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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Links Haiti Reconstruction Needs with Capabilities of U.S. Firms

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Links Haiti Reconstruction Needs with Capabilities of U.S. Firms

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke reaffirmed the support of the Obama administration and the Commerce Department for Haiti’s reconstruction efforts following January’s devastating earthquake at today’s Haiti Reconstruction Business Dialogue hosted at the Department. Locke was joined by senior government and private sector representatives to discuss how American companies can help aid Haiti’s reconstruction efforts.

“As with any recovery, Haiti’s efforts will focus in large measure on the creation of jobs and opportunities for its people,” Locke told the audience of more than 300 American companies. “You—the private sector—will play a critical role in providing these opportunities through trade and investment that will benefit people in both Haiti and the United States.”

Haitian Minister of Tourism Patrick Delatour, who is charged with leading Haiti’s reconstruction efforts, briefed businesses on the country’s pressing needs.

January’s earthquake, which resulted in more than 230,000 lives lost, ranked among the 10 worst natural disasters in recorded history, and the worst in the Western Hemisphere. A recent study by the Inter-American Development Bank estimates reconstruction costs at between $8 billion and $14 billion. The Haitian Government’s Action Plan for National Recovery and Development of Haiti highlights the revitalization of five sectors: agriculture, farming, textiles, tourism and urban housing/development.

The Department is planning other outreach events in New York, Miami and Philadelphia to engage the U.S. private sector and the Haitian diaspora.

For New York, visit: http://www.buyusa.gov/nyc/haitireconstruction.html

For Miami, visit: http://miamichamber.com/cwt/External/WCPages/WCEvents/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=2673

For Philadelphia, visit: http://www.buyusa.gov/philadelphia/reconstructhaiti.html