The Minnis administration announced plans to begin importing produce from the impoverished island-nation Haiti yesterday.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis made known his government’s intentions to partner with Haiti, following a high-level meeting at the National Palace of the Republic of Haiti with President His Excellencey Jovenel Moise.
The talks were held in the margins of the 29th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), presently ongoing in the nation’s Port-au-Prince.
Prime minster Minnis spoke to members of the press after the meeting expressing his optimism about the meeting’s results and said he expects the import agreement to materialize before year’s end.
“I have never seen such love, passion and admiration demonstated by a populous for its president,” said Minnis.
“This shows that they are convinced and believe that, like I do, that he is on the right track and I most certainly believer that he is… in developing a new and better Haiti as we are doing for the Bahamas.”
The meeting focused on implementing three Agreements between both countries’ government signed in Nassau back on July 29, 2014.
The agreements include 1) a framework for bilateral cooperation; 2) an agreement on trade and technical cooperation in the area of quality control for agricultural products and exportable fisheries; and 3) an agreement on the promotion and protection of investments.
Both Minnis and Moise addressed issues of mutual interest while reaffirming their commitment to mutual cooperation and development of both countries.
Other commitments, according to a joint-communique released yesterday state that both heads:
- Noted the excellent relations between the two countries, which have always been marked by fraternity, friendship and solidarity, and reaffirmed their determination to do everything possible to strengthen and develop them further;
- Expressed their determination to address the migratory situation and to undertake joint initiatives that could contribute to reducing the flow of migration to The Bahamas;
- Expressed their determination to find effective solutions to resolve the identification problem of Haitian nationals in The Bahamas; to this end, the Government of Haiti has decided to establish a centre of delivery and collection of identification of documents at the Embassy of Haiti in Nassau;
- Underscored the need for the creation of economic, commercial and investment opportunities between the private sectors in Haiti and The Bahamas, particularly in the Northern and Northwest region of Haiti;
- Expressed their desire to strengthen trade links for the purchase and sale of agricultural products and seafood and exportable fisheries between the two countries, through accepted international quality control standards;
- Emphasised the need to develop a maritime agreement between the two countries for maritime border control and to encourage closer collaboration between national, regional and international law enforcement institutions, including information sharing for greater effectiveness in combating illegal immigration, illicit trafficking in narcotics, the smuggling of migrants, and transnational organized crime.
- Affirmed their willingness to develop cultural and sports cooperation by encouraging in their respective countries the establishment of links between cultural, academic and other institutions, for a better knowledge of their respective cultures through exchanges of exhibitions, music, dance and other forms of culture and art, and exchanges between institutions and sports groups.
- Expressed their determination to cooperate in the area of tourism through information sharing of best practices and training opportunities.