor Rights in Haiti
  7. CTH Secretary General Paul Chery interviewed on the 2004 coup and labor issues
  8. HAITI: Pain at the Pump Spurs Strike Actions
  9. HAITI: Workers Protest Privatisation Layoffs

External links and further reading

Agriculture in Haiti

Agriculture continued to be the mainstay of the economy of Haiti in the late 1980s; it employed approximately 66 percent of the labor force and accounted for about 35 percent of GDP and for 24 percent of exports in 1987. The role of agriculture in the economy has declined severely since the 1950s, when the sector employed 80 percent of the labor force, represented 50 percent of GDP, and contributed 90 percent of exports. Many factors have contributed to this decline. Some of the major ones included the continuing fragmentation of landholdings, low levels of agricultural technology, migration out of rural areas, insecure land tenure, a lack of capital investment, high commodity taxes, the low productivity of undernourished

animals, plant diseases, and inadequate infrastructure. Neither the government nor the private sector invested much in rural ventures; in FY 1989 only 5 percent of the national budget went to the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Rural Development (Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Resources Naturelles et du Développement Rural—MARNDR). As Haiti entered the 1990s, however, the main challenge to agriculture was not economic, but ecological. Extreme deforestation, soil erosion, droughts, flooding, and the ravages of other natural disasters had all led to a critical environmental situation.After independence from France Alexandre Pétion (and later Jean-Pierre Boyer) undertook Latin America's first, and perhaps most radical, land reform by subdividing plantations for the use of emancipated slaves. The reform measures were so extensive that by 1842 no plantation was its original size. By the mid-nineteenth century, therefore, Haiti's present-day land structure was largely in place. The basic structures of land tenure remained remarkably stable during the twentieth century, despite steadily increasing pressure for land, the fragmentation of land parcels, and a slight increase in the concentration of ownership.For historical reasons, Haiti's patterns of land tenure were quite different from those of other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most Haitians owned at least some of their land. Complex forms of tenancy also distinguished Haitian land tenure. Moreover, land owned by peasants often varied in the size and number of plots, the location and topography of the parcels, and other factors.Scholars have debated issues related to land tenure and agriculture in Haiti because they considered census data unreliable. Other primary data available to them were geographically limited and frequently out of date. The three national censuses of 1950, 1971, and 1982 provided core information on land tenure, but other studies financed by the United States Agency for International Development (AID) supplemented and updated census data. The final tabulations of the 1982 census were still unavailable in late 1989.The 1971 census revealed that there were 616,700 farms in Haiti, and that an average holding of 1.4 hectares consisted of several plots of less than 1 hectare. Haitians, however, most commonly measured their land by the common standard, a carreau, equal to about 1.3 hectares, or 3.2 acres. The survey concluded that the largest farms made up only 3 percent of the total number of farms and that they comprised less than 20 percent of the total land. It also documented that 60 percent of farmers owned their land, although some lacked official title to it. Twenty-eight percent of all farmers rented and sharecropped land. Only a small percentage of farms belonged to cooperatives. The 1950 census, by contrast, had found that 85 percent of farmers owned their land.Studies in the 1980s indicated a trend toward increased fragmentation of peasant lands, an expanding role for sharecropping and renting, and a growing concentration of higher quality land, particularly in the irrigated plains. As a consequence of high rural population density and deteriorating soils, competition over land appeared to be intensifying. Haiti's land density, that is, the number of people per square kilometer of arable land, jumped from 296 in 1965 to 408 by the mid-1980s—a density greater than that in India.The three major forms of land tenancy in Haiti were ownership, renting (or subleasing), and sharecropping. Smallholders typically acquired their land through purchase, inheritance, or a claim of long-term use. Many farmers also rented land temporarily from the state, absentee landlords, local owners, or relatives. In turn, renters frequently subleased some of these lands, particularly parcels owned by the state. Renters generally enjoyed more rights to the land they worked than did sharecroppers. Unlike sharecroppers, however, renters had to pay for land in advance, typically for a period of one year. The prevalence of renting made the land market exceedingly dynamic; even small farmers rented land, depending on the amount of extra income they derived from raising cash crops. Sharecropping, also very common, was usually a shorter-term agreement, perhaps lasting only one growing season. Sharecropper and landowner partnerships were less exploitive than those in many other Latin American countries; in most agreements, farmers gave landowners half the goods they produced on the land.Other land arrangements included managing land for absentee landlords, squatting, and wage labor. The practice of having an on-site overseer (jéran) manage land for another owner, usually another peasant residing far away, was a variation of sharecropping. Jérans were generally paid in-kind for their custodial services. Overgrazing, or unregulated gardening, was the most common form of squatting, which took place on most kinds of lands, especially state-owned land. A small minority of peasants were landless; they worked as day laborers or leased subsistence plots. In addition, thousands of Haitians migrated seasonally to the Dominican Republic as braceros (temporary laborers) to cut sugarcane under wretched conditions.

