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Senior Commerce Department Official Visits Haiti for Opening of First School Built Since January Earthquake

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 21, 2010
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-2804

U.S. Commerce Department and American businesses lead efforts to rebuild Haiti

U.S. Commerce Department Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Wade visited Haiti today for the opening of the L’Ecole Nouvelle Royal Caribbean School in Labadee, the first school to be built after the devastating January earthquake.  The Commerce Department and American businesses spearheaded the effort to build the school, which is a project between Royal Caribbean International and InnoVida, a Miami-based producer of residential and commercial buildings.

“The Commerce Department has been actively involved in encouraging U.S. businesses and the Haitian Diaspora to help in Haiti’s recovery, which will create jobs in Haiti and support jobs in America,” Wade said.  “This school will provide more than 240 children from nearby rural communities with a formal education from kindergarten through sixth grade.”

The Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and InnoVida have been working together since the earthquake to bring the company’s energy-efficient, affordable, and high-quality building solutions to Haiti for its reconstruction.

Royal Caribbean has been working with Haiti and its people for more than 30 years.  During this time, Royal Caribbean has strived to enhance the well being of communities in Haiti as well as throughout the Caribbean.

To ensure that the private sector is a key player in the “new” Haiti, ITA has hosted five business outreach events – from rebuilding roads to schools to seaports and airports.  These outreach events have been extremely successful in providing information to potential investors and exporters along with networking opportunities for the private sector.

“With the right tools and information, U.S. private-sector businesses can undertake projects like the building of the L’Ecole Nouvelle Royal Caribbean School,” Wade said.  “Royal Caribbean and InnoVida, along with the hundreds of Haitians who built the school, offer an inspiring example of the promise in Haiti’s rebuilding.  This project is a win-win for everyone, but most especially for the people of Haiti.”