Haitian president calls for partnership between Zambia and Haiti

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March 17, 2014 - Haitian President Mr. Michel Joseph Martelly has called on Zambia to partner with his country as the two countries share a common heritage and have a lot in common especially in so far as the agriculture and textile industries are concerned.

President Martelly urged the two countries to cooperate in exploiting the American market where both countries' selected products enjoy preferential treatment especially under the apparel and agro products category.

The Haitian leader says Haiti was open to investment adding that the country was rebuilding after the massive earthquake that destroyed much of the country's infrastructure.

President Martelly was speaking in Port au Prince today when Zambia's Ambassador to Haiti Palan Mulonda presented his credentials at the National Palace.

Mr. Martelly said his country was looking for investment that created employment instead of charity and proposed for a Zambian business delegation to see the opportunities available in Haiti.

"We are rebuilding our nation and need to build ports, dams and buildings that were damaged by the earthquake" Mr. Martelly said.

The President said that his government had four key areas that it focusses on; these are education, energy, environment and rule of law.

Mr. Martelly also called for cultural exchanges between Zambia and Haiti adding that the latter was an extension of Africa.

The President said his country is keen on working with African countries and called for result oriented partnerships with Zambia if the two countries are to fully develop their economies.

And in presenting his letters of credence to President Martelly, Ambassador Mulonda pledged to enhance the bilateral relations between the two nations in the areas of agriculture and the textile industry which were priority areas for President Michael Chilufya Sata.

Mr. Mulonda expressed Zambia's desire to engage in bilateral cooperation aimed at sharing best practices in agricultural production, as agriculture was a key sector in Haiti.

He added that Zambia stands ready to collaborate and share experiences under the preferential treatment initiatives on access to the American market.

"President Sata has noted with pleasure the positive steps taken by Haiti to contribute to the development of Africa through the African union's 2063 agenda that emphasizes on reconnecting with the African diaspora through the theme "Pan Africanism and Renaissance". Mr. Mulonda said

Ambassador Mulonda added that President Sata was happy to note the recent participation of Haiti in the Africa Union conferences as observers from the diaspora and looked forward to further engagement.

Mr. Mulonda further noted that President Michael Chilufya Sata was confident that using platforms such as the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) adopted within the AU framework, Haiti and Zambia could explore ways of sharing best practices considering the fact that a good proportion of the two countries' peoples are predominantly farmers.

Zambia and Haiti share common crops including maize, coffee, sugar cane and mangoes.

Mr. Mulonda reiterated Zambia's desire to look into any other areas of cooperation that would mutually benefit the two countries including promotion of cultural exchanges.

Later Ambassador Mulonda laid a wreath at the National Mausoleum for the founding fathers of Haiti where he was taken on a tour of the mausoleum that contains the history of Haiti from the 17th century through the slave trade to date.