South Korea's Hansae, one of the world's largest apparel manufacturers, is betting on Haiti as a base to target American market, reducing its reliance on Vietnam.
A Korean language note released by the company explains that Haiti offers competitive advantages, despite the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is supposed to boost Vietnam's attractiveness as an outsourcing base.
Hansae has announced it will establish a plant in Haiti's state run Sonapi Industrial Park, which will employ 5,000 people and start production as early as the second half of 2016. The US grants tariff-free treatment on certain Haiti-manufactured textile and apparel goods under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA).
"With the Haiti project, we will shift our current production location proportion of 60% in Vietnam, 20% in Indonesia and 20% Latin America [including the Caribbean] to 50%, 25% and 25% respectively," Hansae's note explains.
It also has factories in South Korea, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, the US-controlled Mariana Islands and Nicaragua and Guatemala, it is consulting with the Haiti authorities to overcome these shortcomings.