France and Haiti
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 traditionally been limited, political relations have been marked by President François Hollande’s visit to Port-au-Prince on 12 May 2015 and President Jovenel Moïse’s visit to Paris on 11 and 12 December 2017.
French community: 1,388 on the register of French people living abroad Haitian community in France: 87,000
Haitian consulates in France: Paris, Cayenne, Pointe-à-Pitre and Bordeaux
Visits and meetings
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 the French Republic, 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 to Port-au-Prince and Jérémie on 17 and 18 December 2016.
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 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 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 increased to €22.2 million in 2018, up from the €6-9 million in the previous years. Some 90% was comprised of essential oils, mainly vetiver oil.
Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, France’s presence in the country developed through reconstruction projects. Despite the deteriorating situation, a small number of French companies remain there in the sectors of energy (Rubis, Akuo Energy), infrastructure (Vinci, Bolloré, Razel-Bec), water (Lysa), media (Canal+) and services (AGS).
Click here for Haiti’s economic statistics sheet : key figures on bilateral trade and support services for French businesses
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 AFD has been working in Haiti since 1976, mainly in the sectors of agriculture, urban services and more recently health, education and governance. It was very active in the country following the natural disasters in Haiti during the last decade (2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016) and is continuing its work by adapting its response to the changing situation.
In 2020 and 2021, the AFD acted quickly to support the COVID-19 response in the areas of prevention, diagnostics and treatment.
Our cultural 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 five Alliance Française branches in the country, the Institut Français of Haiti and the Lycée Alexandre Dumas, with a student body of 725.
In the field of police cooperation, France is providing long-term support for the professionalization of the Haitian National Police. Attention is also focused on fighting organized crime, with a regional approach and programmes extended to all of the Greater Antilles.
French food aid (€3 million in 2021) 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.
France provided emergency assistance following the devastating earthquake on 14 August 2021.
Haiti is a beneficiary of ODA from French territorial communities and is the country with the most partnerships in the Americas, after Canada and the United States.
Updated: 21 September 2021