Above: a waterfront rehabilitation project in in Port-au-Prince (UN Photo/Logan Abassi)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti’s Banque de la Republique d’Haiti central bank and the International Finance Corporation have signed a memorandum aimed at expanding leasing options for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and create new jobs in the country.
About half of leasing and credit needs of Haiti’s 900,000 MSMEs are met, according to a 2010 study by consulting firm McKinsey and the IFC, creating an estimated $2.5 billion loan-financing gap.
MSMEs employ roughly 80 percent of Haiti’s workers.
The new partnership will help develop to draft leasing legislation and regulation, improve knowledge about leasing among regulators and help financial institutions in Haiti with early-stage technical assistance.
“This partnership with IFC will help increase the type of financial mechanisms we can provide to Haitian entrepreneurs, enabling them to grow and create jobs in Haiti,” said Banque de la Republique d’Haiti Governor Charles Castel.
The initiative will also include a series of leasing workshops in collaboration with the bank to train government officials and small businesses in leasing skills.
“In Haiti, small businesses urgently need increased access to financing, and leasing can provide the type of term financing required for these businesses to purchase equipment and increase their operations,” said Jean-Philippe Prosper, IFC director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “In many parts of the developing world, leasing has unlocked the possibility for small-business owners to build thriving companies in sectors such as construction, transportation, services and agriculture.”
The project is also being supported by the Spanish Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group.