TBY talks to HE Jovenel Moïse, President of the Republic of Haiti, on Caribbean economic growth, trade with Dubai, and tourism prospects.

What opportunities for growth do you see in Latam and the Caribbean?

I think that Latin America and the Caribbean nowadays have a lot of opportunities when we talk about economic growth, and most of the countries are expanding within the region. As a consequence, people from the Caribbean must continue focusing, for example, on areas such a technology, innovation, and industrial agriculture, and we must identify other opportunities further down the road. That is something that must become a state policy, which, as a matter of fact, I mentioned during my electoral campaign, along with the political stability that this can generate.

What are the synergies between Haiti and Dubai that business can leverage?

Countries located in the Gulf, and especially in the UAE, have great experience when it comes to oil production and how to diversify the economy and that brings opportunities to countries such as Haiti. For example, we signed an agreement 19 years ago in order to export wool to the US without any taxes. This includes 5,000 different products. This represents a chance for Emirati firms to invest today in order gain even more access to the North and South American markets. Hence, this is a chance for the investment located in the UAE to come to Haiti and afterward to the US, especially in electronics, technology, agriculture, and cruise ships tourism. In fact, in Haiti, we receive 800 cruise ships each year with the Royal Caribbean brand, because there are a lot of attractions and we have five islands that are popular with tourists. Thus, this is something that we would like to improve. We'd like to attract investment from the UAE so we can work together to develop these islands, including by reclaiming land, as seen in Singapore, bringing financial ventures and developing cities for the future.

How do forums like GBF2019 facilitate business partnerships?

It is an opportunity for Haiti and that is the reason why I attended this event. In fact, we have the opportunity and the possibility to create new ties between Dubai and Haiti, and Dubai and the Caribbean. The importance of participating at such events is to network and take advantage of a platform of entrepreneurs. The event is important for their businesses and of course to boost businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is an opportunity for the Emirates to invest, and to invest in Haiti. In fact, I personally encourage this kind of event and even more in the Caribbean, and why not Haiti for the next GBF in 2020?