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Five Years Later, Is Haiti Really Open for Business?

Bloomberg TV takes an in-depth look at Haiti's push for foreign investment

Here's a not-so-surprising headline: The long-suffering nation of Haiti is still suffering. It's been five years since a massive earthquake crumbled the capital Port-au-Prince. An estimated $9 billion was pledged for earthquake relief, but today there isn’t much to show for all that money. Yes, most of the rubble has been cleared away, there are pockets of reconstruction, and life goes on. But life goes on in much the same way it did before the earthquake: Poverty, high unemployment, crime, and corruption remain rampant. The hope was that all that relief money—which came to about three times Haiti’s annual budget—would not only repair the damage but also help the country dig itself out of economic ruin once and for all. That doesn't seem to have happened. 

Now the democratic government, elected in 2011, is trying a new marketing campaign that officials hope will bring in desperately needed revenue. They're saying Haiti is “Open for Business” and encouraging foreign investors to set up shop in the country. Several international companies are starting to see success—telecoms, manufacturing, and beverages are industries investing big in Haiti. What isn't clear is what foreign investment will do for most of the nation's people, who the World Bank estimates live on $2.50 a day on average.