import-substitution (see Glossary)
gave most local factories generous import protection from
1970s to the mid-1980s, thereby insulating them from
competition. Industries of this kind produced paper,
cardboard, footwear, leather, food products, beverages,
plastics, metals, building materials, textiles,
beer, and other basic goods. Most local factories were
medium in size. Some very small producers demonstrated
ingenuity in transforming virtual junk into usable goods,
limited domestic market and the weak purchasing power of
Haitians severely limited economies of scale, forcing most
enterprises to function inefficiently and below capacity.
handful of local manufacturers, who produced rum, paints,
essential oils, leather, and handicrafts, were able to
their businesses through exports. Haitian rum was of
quality, as were the country's handicrafts.
organizations were particularly active in marketing
in the United States and Europe.
In 1986 the CNG enacted broad import-liberalization
and abolished long-standing import protection, forcing
producers to compete internationally. As a consequence,
manufacturing, already hampered by competition with
goods smuggled into Haiti from the Dominican Republic,
experienced a painful transition in the late 1980s. Many
manufacturers closed their doors.
The other major manufacturing subsector was large-scale
production by state-owned enterprises of items such as
oils, sugar, flour, and cement. From 1980 to 1985, the
either built, or bought, a majority share in five of the
country's largest manufacturing companies. As the losses
inefficient parastatals mounted, reaching more than 4
GDP from 1982 to 1985, international lenders increasingly
pressured the government to divest its interests in these
ventures, a process that began after 1986.
Data as of December 1989