3 'doable initiatives' that could lead to economic growth in Haiti

·1 min read
Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

Haiti, which is reeling from the assassination of its former President Jovenel Moïse, should "focus on economic growth" to end "chronic" political dysfunction and poverty, Noah Smith writes for Bloomberg.

Smith suggested the country launch three "doable initiatives" that some of its neighbors in the Caribbean have embraced. His first idea is to boost Haiti's tourism industry, which he argues should be done by gradually "creating small oases of security" and building up infrastructure near those enclaves with foreign financing. Smith acknowledges there would be backlash to this step since it would mean wealthy foreigners would get to access Haiti's "beautiful beaches while ignoring all of the locals except for the people who work at their hotels," but he believes securing the long-term benefits is crucial.

Turning to agriculture, Smith writes that Haiti should look to Jamaica's Rural Economic Development Initiative as an example of how to improve crop yields and rural incomes. Additionally, he says, "modernizing small farms can help make them robust against the island's frequent natural disasters."

Finally, Smith makes the case for Haiti becoming "a tax haven." Like Smith's tourism strategy, this idea is not without controversy since it would help wealthy companies "skirt their tax bills" at a time when many governments are seeking to band together to end the practice, but "it would bring in some much-needed money and could help develop a national habit of protecting property rights." Read Smith's full piece at Bloomberg.

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