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Haiti dream project: Will China make it happen?

Major works to renovate Port-au-Prince, Haiti are scheduled to begin in December 2017. The ambitious project encompasses the mega sum of US$30 billion that the People’s Republic of China would invest in Haiti as it extends its reach through the Caribbean and Central America. The proposed infrastructure works call for the installation of much needed modern hygiene, water, transport, energy, telecommunication, road and security systems in the Haitian capital city.

Diario Libre points out that the renovation work would create around 20,000 jobs for Haitians in Haiti, boost social and economic development, and significantly reduce the pace of immigration to the Dominican Republic. The investment also creates more opportunities for the Dominican Republic to sell goods and services to Haiti.

As reported in DR1 Daily News earlier this week, the Mayor of Port-au-Prince Ralph Youri Chevry has accepted the offer made by the Southwest Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute (Sichuan) for a first phase of the project to start this fall. Diario Libre mentions that a first disbursement for the construction works would be made no later than 30 September 2017. The works would be carried out by the consortium Bati Ayiti, S.A., its partners and Southwest Municipal Engineering Research Institute of China.

A mission from the People’s Republic of China was in Port-au-Prince for eight days of meetings that ended on Wednesday, 2 August. As reported in Haiti Libre online news service, these meetings also focused on the reconstruction of the main building of the Town Hall and the construction of several public markets in Port-au-Prince.

Haiti Libre reported that Ralph Youri Chevy has confirmed his acceptance in principle of the offer by the People’s Republic of China government on the preliminary project of municipal renovation of Port-au-Prince. But that the letter “does not commit anything but makes it possible to make progress if necessary in the development of project”.

Haiti Libre observes that there still is only “a general draft that contains proposals for water and drainage works, road improvements, environmental protection, drainage and sanitation, a communication network and the reconstruction of the old town of Port-au –Prince.” The initial infrastructure investment is estimated at US$4.711 billion, reports Haiti Libre, while observing that yet the terms and conditions of this financing are still unknown. This would be invested over an initial three to five years.

Haiti Libre explains that the proposal has not yet officially been studied by the central government of Haiti. The newspaper expresses its skepticism: “Caution is required when faced by this important draft project, which has been presented in a preliminary marketing phase by a Chinese company, to a municipal politician, both of whom benefit in terms of visibility for one and political capital for the other, while waiting to learn more. Numerous large-scale projects are proposed from time to time in Haiti, but none so far has been born…”

The marketing YouTube video highlights that the proposed municipal infrastructure project encompasses road engineering, water supply and drainage engineering, environmental sanitation engineering, power supply engineering and communication engineering. See the proposal here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5vmt77tLmc

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Aug 31, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated November 17, 2017 at 12:17 PM
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