As the National investment promotion agency, the Centre for Facilitation of Investments (CFI) was established on January 31, 2006 by a presidential decree, and created as a result of a public and private sector partnership – reflected in its mixed board structure – in response to the need to simplify regulations and procedures to increase economic activities in the country.
The CFI acts as the Interministerial Commission on Investments Secretariat and the National Council of Free Zones Secretariat providing administrative support and technical assistance.
The CFI is also involved in the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) along with 19 other Investment Promotion Agencies throughout the Caribbean and acts as a Director on the Board of the Association.
“ The CFI is the first port of call for foreign investors interested in Haiti. Because of this, we have put a lot of work into improving our website, and providing up to date information on the economy, as well as the business climate. Information is key, and we are continually improving the quantity and quality of information that we provide. In recognition of this effort, the CFI has recently received a “best-performance” ranking from the World Bank’s investment index, which improved our grade by 37 % to 85 %. While there is still room for improvement, we are ahead of the regional average of 69 %.”
Norma Powell, Director General, CFI
Republic of Haïti
January 1st 1804
Cap-Haïtien, Gonaïves, Les Cayes, Jacmel
Developed lands (20 % of the area)
Agricultural lands (17 700 km2 -64,22% of total
Tropical; an average minimum of 20°C (63°F) to an
average maximum of 34°C (94°F)
Hurricane season: June to October
Official languages: French and Haitian Creole.
English is widely spoken in the business
community. Spanish is also
spoken by many.
Population 1.6 % (2003-2009)
Labor Force 2.2 % (2003-2009)
Haitian gourde (HTG,US$ 1= 44 (monthly average for
August 2013).The U.S dollar is accepted everywhere
The standard is 110 V, 60 Cycles , with american
outlets.220 V is also available.
1,900 km of coastline
3,600 km of roadways
2 international airports
4 domestic airports(Jacmel, Jérémie, Les Cayes, Port-de-
Acces to 7 main ports:Port-au-Prince,Cap-
Fiscal year :October 1-September 30
Economic activity in Haiti has picked up over the last years and prospects appear good for continued growth and investment opportunities, as the country shifts its focus from relief to reconstruction. According to the World Economic Forum, Haiti possesses the economic fundamentals that could enable it to become a vibrant marketplace by 2030 through a combination of smart public and engagement of the national and international private sectors. In order to stimulate economic growth, the Haitian Government, through the Presidential Working Group on Competitiveness (GC), identified six key investment sectors that could create large number of jobs, increase productivity and create numerous micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the backbone of any economy. Therefore, the Haitian Government, with the help of CFI, has been focusing its efforts on attracting investments in the following key sectors: Agribusiness, Construction, Energy, Manufacturing, Telecommunications and Tourism.
The regulatory environment of Haiti has improved above the rest of the countries in the region.This trend is expected to continue in the following years:
Doing business in Haiti has never been easier
The government of Haiti is committed to improving the regulatory framework by undergoing important reforms. In the last years, the government of Haiti has introduced reforms to improve the investment climate and therefore, facilitate the investment in the country:
Registration of your Company
This section describes the basic requirements of the different business structures for investing in Haiti, as well as the key formalities that a foreign investor must fulfill in order to set up or start up each of them.
Haitian legislation provides for the existence of different patterns of organization in regards to the creation of companies.
Please click in the sections below to learn more about specific characteristics of each type of company, the administrative steps and the needed documents to establish any type of company:
Haitian Law gives provisions for the creation of company limited by shares. However it is rarely used. The steps for its registration would be the same as the Limited Liability Corporation.
Foreign companies can also create a branch of any other form of company. Branch of General Partnership, Limited Partnership or else are thus possible. They will follow the same pattern as the procedure for the branch of LLC. However there will be some modifications, for instance there is not a publication in the official gazette.
Registration of your Company Trade Name
The first step to establish a company is to verify the availability of the name chosen. Thus, it is important to go directly to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to verify the availability of the name in the Registry.
For an Individual Company the registration of the commercial name is the main procedure. For all the others, the name chosen is incorporated in the bylaws and other legal documents after verification. If the company is willing to use another commercial name besides its company name, it will follow the same procedure as the one used for the individual company. Please find attached the steps to register a trade name.
Due to the exposure to potential liabilities, most foreign investors create a subsidiary in Haiti by participating in a Limited Liability Corporation. Others choose to work directly with or do business through already-existing subcontractors.
The standard working day is set at eight hours, with a 48 hours working week. Large majority of businesses do not operate on Sunday.
All Employers are subject to the following law:
Intellectual and Industrial Property
Haitian legal framework honors invention and copyrights, industrial designs, manufacturers and business trademarks.
Haiti is a signatory to the following:
The law protects individuals and enterprises against patent infringement, fraud and unfair competition.
Please find the procedure to register:
Investment Zones (IZs) have great potential to boost job creation, reconstruction, and economic growth in Haiti. Different Investment Zones are available in Haiti.
Free Zones – Industrial Park with free zone Status
A free zone is a portion of land that is clearly delimited and entirely fenced in, creating an enclave that is applied, under supervision of the General Customs Administration, a special customs and tax system.
