Address by Minister Paradis: Launch of the BRANDAID Haiti collection

I'm pleased to be here this evening to celebrate the launch of the Haiti BRANDAID collection.

I'd like to congratulate the master artisans of Haiti on their outstanding work.

I'd also like to point out that almost half of them are women.

Having had the opportunity to travel to Haiti this past summer, I am not at all surprised that such a beautiful country is able to produce such magnificent creations.

Considering that each item was made by hand, it is like having a little piece of Haiti in Canadian homes.

I'd also like to highlight the work of the Trade Facilitation Office Canada.

The efforts on the part of the Office to open the Canadian market to smaller exporters from developing countries are crucial.

And, of course, special thanks go to the Hudson's Bay Company, which will provide floor and shelf space for the sale of these products.

More importantly, The Bay will be helping to expand this small export market for Haiti's master artisans.

Last, I'd like to commend the co-founders of the BRANDAID project, Cameron Brohman and Tony Pigott.

These two men have taken an innovative approach to developing markets, increasing prosperity and combating poverty.

The Haiti BRANDAID collection is a practical example of how cooperation with the private sector can help generate economic opportunities in developing countries.

The private sector occupies a unique position to stimulate the sustainable economic growth needed to reduce poverty.

Cooperation with the private sector leads to job creation.

It promotes prosperity and stability.

It is also the surest way to break the cycle of dependence.

Developing countries get in a better position to invest the revenues from a prosperous economy into their citizens' well being.

This project is a small step towards achieving this objective—with others to follow.

It helps artists develop their potential.

It improves their prospects for the future and gives them greater independence.

Also, it provides them with the means not only to earn their living, but also to improve their lives.

And so, tonight, I honour the BRANDAID project, which gives Haiti's master artisans the opportunity to use their talent.

Our government will continue to support projects that generate revenues, stimulate the economy and create a more prosperous future.

Thank you.

The Honourable Christian Paradis
Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie