Why Invest in Haiti’s Apparel Sector?
- Speed and ease of entry into the U.S. market
- Extensive U.S. preferences programs that provide more duty-free access to Haitian apparel products than those from any other country
- Preferential access to Europe
- Large, talented labor pool
- Growing capacity of the labor force
- Expanded infrastructure for the easy establishment of businesses in industrial parks and free trade zones
- Longstanding relationships with U.S. importers, brands, and retailers
- Crucial support for the sector from the U.S. government
Unique Legal and Locational Advantages for Investors
Bolstered by the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and the HOPE, HOPE II and HELP Acts (see the U.S. Trade Preferences section for more information), which provide duty-free entry for certain Haitian products to U.S. markets, apparel production in Haiti is growing. In 2013, it employed 29,000 workers and accounted for nearly one-tenth of GDP; 2014 saw further expansion, with employment exceeding 36,000 and exports hitting US$ 850 million.
With the implementation of planned investments and expansions, exports from Haiti are expected to cross the US$1 billion mark in 2015. Importantly, there is considerable room for additional growth. In particular, untapped opportunities for preferential access to the U.S. market exist within the framework of the HOPE, HOPE II and HELP Acts. The current volume of exports represents only a fraction of the available quota. Moreover, preferences for exports of certain apparel and non-apparel goods to the United States are quota free, a particularly valuable advantage for investors who locate their manufacturing facilities in Haiti. (See Table).
Another key advantage is Haiti’s physical proximity to the United States, which results in short shipping times. The transit time from Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien to Port Everglades in Florida is three days. Upon arrival, customs procedures in Miami are expedited by Haiti’s participation in the electronic visa information system (ELVIS) of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, permitting quick dispatch to retail distribution centers within the United States.
How can CFI assist you?
- The garment sector in Haiti has great potential for growth and great potential for investment. The CFI actively supports investors during all stages of their investment decision-making process. Its dedicated, skilled and professional staff is available to deliver specialized services including:
- Supplying general and customized reports on investment opportunities in the apparel sector, as well as information relating to the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks and processes
- Facilitating visits to Haiti by potential investors and arranging suitable meetings, including with government agencies and organizations in Haiti that could support the investment process
- Facilitating identification of suitable sites for a proposed investment project
- Helping to ensure smooth entry and establishment of an investment project, through the provision of information and assistance with acquiring permits and licenses, as well as with business registration processes;
- Providing information on relevant Haiti-based consulting services and suppliers
- Offering aftercare services to established investors to support a smooth business operating environment as well reinvestment and development plans in Haiti; and
- Supporting investors seeking to benefit from Haiti’s fiscal incentives regime.