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Bill Clinton: 'Haiti is a good place to invest'

 Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, center, gestures as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, right, delivers a speech at the U.N. headquarters in Port...

Haiti Bill Clinton

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, center, gestures as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, right, delivers a speech at the U.N. headquarters in Port...

Haiti's fragile economy could crumble unless there is an increase in donations and foreign investment in manufacturing, recycling and tourism, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former President Bill Clinton warned on Tuesday.
The impoverished country is short by as much as $100 million for its $256 million budget after releasing emergency funds last year during four storms that killed nearly 800 people.
"They need their budget covered this year," Clinton told a press conference at a U.N. airfield. "We can not allow the forces of nature which ravaged this country last year to derail the progress that has been made and that can be made."
Clinton asked those attending an international donor conference in Washington next month to help cover the shortfall.
Ban told reporters that investments and aid could decrease because of donor fatigue and the global economic crisis, and he warned that Haiti "can slide backward into darkness if we do not properly help."
Potential for unrest looms as supporters of disqualified candidates threaten to prevent voting in an upcoming April 19 Senate election. Frustration with what some perceive as Preval's slow response to poverty and soaring living costs has only intensified since riots forced out the prime minister last spring.
Clinton called on Haiti's government to make it easier for people to open new businesses by reducing rent, streamlining bureaucracy and other means, and he singled out tourism _ once a major Haitian industry _ as a key to future growth.
"All people would have to do is come here and see this place, and they'd fall in love with it," Clinton said.
The dignitaries toured a buzzing textile factory that makes Hanes T-shirts for U.S. and European markets. Workers cheered and their cameras flashed as Clinton and Ban walked past whirling looms and sewing machines.
The factory's 3,000 workers earn the equivalent of about $2 to $5 a day _ higher than the $1.79 daily minimum wage. Half of Haitians live on less than $1 per day.


Updated : 2021-04-22 08:01 GMT+08:00