Bank of the Republic of Haiti

The Bank of the Republic of Haiti (French:Banque de la République d'Haïti) (BRH) is the central bank of Haiti.

The bank is active in promoting financial inclusion policy and is a member institution of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion. It recently announced a Maya Declaration Commitment to continue with the modernization of the payment system, and submit legislation to regulate and supervise micro finance institutions to relevant authorities in 2013.

Coffee production in Haiti

Coffee production in Haiti has been important to its economy since the early 18th century, when the French brought the coffee plant to the colony, then known as Saint-Domingue. It has been a principal crop of Haiti ever since. Alongside sugar, coffee long formed the backbone of early Haiti's economy. At the present-day, coffee has fallen behind both mango and cocoa in terms of export value.

Corruption in Haiti

Corruption in Haiti is a scourge that corrodes all attempts to establish a rule of law, a sustainable democracy, and to improve the quality of life of Haiti's people.

Haiti's corruption perception index is 25.44

Transparency International's 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranks the country 157th place out of 180 countries.

External debt of Haiti

The external debt of Haiti is one of the main factors that has caused the country's persistent poverty. After the slaves declared themselves free and the country independent in 1804, France, with the complicity of its allies, demanded that the newly formed country pay the French government and French slaveholders the modern equivalent of US $21 billion dollars for the "theft" of the slaves' own lives and the land that they had turned into profitable sugar and coffee-producing plantations. This independence debt was financed by French banks and the American Citibank, and finally paid off in 1947.

Later, the corrupt Duvalier dynasty added to the country's debts, and is believed to have used the money to expand their power and for their personal benefits. In the early 21st century, and especially after the devastating earthquake in 2010, the World Bank and some other governments forgave the remaining parts of Haiti's debts. France forgave a more recent loan with a balance of US $77 million, but has refused to consider repaying the independence debt.

Foreign aid to Haiti

Haiti—an island country 600 miles off the coast of the U.S. state of Florida—shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Haiti has received billions in foreign assistance, yet persists as one of the poorest countries. There have been more than 15 natural disasters since 2001 including tropical storms, flooding, earthquakes and hurricanes. The international donor community classifies Haiti as a fragile state. Haiti is also considered a post-conflict state—one emerging from a recent coup d'état and civil war.

Haiti Partnership

The Haiti Partnership is a group of Methodist volunteer missionaries from the New York and Pennsylvania region. Founded in 1995, the partnership has conducted numerous missions in remote Haitian villages and towns, including: Bainet, Hermitage, Bois Neuf Malor, Jeremie, Golbotine, and others. A mission consists of up to fourteen volunteers traveling by plane to Port-au-Prince making a brief stop at a VIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission) guest house. A typical team travels with up to twenty- two or more containers; of which contain tools, food, toys, hygiene equipment, as well as various medical supplies.

Teams travel with the containers by vehicle to remote sites after their brief stay at the Methodist guest house in Port-au-Prince. Most teams work on construction projects with Haitian workers to construct schools, churches, and other necessities in the most needing areas of Haiti. Normally teams travel in the months of January, February, and March mainly due to lower temperatures. The partnership receives various informal funding, i.e. church collections and donations. The partnership, in conjunction with the Wyoming Conference, also arranges fundraising events like the "great fifty days", an annual fundraising event held in the Southern Tier of New York area. After a "typical" nine-day "round trip" stay, teams travel back to the United States.

They stepped up their efforts for the 2010 Haiti earthquake

Haiti and the World Bank

The World Bank Group country partnership framework aims to support Haiti's efforts to reduce poverty and provide economic opportunities for all Haitians. The framework aims to strengthen institutions, government capacity, and public financial management as aid and concessional financing rapidly decline.

Haiti economic reforms of 1996

The Haiti economic reforms of 1996 were designed to rebuild economy of Haiti after significant downturns suffered in the previous years. The primary reforms were centered on the Emergency Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) and were followed by budget reforms.

Haiti indemnity controversy

The Haiti indemnity controversy culminated in an agreement by Haiti to a 1825 gold demand by France for a FR₣150 million indemnity (later reduced to FR₣90 million in 1838, comparable to US$40 billion as of 2010 with consideration to inflation) to be paid by the Republic of Haiti in claims over property lost through the Haitian Revolution in return for diplomatic recognition. The gold demand was delivered to the country by 12 French warships armed with 528 cannons. Diplomatic recognition by France of Haiti came in 1825, twenty-one years after Haiti's declaration of independence in 1804. The payment of an indemnity to the former French plantation owners was originally suggested by Haitian president Pétion in 1814 as a way to deter a possible French attack on his country.

