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Former US Presidents urge more sops for quake-hit Haiti
Apr '10
To attract investment to quake-ravaged Haiti that is still recovering from the January 12, 7.0 magnitude earthquake, former US Presidents, Bill Clinton and George W Bush have urged members of Congress to allow Haiti, triple the volume of its knitted and woven fabrics, which it currently exports to USA, under a duty-free trade access legislation.

This increase in amount will lure investments which will then help generate new jobs for people of Haiti. According to the government of Haiti, the quake had left about 300,000 dead and an equal number of Haitians were injured.

Extension from eight to 15 years of the trade preferences in the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity via the Partnership Encouragement Act (HOPE II) legislation is also being tabbed at by both Bush and Clinton.

According to Clinton spokesperson, Angel Urena, “Keeping in mind the Clinton-Bush Haiti fund's mission to respond to urgent and short-term needs in post-earthquake Haiti, the aim is to not just help the Haitians, but rebuild their lives and livelihoods to a much better level than what they had earlier.”

Although three key Korean manufacturing companies are interested in investing in Haiti and are capable of employing 10,000 – 30,000 labourers, but they are reluctant, due to restricted benefits of HOPE II legislation.

The letter also stated that, if the investment triples job levels in the Haitian garment sector, then it will need new industrial space and infrastructure. This will help generate more construction jobs in Haiti.

Since the onset of HOPE, fourteen new companies, generating 16,000 additional jobs, have been attracted to Haiti. However, currently, there are 28 companies and only 28,000 employees in an industry that at one time employed 130,000 workers.

Currently, under HOPE II, Haiti can export 70 million square metres of fabric, duty-free, but under HOPE II, it now looks forward to exporting 250 million square metres that will account for only one percent of all US textile imports.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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