(Updates with project details, background; adds byline)
By Kevin Gray
MIAMI (Reuters) - The World Bank's developmentfinancing arm and the governments of Haiti and the UnitedStates signed an agreement Monday with South Korean clothingproducer Sae-A to develop an industrial park and garmentmanufacturing operation in Haiti.
The planned project will be one of the biggest newmanufacturing initiatives in Haiti following a Jan. 12earthquake that killed up to 300,000 people and dealt a heavyblow to the economy of the poor Caribbean country.
The initiative, which includes the Inter-AmericanDevelopment Bank, is expected to create 10,000 jobs, theInternational Finance Corporation said in a statement.
Sae-A Trading Company Limited is one of South Korea'sleading textile manufacturers and exporters.
Multilateral organizations and international aid groups arehoping to revitalize Haiti's clothing sector, which before thequake accounted for about 75 percent of the country's exportsand employed more than 25,000 people.
The Haitian government and its aid partners have longviewed the garment industry as a vehicle for development in thepoorest country in the Americas.
An IFC spokesperson told Reuters the estimated total costof the new project was seen between $10 million and $25million, depending on infrastructure needs, plus workingcapital.
The facility will be located either just north of theHaitian capital, Port-au-Prince, or on the country's northerncoast. The project will include the development of ports androads, as well as access to energy and logistics.
Haiti is struggling to recover from the devastating quake,with more than 1.3 million survivors still living in tentcities.
Foreign governments, multilateral bodies andnongovernmental groups from around the world pledged $9.9billion in March to help the country after the earthquake.
But the international aid community has faced criticismthat efforts to clear the rubble, relocate survivors and launchthe reconstruction have been slow.
This week in New York, former U.S. President Bill Clinton,the U.N. special envoy for Haiti, is hosting a gathering ofheads of states and business leaders hoping to push governmentsto fulfill their pledges of billions of dollars inreconstruction aid.
President Barack Obama signed a law in May aimed atopening the U.S. market to more clothes made in Haiti, hopingto help lure investment to the industry.
Last week, an Argentine energy and agribusinessentrepreneur announced plans with a Haiti-based business groupto build a $33 million, 240-room business hotel inPort-au-Prince in the first big new investment in the country'shospitality sector. (Reporting by Pascal Fletcher and Kevin Gray; Editing by DanGrebler)