Haiti has a mixed economy. Its major trading partner is the United States. Haiti has preferential trade access to the US market through the Haiti Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) and Haiti Economic Lift Program Encouragement Acts (HELP) legislation, which allows duty-free access, for a variety of textiles, to the US market.
Haiti has an agricultural economy. Over half of the world's vetiver oil (an essential oil used in high-end perfumes) comes from Haiti, and bananas, cocoa, and mangoes are important export crops. Haiti has also moved to expand to higher-end manufacturing, producing Android-based tablets and current sensors and transformers.
Vulnerability to natural disasters, as well as poverty and limited access to education are among Haiti's most serious disadvantages. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country's widespread deforestation. Haiti suffers from a severe trade deficit, which it is working to address by moving into higher-end manufacturing and more value-added products in the agriculture sector. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling nearly 20% of GDP. Haiti's economy was severely impacted by the 2010 Haiti earthquake which occurred on 12 January 2010....LESS