Connected through shared language and history, neighbours because of the French territories in the Americas, Haiti and France have close ties of friendship and solidarity. While our trade relations have been limited, political relations have been strengthened by numerous high-level visits, notably the visit by President François Hollande to Port-au-Prince on 12 May 2015 and that of President Jovenel Moïse to Paris on 11 and 12 December 2017.
French community: 1 498 inscrits au registre des Français établis hors de France Communauté haïtienne en France : 62 000
Haitian consulates in France: Paris, Cayenne, Pointe-à-Pitre and Bordeaux
Mr Jovenel Moïse, President of the Republic of Haiti, was in France from 11 to 13 December 2017. He was received at the Élysée Palace by President Emmanuel Macron on 11 December and participated in the One Planet Summit on 12 December 2017.
Mr Jean-Marie Le Guen, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, carried out a working visit from 6 to 8 February 2017. He attended the inauguration ceremony of the President-elect, Mr Jovenel Moïse.
Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development carried out a working visit on 17 and 18 December 2016 to Port-au-Prince and Jérémie.
Mr François Hollande, President of France, made an official visit to Port-au-Prince on 12 May 2015. He was accompanied by the Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Ms Ségolène Royal, the Minister of Justice, Ms Christiane Taubira, the Minister of Culture and Communication, Ms Fleur Pellerin, the Minister for Overseas France, Ms George Pau-Langevin, the Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights, Ms Marisol Touraine, the Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, Ms Annick Girardin and the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, Mr Matthias Fekl.
Mr Jean-Pierre Bel, President of the French Senate, accompanied by Senator Bernard Piras, chair of the French-Caribbean Friendship Group, met with Haitian President Martelly, Prime Minister Lamotte and Senate President Desras from 29 July to 2 August 2014.
Trade between France and Haiti is very limited and stood at €72.7 million in 2018, including €50.5 million in French exports. Agrifood products represented 31%. Industrial products and mechanical equipment and electrical and information technology material account respectively for 33% and 25% of our exports. Lastly, automobiles represent 5% of the total.
Exports of Haitian products to France have grown. They stood at €22.2 million in 2018, whereas they had been between €6 and €9 million in previous years. Some 90% was comprised of essential oils, mainly vetiver oil.
While only three French groups were actively represented in Haiti (Total, Air France and CMA-CGM) before the earthquake, some twenty French companies have restarted the stream of business between our two countries.
These French-owned companies, often of a smaller size, are active in the services sector (especially commerce, publicity, hospitality and the restaurant industry) and the construction sector (large and second structures, modular constructions, materials supply). Several SMEs have also won contracts with international donors, including the company Matière, to rebuild the bridge of Montrouis.
Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation
France’s work in Haiti is based on projects led by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, local government bodies and state and partly state-controlled bodies. France’s work also takes place within European and multilateral frameworks. The EU has mobilized over €1.2 billion to reconstruct Haiti after the earthquake (2010-2015), then €420 million under the 11th EDF (European Development Fund).
Our cooperation is in line with the joint declaration signed by Haitian President Martelly and the French President, during his official visit to Port-au-Prince on 12 May 2015. The aim of this roadmap, funded by France for a total of €50 million over five years, is to implement an Education plan, in a continuum bringing together educational cooperation (teacher training and vocational training, provided by the AFD), boosting bilingualism and academic, scientific and research cooperation, with emphasis on access to and use of new technologies. It will be supported by the activities of the five Alliance Française branches in the country, the Institut Français of Haiti and the Lycée Alexandre Dumas, with a student body of 770.
In the field of police cooperation, in addition to participating in the MINUSTAH, France is providing long-term support for the professionalization of the Criminal Police. Attention is now focused on fighting organized crime, with a regional approach and programmes extended to all of the Greater Antilles.
French food aid is now entirely concentrated on local purchasing, which aims to build the capacity of Haitian farmers, with produce then allocated to the national school cafeteria programme. Since the 1990s, French territorial communities overseas and in metropolitan France have been very involved in Haiti. With nearly 30 active partnerships and €2.6 million in official development assistance from territorial communities in 2017, Haiti ranks fifth among beneficiary countries of ODA from French local government bodies and is the country with the most partnerships in the Americas, after Canada and the United States.
The second bilateral conference on decentralized cooperation was held in Port-au-Prince on 5 and 6 December 2017. More than 500 participants, including 150 representatives of French territorial communities, attended the event, which was opened by the Haitian President, and ended with the signature of numerous partnership agreements.
Updated: 20 January 2020