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 Moise to Paris on 11 and 12 December 2017.
- 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.
- 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-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, made a working visit on 17 and 18 December 2016 to Port-au-Prince and Jérémie.
- Mr Jean-Marie Le Guen, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie made a working visit from 6 to 8 February 2017. He attended the inauguration ceremony of the President-elect, Jovenel Moïse.
- 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.
Trade between France and Haiti is very limited and stood at €69.6 million in 2017, including €51.9 million in French exports. 37% of them are agrifood products. Mechanical equipment and electrical and information technology material account for 32% of our exports. Lastly, automobiles represent 6.5% of the total.
Exports of Haitian products to France increased to €18 million in 2017 from the €6 to 9 million of the years prior. Three-quarters 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.
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, vocational training, provided by AFD), boosting bilingualism and university, scientific and research cooperation, with emphasis on access to use of new technologies. It will be supported by the activities of 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 capacity of Haitian farmers, and is then attributed 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 territorial communities and 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-Princeon 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.
Regional cooperation with the French territories in the Americas benefits from open funding from the Regional Cooperation Fund (FCR) for the Antilles-Guyana zone. This cooperation is in the following fields: education (cooperation between the Université Antilles-Guyane and the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Port-au Prince); health (training Haitian doctors in Guadeloupe, support for the Port-au-Prince school for nursing and midwifery, etc.); justice and security (fighting drug trafficking, financial authorities and youth officers) and culture.
Updated: 7 January 2019