Taiwan grants USD 150 mn to build extensive electric grid in Haiti

Last week's defection of Burkina Faso to China, and the switching of neighbor the Dominican Republic's allegiance to Beijing earlier this month, Taiwan has agreed to loan USD 150 million dollars to Haiti to electrify the whole Caribbean island country, reports Haiti Libre.

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse began his current five-day visit to Taiwan with a 30-member delegation, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Jude Alix Patrick Salomon, announced that Taiwan has granted a loan of USD 150 million dollars to build an extensive electric grid in Haiti.

As one of Taiwan's last Caribbean allies, Haiti finds itself in an unusual position of having two suitors willing to offer large sums of money to woo them to their side, and this time around the country is looking to shift away from charity and head toward long-term development.

In response to the news of the USD150 million-dollar project, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee said at that a policy priority of Haiti's president is to improve the power supply to better meet the energy needs of the Haitian people. Lee said that based on the needs of Taiwan's allies, it will arrange visits to related domestic facilities, however, the specifics on the mode of assistance will require further discussions with the government of Haiti.

During his current trip to Taiwan, Moïse on Tuesday emphasized that “Haiti is willing to strengthen cooperative partnership with Taiwan so that the relationship between the two countries can be long-lasting and robust.” In exchange, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said that Taiwan is looking forward seeing the two nations support one another in the pursuit of sustainable development.

In June of last year, Moïse pledged to build a new energy network to provide electricity to the country 24 hours a day within the next 18 to 24 months. The planned grid would cover 600 kilometers and supply power to 16 major cities and ten departments.