Country Information


The Gourde (HTG) is the official currency of Haiti. The gourde can be further subdivided into 100 centimes.

The gourde was formerly pegged to the US dollar at a rate of 5 gourdes to one US dollar. Since then, however, the gourde has been placed on a floating rate. In light of the former peg, five gourdes are often referred to as a "Haitian dollar." Five centimes, in similar nature, is referred to as a "Haitian penny." In select regions of Haiti, prices are denoted in Haitian dollars rather than gourdes and customers are left to multiply the dollars by five.

Sovereign Ratings for Haiti

Haiti is not rated.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

Haiti is a presidential republic with an elected president and National Assembly. There have been, however, claims that the government is authoritarian in practice. On February 29, 2004, a rebellion culminated in the resignation of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The current interim president is Boniface Alexandre. The constitution was introduced in 1987, modeled on those of the United States and France, and was fully instated in 1994. The president is the head of state and elected by popular vote for five-year terms. He is assisted by his cabinet, which need the approval of the National Assembly. The prime minister, the head of government, is appointed by the president and ratified by the National Assembly. The bicameral National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale) is made up by Chamber of Deputies (Chambre des Députés) and the Senate (Sénat). The Chamber of Deputies has 83 members, which are elected for four-year terms. The Senate consists of 27 seats, one third elected every two years. Since the overthrow of the government in February 2004, the Senate is not sitting. The interim government does not recognize the remaining Senators. The legal system is based on the Roman civil law system. Haiti accepts compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. There is a Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation), along with the assistance of local and civil courts at a communal level.

Prominent Figures Central Bank Governor:Raymond Magloire

Interim President: Boniface Alexandre 
Interim Prime Minister: Gérard Latortue

Unique Characteristics

Haiti, located on the western end of the island Hispanola, has been a frequent victim to natural disaster. The long-term effects of natural disasters on Haiti have been substantial. The focus of production in Haiti has shifted from economic to environmental goals. Not only does Haiti's geographic location make it more prone to natural disaster, but also Haiti's deforestation and erosion caused by agricultural production has made Haiti it more susceptible to the adverse effects of natural disasters.

Key Economic Factors

Economic Overview:The life of the Haitian economy is dependent on nation donors. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere where around 80% of the population lives in poverty. In May of 2000, almost all aid from the U.S. and E.U. ceased. With this deprivation, the Haitian economy has shrunk for the 4 years ensuing the stoppage. Together with inflation, lack of investment, a severe trade deficit, Haiti's economy has taken a toll. As of early 2005, aid has resumed from other nations but their economic problems have failed to go away. Tropical Storm Jeanne in Northwestern Haiti in 2004 further impoverished Haiti.

Agriculture: Agriculture makes up 32% of Haiti's total gross domestic product. Its productivity has been profoundly affected by the adverse effects of Tropical Storm Jeanne. Haiti's primary agricultural products include coffee, mangoes, sugar cane, rice, maize, sorghum and wood.

Industries: The different industries Haiti is involved in include sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement, tourism, and light assembly.

Imports: Haiti's principle imports are food, machinery and transport equipment, and fuels.

Exports: Haiti's principle exports include coffee, mangoes, and oils.

Trading Partners: Haiti's biggest trading partners are the U.S. and E.U. with 86% percent of their exports going to the U.S. and 11% going to the E.U. Haiti imports 60% of their imports from the U.S. and 12% from the E.U.

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