Shodecosa Industrial and Commercial Park is the leading provider of storage space in Haiti, with over 2,500,000 square feet in Port au Prince and Gonaives. It has been operating in Port au Prince since 1979 and is presently owned and managed by the WI Group, the leading local investor in port facilities and bulk/break bulk storage.
For more information, please visit the WIN Group website.
Integrated Economic Zones
Integrated Economic Zones (IEZs) are in integral part of Haiti’s push towards development. IEZs have three components:
This economic approach, buttressed by HOPE, New Political and Economic reforms and International backing, is positive for Haiti and its domestic and foreign investors.
From an economic standpoint, Haiti will be the net beneficiary of the following:
From an investor standpoint, the opportunities are limitless! To name a few:
How CFI can assist you
CFI will provide you with the relevant information pertaining to establishing your company in an industrial park or a free zone. CFI can organize site visits and can ensure the liaison with both private owners and public institutions associated with the industrial parks.
Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien, Gonaives, Jacmel, Puerto Plata (DR), Manzanillo (DR) and Santo Domingo (DR) all of them with capacity to handle international container traffic.
Taxes and Incentives
The Haitian tax system
Haitian and foreign companies operating in Haiti are subject to the same tax regulations, and must pay the same taxes with very few exceptions, regardless of their line of business.
According to the Haitian Tax Code, companies must pay a corporate tax. This tax is directly imposed on real earnings or net revenues realized during a fiscal year. Individuals are also required to pay taxes on their entire income.
The law also provides for the payment of an indirect tax; it is the tax on revenues for consumer transactions or on the use of goods and services in Haiti, and also on the self-delivery of goods and services.
Besides these main taxes, investors must pay various other taxes and fees when
registering their companies and while in operation, including:
Specific Incentives to the investment code
The Haitian government, through the Investment Code, grants general and specific incentives to eligible sectors and activities, depending on the sector, in order to attract investors. Businesses receive these incentives when:
The Center for Facilitation of Investments (CFI), as the Technical Secretariat of the Inter-ministerial Commission of Investments, is responsible for providing information to the public regarding the procedures that are in place for granting incentives, for receiving and processing applications for incentives, and for transferring them to the related Ministries for technical analysis of the projects. The CFI also tracks these requests until the Inter-ministerial Commission of Investments makes an administrative decision. Applications for requesting incentives are available at CFI.
Conditions have never been more favourable to conduct business in Haiti! With renewed optimism and openness, Haiti is on its way to a brighter future. Haiti, a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), is open for business.
Haiti and the United States of America
The US, Haiti’s largest trading partner has made it easier to conduct business under such bilateral agreement as:
These agreements facilitate the manufacturing of an array of goods subject to specific requirements and benefiting from:
Haiti and The European Union
Haiti, a signatory of the fourth Lomé Convention in 1989, benefits preferential tariff from the largest common market in the world. Its products are allowed to enter the European Union market duty-free and are not subject to any restriction.
Haiti equally benefits from:
Haiti and the Caribbean Region
Haiti is a member of the Caribbean Economic Community (CARICOM), the CARIFORUM comprising the CARICOM countries and the Dominican Republic, the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and has cooperative arrangement with Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela and various other countries.
Haiti and the rest of the world
Under the principle of most-favoured-nation, Haiti has signed bilateral trade agreements with the following countries: Canada, Argentina, Bahamas, China, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, and Liberia.
For further information about trade agreements please visit: http://ctrc.sice.oas.org/
Bilateral Investment Treaties
The investment protection guarantees provided by the 1987 Constitution and the Investment Code have been strengthened by the signing of several international agreements with major exporting countries including USA, France, Great Britain and Germany, who are all committed to ensuring a fair and equitable investment treatment.
These agreements outline just and equitable treatment, national treatment, free transfer of interest, dividends, profits and other income earned by nationals of each country.
The Haitian investors and foreign investors enjoy the same rights and privileges and equal protection under the law.
Litigations are submitted to the Haitian Court. However if provisions for international or national arbitration are found, then different procedures are followed. Arbitration is encouraged and allows avoiding the length of the national court procedures. The Haitian Arbitration and Conciliation Chamber are established to provide mechanisms for conciliation and arbitration in cases of private commercial disputes.
In 2009, Haiti signed and ratified the 1965 Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between states and nationals of other states (ICSID). Investors can seize the ICSID arbitration state in case of litigation with the State.
The Haitian government has ratified and completed its accession to the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency(MIGA), now operating in Haiti. MIGA’s guarantees investments against-non-commercial risks and can help investors obtain access to funding sources with improved financial terms and conditions. Since their inception in 1988, MIGA has issued more than $24 billion in political risk insurance for projects in a wide variety of sectors, covering all regions of the world.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation(OPIC) offers insurance against political risks and financing programs for U.S. investments in Haiti. OPIC financing includes two programs: direct lending and investment guarantees. Direct loans are available to investment projects sponsored by or involving U.S. small businesses. Investment guarantees are available to U.S. eligible investors of any size.
In 1996, OPIC established an on-lending facility with Citibank-Haiti through which the bank loaned to locally investing businesses. In addition, OPIC recently established a new on-lending facility with Citibank available to several Caribbean countries, including Haiti.
Doing Business In Haiti
Download the 2013 Investment Guide
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