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Department of Commerce Links Florida Firms with Haiti's Recovery and Reconstruction Needs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Commerce Links Florida Firms with Haiti's Recovery and Reconstruction Needs

Florida companies learned how they can participate in the rebuilding efforts in Haiti today at the Haitian Reconstruction and Development Conference in Miami. Rick Wade, senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, participated in the conference’s opening session and delivered closing remarks.

Hosted by the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise Florida, the conference connected public sector experts in procurement, trade, financing, and the Haitian economy with Florida companies offering expertise in critical areas such as agriculture, farming, textiles, tourism and urban housing and development.

“Participation by the private sector in Haiti’s reconstruction will help to create jobs in Haiti as well as support jobs in America,” Wade said during his opening remarks. “This will lead to a lasting partnership through which both Haiti and the United States will grow.”

The conference included speakers from Commerce’s International Trade Administration and Minority Business Development Agency, Haiti’s Miami Consulate, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. 

This was the third in a series of events that support the goals of the Haitian Government’s Action Plan for National Recovery and Development of Haiti. The next event is planned for June 7 in Philadelphia. A two-day conference, titled “Building a New Haiti: Commerce, Business and Investment,” is also planned for June 9-11 in Port-au-Prince.

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. The Inter-American Development Bank estimates reconstruction costs following the devastating earthquake will range between $8 billion and $14 billion.

The Haitian Government’s Action Plan for National Recovery and Development can be viewed here.