The San Juan Daily Star
Alliance formed to promote growth in island manufacturing
By The Star Staff
Puerto Rico Manufacturing Extension (PRiMEX) and the Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico (BDEPR by its Spanish initials) joined efforts Wednesday to open a space of significant growth opportunities for manufacturing firms.
The agreement meets the objective of facilitating and supporting the competitive growth of small and midsize industries in Puerto Rico in the financial area and integrated services aimed at directing and strengthening manufacturing, PRiMEX said in a statement.
“We have established a strategic alliance for the benefit of manufacturing companies so that we can improve the competitiveness of the local industry, promoting financing alternatives and opportunities to access capital, contributing to the economic development of our island,” PRiMEX Executive Director Ramón Vega said.
Both institutions intend to strengthen public policy to promote the development of a stable and self-sustaining economy, contributing to human development and social responsibility, they said.
Economic Development Bank President Luis Alemañy González highlighted the alliance’s contribution, part of the public policy of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia to support the development and strengthening of Puerto Rican entrepreneurship.
“Manufacturing is one of the main pillars of our economy, representing 48% of the gross national product of Puerto Rico, which, thanks to technology and the globalization of services, now has greater capacity for expansion and benefits for our businessmen and the development of Puerto Rico,” Alemañy González said. “The year 2022 closed with a total of 85,300 jobs in manufacturing. This brought us back to 2010 employment levels and reflects growth of 7.4%, which compares very favorably with the U.S. manufacturing job growth of 3.8%.”
“Similarly, the year 2022 closed with 2,039 establishments dedicated to manufacturing, 5% above the end of 2021 and reaching the same levels as 2011,” he noted. “Our role from the BDEPR is to be facilitators of financial alternatives and services that are integrated and accessible so that small and midsize business people, as well as emerging entrepreneurs, have the economic and human resources to make their projects a reality and direct them to be sustainable and successful. Thanks to this alliance with PRiMEX, we plan to reach more people with businesses with great potential and who, due to lack of financing, cannot materialize it.”
The BDEPR is allocating $20 million of the $109.3 million approved by the U.S. Treasury Department to encourage local manufacturing and exports.
The alliance proposes, among other benefits, to cover direct loans or lines of credit with the BDEPR for up to $1 million. PRiMEX will support the promotion of financing services and programs.