Puerto Rico gov’t to present ‘as­sets map’ at in­vest­ment sum­mit

The Star (St. Lucia) - - BUSINESS -

Puerto Rico's Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Com­merce Depart­ment (DDEC by its Span­ish ini­tials) will present a map of the gov­ern­ment's as­sets dur­ing the In­vest Puerto Rico Fo­rum to be held Sept. 20 and 21 in Mi­ra­mar's Con­ven­tions Cen­ter.

Gov. Ri­cardo Ros­selló made the an­nounce­ment along­side Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Sec­re­tary Manuel Laboy dur­ing a press con­fer­ence Tues­day in La For­taleza.

The as­set map is a cam­paign prom­ise Ros­selló has an­nounced for more than a year. The map is in­tended to point out, as he stated in the past, the ge­o­graph­i­cal po­si­tion, per­cent­age of peo­ple with col­lege de­grees, the mul­ti­ple aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions, the island's re­la­tion to the United States, its cli­mate, the qual­ity and cost of health­care ser­vices, its cul­tural her­itage, ca­pa­ble work­force, real es­tate and in­fras­truc­ture, among oth­ers. The sum­mit's goal is to present Puerto Rico as an ideal in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion to some 500 in­vestors, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment es­ti­mates. Dur­ing the event, the gov­ern­ment will ex­plain the per­mit­ting and labour re­forms im­ple­mented thus far, as well as those it ex­pects to carry out shortly such as tax and en­ergy re­form.

In times of fis­cal aus­ter­ity and eco­nomic cri­sis, the gov­er­nor stressed that Puerto Rico re­mains an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion and that this is vis­i­ble in the public pol­icy he has im­ple­mented, which dif­fers from that of pre­vi­ous years. “[We must] let busi­ness own­ers and in­vestors know that, con­trary to the past, there is a marked dif­fer­ence in terms of rev­enue pro­jec­tions. We are be­ing re­spon­si­ble, we aren't over-promis­ing. On the con­trary, we are over-de­liv­er­ing,” the gov­er­nor said.

Dur­ing the sum­mit, in­vestors will be pre­sented the laws and in­cen­tives they could ben­e­fit from on the island, among them, Acts 20, 22 and 73, which pro­vide ben­e­fits for those ex­port­ing ser­vices, for­eign in­vestors in Puerto Rico, and in­no­va­tive small and mid­size busi­nesses.

Laboy em­pha­sized that an up­date will be pro­vided about the avail­able pub­licpri­vate part­ner­ship (P3) projects; the work car­ried out by the Des­ti­na­tion Mar­ket­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion (DMO) and En­ter­prise Puerto Rico, which has been re­named In­vest Puerto Rico; and the ini­tia­tives associated to the gov­ern­ment's cre­ative in­dus­tries.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion will also present the “op­por­tu­ni­ties” un­der the in­cen­tives pro­gramme to at­tract in­vest­ment, which of­fers cor­po­ra­tions a 4% tax rate on net in­come, in sec­tors such as man­u­fac­tur­ing, biotech­nol­ogy, the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try, tourism, ex­por­ta­tion, in­sur­ance, fi­nan­cial and pro­fes­sional ser­vices, bio-agri­cul­ture, and tourism de­vel­op­ment, among oth­ers.

“We have es­tab­lished an eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment model based on the econ­omy of knowl­edge and in­no­va­tion, fo­cused on the emerg­ing in­dus­tries of re­search and de­vel­op­ment, tech­nol­ogy and ex­por­ta­tion ser­vices, while look­ing to po­si­tion Puerto Rico as a cen­tre for in­no­va­tion and in­vest­ment, and con­tin­u­ing to in­sert our­selves in the global econ­omy. All of this, com­bined with a solid in­cen­tives of­fer, al­lows the island to com­pete with the largest global economies. The first In­vest Puerto Rico Fo­rum will serve as a plat­form to max­i­mize these ad­van­tages for the ben­e­fit of our econ­omy,” Ros­selló stated.

For his part, Laboy em­pha­sized that on the first day of the sum­mit, there will be a pre­sen­ta­tion of the gov­ern­ment's vi­sion re­gard­ing the de­vel­op­ment of in­no­va­tion­based in­dus­tries, as well as the public pol­icy to in­cen­tivize them.

“Puerto Rico of­fers unique ad­van­tages for com­pa­nies and in­vestors,” he said. “We have an in­no­va­tive busi­ness ecosys­tem and the most at­trac­tive tax in­cen­tives in the na­tion, world-class tal­ent as ac­knowl­edged by lead­ing global com­pa­nies, mod­ern and re­li­able in­fras­truc­ture, and the op­er­a­tional sta­bil­ity of a fed­eral ju­ris­dic­tion.”

On the sec­ond day of the event, there will be a panel dis­cus­sion on the island's eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion, pro­mo­tional ini­tia­tives and de­tails on how to es­tab­lish a busi­ness on the island.

--- Caribbean Busi­ness

Gov. Ri­cardo Ros­selló and DDEC Sec­re­tary Manuel Laboy an­nounced the first In­vest Puerto Rico Fo­rum, to be held late Septem­ber.

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