PORT-AU-PRINCE: While delivering the keynote address last week at the 24th Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in Port-au-Prince, Michel Martelly, President of Haiti and Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), marketed his homeland as a country that could make a serious contribution to the economies of the Community.
“Haiti should be seen and treated as an opportunity,” said Martelly. “Despite its difficulties, it represents a good opportunity for the region, an opportunity for each CARICOM country. A Haitian economy that works best serves the interests of CARICOM, thus expanding its market and its possibilities of being more competitive.”
He told the gathering of fellow Heads of Government, delegates and guests that the Haitian economy needed to be supported by productive investment in order to be viable and highlighted significant advances that had been made in this regard.
Martelly promised that Haiti would take the steps necessary to comply with its obligations in CARICOM. He said that he had given instructions to accelerate the process of harmonization of national legislation with CARICOM standards and assured that measures would be taken to ensuring that the country’s regime in trade and goods is in good order. Martelly also marketed Haiti as a good provider of agri-food products and as an outlet for products from the region.
In addition, Martelly addressed the challenges CARICOM faces, including crime and security, climate change, transportation and the free movement of skilled nationals.
The Intersessional Meeting, which concluded last week, marked the first time since becoming a member of CARICOM in 2002 that Haiti was hosting a Heads of Government Meeting. In January, Haiti assumed the Chairmanship of the Community for six months.