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Ban, Clinton urge economic changes for Haiti

Saturday, March 14, 2009

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former US President Bill Clinton visited Haiti and disclose a string of social and economic changes they said were needed for Haiti to pull itself out of poverty.

They stated that they were impressed by Haiti's growth potential and urged its government to quickly exploit favorable terms of trade with the United States and the stabilizing presence of some 9,000 UN peacekeepers.
Ban said at a news conference that the Caribbean nation, the Western hemisphere's poorest and one plagued by a history of violence and political unrest, had made progress in restoring peace and stability but must do more to attract investment.

Ban and Clinton had a first hand experience of Haiti's political problems when protesters demanded the return of deposed former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the reinstatement of the Lavalas Family Party.

Clinton and Ban alike are hoping to decrease unemployment in the country. Clinton is trying to help Haiti through his Clinton Global Initiative foundation, and Ban said lowering the cost of doing business through reduced commercial rents and lower energy prices would create more jobs in the nation.

This was emphasized after the two toured a garment factory that makes T-shirts in the capital Port-au-Prince. Ban said textiles are a potential major growth sector for Haiti. Clinton said he was informed that the factory currently has 3,000 but if the cost of power was lowered could easily employ 10,000.

View the BBC Report

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