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Haiti Business


According to COUNTRYAAH, Haiti is one of America's poorest countries and highly dependent on financial aid from the United States, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Business of Haiti

Agriculture is characterized by very low productivity and extremely unequal ownership conditions. More than half the country is owned by 4 per cent of the growers, while most farmers have less than one acre. Haiti is far from self-sufficient in food. Despite large food imports, malnutrition is widespread. The economic importance of coffee has diminished in the 2000s, but is still an important export commodity. Other important export crops are sugar and sisal, and the most important staple crop is maize, with which Haiti is normally self-sufficient. In the early 1900s, a large part of Haiti was covered with forests, but the increasing population pressure has meant that almost all of the forest has been felled for use as building materials or fuel, which has led to extensive degradation.

In 2010, the capital Port-au-Prince was hit by a powerful earthquake and nearly 225,000 people were killed. The city and the country have still not recovered from this disaster. The situation worsened further in 2012 when the country was hit by tropical cyclone Sandy.

The country's industry, which employs 11 percent of the workforce, consists of home-market consumer goods industry and production for export to mainly the United States of clothing and electrical products. Foreign (mainly American) companies were attracted to Haiti in the 1980s by low wages, tax benefits and free profit taking. However, as a result of the 1991 trade embargo against Haiti, many of the companies had to be closed down. Agricultural commodities dominate exports, but the importance of industrial products has increased. Imports, which normally exceed exports, consist mainly of food, oil products and machinery. The United States is the dominant trading partner.

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