Agent X this is the second reason why I hate aristid Prime...

Paule - September 24 2011, 9:33 PM

agent X this is the second reason why I hate aristid
Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis has transferred majority ownership of the state-owned cement company to private hands, resuming Haiti's privatization process after a two-year delay, reports CANA-Reuters (May 7, 1999):

Ciment d'Haiti (Cement of Haiti) was the second of nine state firms slated to be sold under an economic reform plan championed by former Prime Minister Rosny Smarth.

Smarth resigned in June 1997, during a wave of protest marches against the controversial privatization program, which many Haitians view as the sale of their national patrimony.

He was not replaced until March of this year. Because Haiti lacked a prime minister to sign off on any privatizations, a state-owned flour mill sold before Smarth left office was the only industry on the list privatized before the cement company;

A three-company consortium (Colombian cement company Colclinker, the Haitian company National Cement Co., and Switzerland's Umar-Holderbank, one of the world's leading cement companies) bought 65% of the cement company for US$15.6 million.

The Haitian Government and private shareholders in Venezuela, Switzerland and France own the remaining 35%;

"We waited more than 20 months for a prime minister to be able to sign the contract," said Michel Presume, a member of the state Council on Modernization of Public Enterprises (CMEP).

He said the cement company's net worth is about US$24.4 million.

Before the sale, Haiti's Government had owned 88.7% of the company.

The remaining 11.3% was owned by the private stockholders;

"We are hoping the ports, airport, the electricity and telephone companies move forward as soon as possible," Presume said, listing the other state-owned enterprises slated for sale to private hands.

Haiti's Government was in a near-stalemate during the 22 months without a prime minister.

Parliament rejected President Rene Preval's first three nominations for prime minister and passed few laws, holding up millions of dollars in international aid.

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