Economy of Haiti

Economy of Haiti

According to businesscarriers, Haiti remains an underdeveloped agricultural country. In terms of economic development, it is one of the ten most economically backward countries in the world and is the poorest and most backward country in the Western Hemisphere. GDP per capita $1.7 (2001). GDP structure: agriculture 30%, industry 20%, services 50%. Average annual inflation rate 14% (2001).
Government budget: revenues $273 million, expenditures $361 million, deficit $88 million (2001).

Increase in industrial production 0.6% (2001).

Electricity generation 522 million kWh (31% of them are generated by hydroelectric power plants).

The economically active population is 3.6 million people, of which 2/3 do not have a permanent job, part, as a rule, is employed in the informal sector of the economy (2001).

Employment structure: agriculture 66%, services 25%, industry 9% (2001).

Foreign trade: export – 326.6 million dollars, import – 977.5 million dollars (2001).

The dominant position in the Haitian economy is firmly held by US capital.

Haiti is rich in promising deposits of copper ore, iron, manganese, brown coal. Marble, sea salt, clay, sand, and limestone are also mined in Haiti. Since the 1970s Under US control, geological exploration of oil deposits is being carried out in Haiti (a concession by the American company Wendell Philips Oil for a period of 35 years – until 2007). In recent years, gold deposits have been discovered in the north of the country, the exploitation of which has recently begun.

The manufacturing industry in Haiti is based primarily on agricultural raw materials. Such export industries as sugar production and sisal production are of primary importance.

The basis of the Haitian economy is agriculture, which is largely export-oriented (40% of all exports). Not self-sufficient in its own food supply, the country experiences a chronic food shortage, importing food, mainly from the United States.

Main export crops: coffee (1/4 export), sisal, sugar cane. Of no small importance are cocoa, tobacco and cotton. For domestic consumption, corn, millet, sorghum, beans, rice (the main rice production area is the Artibonite River Valley), as well as citrus fruits, fruits and vegetables are grown.

Fishing is traditionally developed in Haiti: commercial fishing for crabs, lobsters, shrimp, lobsters and oysters, which are mainly exported, has been established.

Imports – food products, oil, cars, equipment, raw materials. The main trading partners of Haiti are the United States (90% of Haitian exports and 60% of imports), the EU countries (6% of Haitian exports and 10.5% of imports), the Dominican Republic (37% of imports).

Tourism plays an important role in the Haitian economy. The main flow of tourists, attracted by the local exoticism and picturesque rituals of Vodouist cults, comes from the USA and Western Europe.

The economic situation in the country was negatively affected by the consequences of the international embargo against Haiti (since the summer of 2000) – the blocking of financial assistance from outside (500 million US dollars), as well as a moratorium on foreign loans and credits (146 million US dollars).

Aristide’s socio-economic program (for 2001-06) is based on partnerships between the public and private sectors of the economy. The Aristide government is counting on attracting private investment, both national and foreign, necessary for the modernization of agricultural production and the fishing industry. These measures are designed to expand the possibilities of self-sufficiency of the population with their own food and reduce dependence on imports.

However, the implementation of government programs outlined in the social sphere, infrastructure and agro-industrial production is largely hampered by the economic blockade of Haiti, which is in desperate need of humanitarian assistance from the world community. Obviously, the solution of urgent socio-economic problems in Haiti is closely connected with the search for a way out of the deep political crisis that has hit the country in the past 3 years.

Science and culture of Haiti

Science in Haiti is very poorly developed. The original Haitian culture was formed as a result of a unique historical fusion of French culture as the culture of the former metropolis and the spiritual heritage of Africa – the ancestral home of the descendants of the Negro slaves of the Antilles. The cultural conductors of Western values in Haiti are the most enlightened mulatto minority (5% of the population), while the black majority (95%) remains the bearer of African traditions. The symptoms of cultural dualism are manifested in all spheres of spiritual life: religion (Catholicism and Voodooism), language (French and Creole), literature, architecture, music, political culture, etc.

The literature of Haiti reflects the main stages in the development of its turbulent history. In the 19th century it is dominated by the motives of the national liberation struggle, patriotic themes and images of the heroic past. At the same time, the work of a number of Haitian poets is developing in the spirit of imitation of the French Parnassus.

In the 20th century The consequences of the American occupation of Haiti (1915–34) caused an unprecedented national and spiritual upsurge in the country, which went down in history in the 1920s and 30s. as a Haitian “cultural renaissance” movement. Within its framework, a national literary trend of “endigenism” arose, uniting the color of the Haitian intelligentsia: J.-P. Mars, J. Roumain, J. Brière, L. Lulo, K. Bru-art, R. Depestre and others.

The main problematics of the literary “endigenist school” is connected with the theme of blackism and the rehabilitation of the African heritage, the protection of the “cultural identity” of Haiti and the ideas of struggle against the spiritual and political expansion of the United States. The youngest contemporary of the endijenist generation is the talented Haitian novelist J.-S. Alexis (1922-61), who tragically died in the dungeons of the dictator F. Duvalier. His novels – “Good General Sun” (1955), “Musician Trees” (1957), “In the Blink of an Eye” (1959), etc. received a truly world-wide fame.

The modernization of public life in Haiti in the past two decades has contributed to a reassessment of the European (French) and African contribution to the development of Haitian culture, which still retains a pronounced African coloring.

Economy of Haiti