Fashion Icon Donna Karan, Explores Investment Opportunities in Haiti’s Heartland
Two-city tour showcases strong potential for job creation in tourism and design sectors
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Internationally-acclaimed fashion designer Donna Karan accompanied Haitian Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul, as he visited the cities of Jeremiah and Jacmel during his “listening campaign.”
The visits, a continuation of the Minister’s tour of Haiti’s heartland, are aimed at advancing the government’s goals for building a sustainable economy through investments that support decentralization and drive job creation across all sectors, and throughout all the communities of Haiti.
Minister Mayard Paul and Ms. Karan met with Jacmel’s Tourism Minister Ms. Stephanie B. Villedrouin and visited several hotels and tourist sites damaged by the January 2010 earthquake, including the Hotel Florita, the Jacmelienne Hotel and other severely damaged structures along the coast of the Southeast.
According to the Minister, these structures hold investment opportunities for the region. “Prior to the earthquake, Jacmel was one of Haiti’s wealthiest cities, with considerable tourist assets,” said Mayard-Paul. “With its favorable location, it holds great potential for development and job creation for this region.”
In visiting the city of Jeremiah, Mayard-Paul solicited the needs of residents, and vowed to deliver on their requests for jobs through the ongoing efforts of the Martelly government to make Haiti a country favorable to business for national and international investors. To that end, the Minister of the Interior escorted Ms. Karan to an exhibition of local art and handicrafts on Jeremiah’s city square. In viewing the work of Haitian painters, sculptors and craft persons, Ms. Karan reiterated her passion for Haiti as a nation where “each person is creative” and promised to assist Haitian artisans in promoting their works. “Creativity can be manifested into jobs,” Ms. Karan said, an ardent supporter of Haiti through her company Urban Zen. “The craftwork of Haiti is a model for job creation and education in Haiti. The best investment in Haiti is in her people. Their desire to work says much about their spirit, soul and pride.”
Mayard-Paul also visited Jeremiah’s police station, addressing requests for the redevelopment of the premises, and reassuring authorities that the government is working towards long-term, sustainable solutions. “President Martelly and his administration are implementing every measure to achieve concrete and positive changes,” said Mayard-Paul. “Collaboration and cooperation aimed at attracting local and international investment projects will help us achieve our vision for creating sustainable development for Haiti.”