S. Korean clothing firm invests in North Industrial Park
State Department Counselor Cheryl Mills participated in the signing of an agreement between Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd., the Government of Haiti, the U.S., and the Inter-American Development Bank to develop a 623-acre industrial park in northern Haiti. The fact sheet below was provided by the U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince at the event.
The Government of Haiti, the United States Government through the Department of State, and the Inter-American Development Bank closed a deal to build an industrial park in the Haiti's North Corridor with Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd., Korea's leading garment manufacturer, as the anchor tenant.
The North Industrial Park, which is projected to create 20,000 permanent jobs through Sae-A's investment alone, fulfills priorities in the Government of Haiti's National Action Plan to create centers of economic development outside of Port-au- Prince for Haiti's future growth and to bring much needed jobs to Haiti's underserved regions. The IHRC facilitated and approved this effort, marking the first major public-private partnership to bring permanent jobs to Haiti since the January 12, 2010 earthquake.
The U.S. Congress's passage of the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act in May 2010 was a critical catalyst by significantly increasing U.S. trade preferences for Haitian apparel, which in turn made Haiti more attractive to large scale manufacturing operations like Sae-A. Each signatory has committed to investments in the development of the Park and the surrounding area, including park infrastructure, housing, waste-water treatment, port modernization and electrification.
This agreement brings to fruition the Memorandum of Understanding signed in September on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, where the parties agreed to explore the viability of a globally competitive industrial park and major manufacturing operation in Northern Haiti. Park operation and manufacturing activity is projected to begin in the first quarter of 2012.
The Park will:
• Create 20,000 full-time Haitian jobs in the first phase with Sae-A's investment alone, making it the largest private employer in Haiti.
• Create in excess of $500 million in wages and benefits over ten years, with each worker earning 3-4 times Haiti's current GDP per capita (per capita GDP is approximately $640, whereas apparel jobs will pay approximately $2,400).
• Directly support the livelihoods of 100,000 to 120,000 Haitians.
• Grow to support 65,000 permanent jobs once the Park is fully developed—increasing Haitian garment industry related jobs by more than 200%.
• Grow the number of formal registered private sector jobs in Haiti by at least 20%
• Create Haiti's first textile mill with knitting & dyeing.
• Be the first manufacturer to produce apparel with textiles made in Haiti, reducing dependence on imported raw materials and dramatically increasing the value added component in Haiti for each garment manufactured.