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Market Overview of Haiti

Haiti’s economic growth moderately slowed in 2016, with real GDP valued at $8.2 billion. According to the World Bank, the economy grew by 1.4 percent, a deceleration compared to Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 when the economy grew at a rate of 1.7 percent. The deceleration is attributed to the 2015 and 2016 political crisis, a volatile exchange rate, the reduction of international aid, and the October passage of Hurricane Matthew, which devastated agricultural production in the Southern part of Haiti. The World Bank estimated damages at $1.9 billion, including an estimated loss of $600 million in the agricultural and fishing sectors alone.

Haiti’s total imports reached $4.18 billion during FY 2016, while total exports were only valued at $1.6 billion. Imports represent more than 70 percent of goods sold on the market. The United States continues to be Haiti’s top trading partner, with approximately $2 billion in trade between the two nations in 2016.

Market Opportunities

Emerging sectors in Haiti are currently construction, agribusiness and energy. For example, the construction of public buildings in the administrative city of Port-au-Prince can offer contract opportunities to U.S. manufacturers and construction firms. These sectors necessitate the following: power generation equipment, packaging and food processing equipment, energy efficient and smart grid systems, and construction materials.

In addition, tourism is also on this list. Although 2016 posed challenges, it has slowly grown and figures show that tourist arrivals, notably via cruise lines, have moderately increased over the last five years. Finally, with the Haitian government’s recent efforts to improve telecommunication infrastructure and internet connectivity, there is a growing interest for call center (Business Process Outsourcing - BPO) development in Haiti.

Market Entry Strategy

The U.S. Department of Commerce should be the first point of contact for U.S. firms interested in doing business in Haiti.  The United States Export Assistance Center (USEAC) offices in the United States, as well as the Commercial Service (CS) offices located abroad, will inform any interested U.S. firm of the best methods for finding an agent or distributor in Haiti.

Leading Sectors for U.S. Exports and Investments

  • Agricultural Sector
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Machinery and Transport
  • Mining and Mineral
  • Telecommunications Industry
  • Travel and Tourism

Read the complete Country Commercial Guide for Haiti, an excellent starting point to find everything you need to know about doing business overseas.




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