Trade represents 37% of Haiti's GDP (World Bank, 2021). The high cost of port transportation, corruption and lack of investments are major obstacles to development of foreign trade. A small, undeveloped financial sector does not adequately support the private sector. Most financial transactions are handled informally and credit for new business ventures remains severely constrained. Political turmoil further debilitates Haiti's trade potential. Haiti mainly exports clothing, scrap metal, vegetable oils, dates and cocoa, while importing rice, cotton fabric, vehicles and fuel (Trading Economics). According to IMF Foreign Trade Forecasts, the volume of exports of goods and services increased by an estimated 1.4% in 2022 and is expected to increase by 3% in 2023, while the volume of imports of goods and services decreased by an estimated 6.2% in 2022 and is expected to increase by 6.4% in 2023.
The island's main trading partners are the United States (84% of total exports), the Dominican Republic (3.2%), Canada (3%), Mexico (2.1%), and China (1.1%) (UNCTAD data). Main suppliers are the United States (20.7% of total imports), China (18.8%), Netherlands Antilles (15.7%), and Indonesia (8.5%) (CIA World Factbook). Although Haiti does not grant preferred tariffs to any nation, the country is open to trade. Custom duties are not too high (from 0% to 20%), with the exception of oil (90%), and the average applied tariff rate is 6.6%. The country does not have many trade barriers. However, customs duties on finished goods are higher than those on raw materials.
Haiti imports much more than it exports, resulting in a significant trade deficit of USD 3,4 billion in 2021. According to the latest available data, in 2021, exports of goods amounted to USD 960 million, while imports reached USD 3,2 billion. The country exported USD 111 million worth in services and imported USD 618 million. Although the COVID-19 pandemic strongly impacted the exportation of goods, mainly due to a decrease in U.S. demand, textile exports are expected to significantly increase in the coming years with a rebound of international economy. However, exports of agricultural products are expected to keep declining due to the weakness and vulnerability of the sector.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||3,877||4,822||4,513||2,971||3,232|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||999||1,078||1,200||721||960|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||991||1,143||1,013||566||618|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||489||663||488||201||111|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||10||3||4||-18||3|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||-1||-7||7||-40||1|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||-3,152||-3,732||-3,318||-2,879||-3,474|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||46||47||49||37||37|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||35||36||37||30||30|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||11||11||12||8||7|
Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.
To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows
|0.5 bn USD of services exported in 2019|
|Personal travelPersonal travel||85.15%|
|1.0 bn USD of services imported in 2019|
|Personal travelPersonal travel||21.32%|
Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data
Member of Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
Member of Organization of American States (OAS)
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Latest Update: September 2023