Governor presents strategic economic development plan
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia and Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish initials) Secretary Manuel Cidre Miranda presented on Wednesday a strategic framework for sustainable economic development for Puerto Rico that proposes that the island be the ideal place to live and work.
The purpose is an integrated and collaborative project that is implemented in conjunction with private companies, non-profit organizations, business associations and government entities. It is a strategic framework for economic development to be implemented with the spirit and intention of achieving objectives that transcend government administrations to achieve the continuity that is required to reach the common goal: to be the preferred island in the world to visit, to live, to work, to leave and to return to, the officials said.
“Today as a government and as a people, we reiterate that to guarantee the progress and sustainable future that we all want, we have to share the same purpose. Puerto Rico has great potential for economic development and we are at an ideal time, since we are rebuilding our island, we have put an end to bankruptcy, the economy is on positive ground, the labor force has grown considerably and unemployment is the lowest in history,” the governor said at a press conference. “Therefore, in a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors, non-profit organizations and other agencies, we are committed to establishing sustainable economic development strategies that transcend governments and generations.”
The DDEC secretary noted that the economic development of Puerto Rico and, therefore, the well being of all its residents, cannot depend on the exclusive execution of the government.
“This responsibility is carried by all of us,” Cidre said. “This strategic framework belongs to everyone: academia, small and midsize businesses, industrialists, unions, non-profit organizations, government institutions, and it belongs to every Puerto Rican who aspires to stay in Puerto Rico and not see their sons and daughters emigrate to other places in search of opportunities.”
To make the project truly participatory, Cidre stressed that they will be visiting various points on the island to obtain input from the people. He also encouraged the public to visit the page proposito.pr.gov to read the document carefully and share their ideas.
The plan identifies five axes that will make the achievement of the vision for Puerto Rico visible:
* Integration: This axis proposes the development of a diversified economy inserted into the globalized economy, where the connectivity of island companies in the global logistics network is promoted through the export of their products and services. In addition, regional strengths will be identified, to attract foreign investment and tourism, entrepreneurship, marketing and the development of intellectual property and research and development (R&D) projects will be promoted.
* Entrepreneurship: Proposes that an agile business environment be promoted where tools are created that facilitate obtaining permits and other procedures necessary to establish a business. In turn, a competitive business ecosystem, backed by access to capital programs, incentives and everything that promotes entrepreneurship, would be developed.
* Competitive citizens: Proposes the creation of programs that promote the updating of the academic offer to train citizens in accordance with world trends and current and future sectoral needs. It also plans to develop job placement programs and talent planning based on the other economic development axes presented.
* Advanced infrastructure: This axis sets out to develop a sustainable, innovative and resilient infrastructure, with the modernization of the electrical network to provide reliable and green energy, quality water and sanitation facilities, fast and stable telecommunications networks, physical and digital connectivity, and robust and secure public facilities, roads, ports and airports.
* Social well being: Proposes to promote the well being and quality of life of all, through livable, safe, healthy and social communities. It is key to promoting the strengthening of family nuclei through activity programs that foster pleasant coexistence and unity.