Haitian Stock Exchange

The Haitian Stock Exchange (HSE) was founded in 2007.The overall aims of the exchange are to encourage the formation of new businesses and the general expansion of the economic sector, to facilitate the flow of capital into Haiti and the growth of per capita income, and to reduce poverty and increase the aggregate level of output, employment and wealth. The main hindrances obstructing the establishment of this exchange are a lack of financial infrastructure to attract capital, insufficient capital investment per worker and the inadequate utilisation of human capital.The formation of the Haitian Stock exchange has been led by a New York registered trading company called GLTG, which intends to establish a "Societe Anonyme" (equivalent to a PLC) to be named Societte Haitienne de Valeurs Mobilieres and to float it on the HSE. In response, the HSE, according to its website, will endeavour to develop a securities market in Haiti; to organise primary and secondary markets for fixed income and common stocks; to train and recruit personnel; to create the alliances and the institutional framework necessary to support the operation of a securities market; to conceive the regulatory requirements for listing on Haitian market and for affiliation with the HSE; and finally to secure listing for Haitian companies listed on the Haitian market.

Haitian gourde

The gourde (French: [ɡuʁd]) or goud (Haitian Creole: [ɡud]) is the currency of Haiti. Its ISO 4217 code is HTG and it is divided into 100 centimes (French) or santim (Creole).

The word "gourde" is a French cognate for the Spanish term "gordo", from the "pesos gordos" (also known in English as "hard" pieces of eight, and in French as "piastres fortes espagnoles") in which colonial-era contracts within the Spanish sphere of influence were often denominated.

Haitian livre

The livre was the currency of Haiti until 1813. The Haitian livre was a French colonial currency, distinguished by the use, in part, of Spanish coins. It was equal to the French livre and was subdivided into 20 sous, each of 12 deniers. The escalin of 15 sous was also used as a denomination, since it was equal to the Spanish colonial real. Coins specifically for use in Haiti were issued between 1802 and 1809, along with various overstamped coins.

The livre was replaced by the Haitian gourde in 1813, at a rate of 1 gourde = 8 livre 5 sous (11 escalin).

Index of Haiti-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the Republic of Haiti.

List of departments of Haiti by Human Development Index

This is a list of departments of Haiti by Human Development Index as of 2017.

Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Haiti)

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is a ministry of the Government of Haiti. This ministry is responsible for commerce and industry throughout the country, along with playing an integral role in the Prime Minister's Cabinet.

Outline of Haiti

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Haiti:

The Haiti – sovereign country located on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago. Ayiti ("Land of Mountains") was the indigenous Taíno name for Hispaniola. The Haitian Creole and French-speaking country of Haiti occupies the western extent of Hispaniola, while the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic occupies the greater eastern extent of the island. Haiti was the first country of the Americas to win its freedom from European colonization in 1804. The country's highest point is Pic la Selle, at 2,680 metres (8,793 ft). The total area of Haiti is 27,750 square kilometres (10,714 sq mi) and its capital is Port-au-Prince.

Slavery in Haiti

Slavery in Haiti started with the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the island in 1492. The practice was devastating to the native population. Following the indigenous Tainos' near decimation from forced labor, disease and war, the Spanish, under advisement of the Catholic priest Bartolomeu de las Casas and with the blessing of the Catholic church, began engaging in earnest in the kidnapped and forced labor of enslaved Africans. During the French colonial period beginning in 1625, the economy of Haiti (then known as Saint-Domingue) was based on slavery, and the practice there was regarded as the most brutal in the world. The Haitian Revolution of 1804, the only successful slave revolt in human history, precipitated the end of slavery not only in Saint-Domingue, but in all French colonies. However, several Haitian leaders following the revolution employed forced labor, believing a plantation-style economy was the only way for Haiti to succeed, and building fortifications to safeguard against attack by the French. During the U.S. occupation between 1915 and 1934, the U.S. military forced Haitians to work building roads for defense against Haitian resistance fighters.

Unpaid labor is still a practice in Haiti. As many as half a million children are unpaid domestic servants called restavek, who routinely suffer physical and sexual abuse. Additionally, human trafficking, including child trafficking is a significant problem in Haiti; trafficked people are brought into, out of, and through Haiti for forced labor, including sex trafficking. The groups most at risk include the poor, women, children, the homeless, and people migrating across the border with the Dominican Republic. The devastating earthquake in 2010 displaced many, rendering them homeless, isolated, and supremely vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers. The chaos following the quake also distracted authorities and hindered efforts to stop trafficking. The government has taken steps to prevent and stop trafficking, ratifying human rights conventions and enacting laws to protect the vulnerable, but enforcement remains difficult. The U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed the country in "Tier 2 Watchlist" in 2017.

Tourism in Haiti

Tourism in Haiti is an industry that has generated just under a million arrivals in 2012, and is one of the main sources of revenue for the nation. With its favorable climate, second longest coastline of beaches and most mountainous ranges in the Caribbean, waterfalls, caves, colonial architecture and distinct cultural history, Haiti has had its history as an attractive destination for tourists. However, unstable governments have long contested its history and the country's economic development throughout the 20th century.

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