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Former President Clinton, Trade Delegation in Haiti


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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is in Haiti with a trade delegation as part of his campaign to promote private investment in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Mr. Clinton -- the United Nations special envoy for Haiti -- and his delegation, arrived early Thursday for a two-day visit. The former president's agenda includes meetings with Prime Minister Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis and President René Preval. Mr. Clinton was also delivering the keynote address at a conference of the Inter-American Development Bank.

Prime Minister Pierre-Louis opened Thursday's conference at a convention center near the capital, Port-au-Prince. She told investors that Haiti offers the comparative advantages of huge access to the U.S., Canadian, European and Caribbean markets, as well as a young and eager labor force.

Her remarks come two days after Mr. Clinton said Haiti has a good chance to pull itself out of poverty. Development in Haiti has suffered severe setbacks from political violence, corruption, a lack of law and order and natural disasters.

Haiti currently ranks as the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

This is Mr. Clinton's third trip to the country this year, and his second as the U.N. special envoy for Haiti.

Mr. Clinton's deputy, Paul Farmer, is accompanying him. Farmer, a physician, was appointed to the post in August. The U.N. says that in 1983, Farmer worked in Haiti as a student to bring modern health care to impoverished citizens in the country's Central Plateau.


Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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