IFC supports SAE-A garment manufacturing operation
IFC CEO, Lars Thunell, Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korean garment firm Sae-A to develop a globally competitive industrial park and garment operation in Haiti which is expected to create 10,000 new jobs.
"The World Bank Group is committed to working with the government and people of Haiti and other partners to reduce poverty and support development so that Haitians can benefit fully from participation in the global economy", said Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group.
The MOU will facilitate collaboration between the participants, which also include the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). The project includes the development of basic infrastructure, including ports and roads, as well as access to energy and logistics for a new industrial park and manufacturing operation. IFC and the IADB would support the commercially sustainable components of the project, subject to investment guidelines.
The industrial park and manufacturing operation would be located just north of greater Port-au-Prince or, alternatively, on Haiti's northern coast between the cities of Cap Haitien and Ouanaminthe. This is consistent with Haiti's National Action Plan, which prioritizes these two regions as centers for industrial development.
"We at IFC are glad to offer our expertise and support to SAE-A as the company considers investing and creating jobs in Haiti", said Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC.
Sae-A is a leading manufacturer and exporter of textiles and clothing in Korea and a major supplier for Wal-Mart, Target and other U.S. clothing brands such as Gap, Banana Republic and Levi's. The company has over 20 factories worldwide, including in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Indonesia and Vietnam, producing 1.4 million pieces of clothing a day. Sae-A founder and Chairman Woong-Ki Kim signed the memorandum on behalf of the company
IFC is focused on helping rebuild Haiti and supporting economic growth through investment and advisory services, including in the garment, infrastructure, telecommunications, tourism, and finance sectors. Since the earthquake, IFC has made $49.6 million available for nine projects. Four projects for $14.6 million in the banking, garment, hotel, and mining industries are under implementation, including a major energy project approved prior to the quake.
This year, IFC partnered with the Soros Foundation to finance the expansion of an important garment manufacturer that will create 4,000 new jobs by the end of 2011. The investment helps the firm capitalize on new legislation that nearly triples duty-free quotas for Haitian clothing exports to the United States.
IFC has intensified advisory services in Haiti to help companies and government agencies retain and attract investors. This includes simplifying the regulatory framework for special economic zones, improving the country's ports, and supporting the Haitian government's plans to decentralize zones outside of Port-au-Prince.