Haiti has development lessons for Jamaica

Jamaica Observer:  

Robert Paret, CEO of Haitian investment bank ProFin, based in Port-au-Prince, says that his country stands ready to work with Jamaican investment banks to learn best practices.

In a presentation at the recently concluded Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Regional Investment Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, Paret noted that in comparing Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, Jamaica was clearly the regional leader in providing access to financial services to its citizens.

However, Haiti — despite publicity to the contrary —actually had a better handle on its crime and corruption.Hence there are opportunities for learning from each other.

The first chart shows how mature Jamaica’s financial sector is compared to 140 other nations in the world, and how the country ranks compared to its two Caribbean counterparts.

The second chart shows the most problematic factors for doing business in Haiti, of which access to financing is number one.

In view of this, Paret says that he strongly recommends partnership with not only Jamaican financial institutions, but the idea of cross-listing Haitian stocks on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

That said, the question is: How does Jamaica compare in its development towards First-World status?

Essentially, in comparison to the 11 pillars of development set out by the Global Competitiveness Index, Jamaica’s biggest challenge is market size. Haiti, with a population of 10.85 million, and the Dominican Republic, with a population of 10.65 million, are prime targets for Jamaican companies to tap into to compensate for a mere 2.8 million Jamaican consumers.

The next three charts outline where the three Caribbean nations rank on the road to First-World status.

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