• The San Juan Daily Star

Fiscal board to hold 31st public meeting next week in NYC

Natalie Jaresko, executive director of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico

By The Star Staff

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico will hold its 31st Public Board Meeting on Friday, Dec. 17 at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House in New York City.

The meeting will seek to cover the topic of economic development plans. The oversight board did not state the reasons for holding the meeting in New York City.

In August, the oversight board asked the federal government to help the island with certain economic development and tax issues, deal with Medicaid and Medicare contributions, and help with small business growth. The board made the requests in its yearly report, which it delivered to Congress, and President Joe Biden. In the report, the oversight board recommended that federal policymakers talk with Puerto Rico’s government about ways to increase pharmaceutical and medical products manufacturing on the island to expand economic development. It requested that the U.S. secretary of commerce appoint at least one member with Puerto Rico tourism expertise to the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

The oversight board has also conducted ease of doing business reforms to ascertain what the business community’s concerns are about obtaining permits, registering property or improving the ease of paying taxes to understand where Puerto Rico stands and identify the business sector’s needs.

Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Cidre Miranda and other representatives from the government and agencies with key roles in helping Puerto Rico grow will share their plans to build on Puerto Rico’s competitive advantages to expand investments and create jobs.

The oversight board’s executive director, Natalie Jaresko, is slated to provide an update of the board’s work. The update is to be followed by a presentation from Cidre Miranda on Puerto Rico’s economic development future.

Fermín E. Fontanés Gómez, executive director of the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority, Rodrick T. Miller, CEO of Invest Puerto Rico, and Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, will also make presentations.

Their testimonies will be followed by a public comment period.

Attendance at the meeting is limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related social distancing rules. Registration is on a first-come-first-serve basis. All visitors ages 12+ are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend in person.

The meeting is open to the public and requires registration by Thursday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m.

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