By The Star Staff
Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF by its Spanish initials) Executive Director Omar J. Marrero Díaz traveled to Miami on Monday to speak about Puerto Rico’s economic reconstruction and debt restructuring to investors attending the “2023 Global High Yield and Leveraged Finance” conference organized by financial multinational J.P. Morgan.
“Governor Pedro Pierluisi’s priorities include completing the remaining debt restructurings, including the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), continuing to improve government services, prudent and effective financial management, economic development, and regaining access to capital markets to continue expediting the work,” Marrero Díaz said.
In February, Marrero Díaz gave similar presentations to representatives of the three main credit agencies -- Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s and Fitch Ratings -- in New York City. Speaking at today’s conference, which opens at 10 a.m., Marrero Díaz will also discuss progress related to public-private partnerships, particularly in the sectors of transportation and energy, such as the recent 10-year agreement with Genera PR to operate power generation assets in Puerto Rico.
Marrero Díaz, who will return to Puerto Rico later in the day, will also provide details on the island’s debt restructuring process. Puerto Rico’s debt, excluding the debt associated with PREPA, has been reduced by 55%, which has helped strengthen the level of liquidity in the government, as well as aspects of governance and sound administration, noted the AAFAF chief, who is also the island’s secretary of state.
“Another benefit of the restructuring process is that the government has instituted stronger processes related to financial management,” Marrero Díaz said. “For example, the budget now has strict processes that all agencies follow to ensure balanced budgets and effective use of available resources. We have also established a centralized grant management unit to ensure that the government optimizes the use of federal grants.”
In addition to his presentation, Marrero Díaz will hold one-on-one meetings with investors during the conference.
“We are focused on reaching our full potential and increasing economic growth, initiated with resources for capital improvements, investments financed by federal stimulus and reconstruction funds and complemented with the creation of competitive and regulatory conditions for the private sector to prosper,” the official said. “We will continue to carry the message of what we have achieved in recent years and the plan that we are working on to lead Puerto Rico toward the new era of prosperity it deserves.”