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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PRCC agenda to focus on economic development, boosting membership

Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce President Ramón Pérez Blanco

By The Star Staff

The Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce (PRCC) leadership revealed on Tuesday the details of its work plan for the rest of 2023 and the first half of 2024, which will focus on economic development.

The plan constitutes a strategic pillar to strengthen the institution’s position as a private sector spokesperson and attract new members.

“One of our priorities is to identify topics, spaces, and initiatives for the collaboration of the Chamber of Commerce with other entities, both affiliated private sector associations and non-profit institutions,” PRCC President Ramón Pérez Blanco said. “Together, we can be much more effective in achieving the goals we have set for ourselves in developing our economy.”

Pérez Blanco said the initiatives include activating the Third Sector Council of the PRCC to strengthen ties with community, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, or NGOs. Likewise, the PRCC intends to resume the work of the PRCC Foundation and collaborate with affiliated entities on leadership under various specific themes.

“We are going to reinforce the role of the Chamber in this pre-election year,” Pérez Blanco said. “Our committees are tasked with issuing position papers on different topics. We will assume well-founded positions on different issues, not based on opinions but on studies and analysis of experts to contribute to the public discussion.”

The business leader said the group has committed to strengthening the capacity of the PRCC to produce analysis and studies relevant to the economic development of Puerto Rico, but that are exclusive to the chamber. The studies already scheduled for next year include new editions of the business and consumer confidence indexes. Likewise, the PRCC has commissioned a recent demographic analysis of the diaspora to constitute a platform for creating concrete public policy proposals to attract that population back to the Island.

Another priority will be to strengthen the lobbying efforts of the PRCC and affiliated entities in the U.S. capital.

“Puerto Rico needs a strong presence in Washington, D.C.,” PRCC Executive Director Liza García said. “We are going to insert ourselves into these processes from the point of view of free enterprise.”

The PRCC intends to push for a transition from the Nutrition Assistance Program to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP to SNAP), as well as focus on health and energy issues affecting the U.S. territory.

The objectives of the plan for next year include increasing networking opportunities for entrepreneurs and professionals, holding events exclusively for members, strengthening the role of university chapters and young entrepreneurs, continuing to improve benefits for members, supporting the Network of Women Entrepreneurs, and increasing membership by 20%.

Among the various initiatives included in the plan is the revision of the concept of the annual convention, building on the results obtained with the event held this year. Pérez Blanco anticipated that the agenda of the event in 2024 will focus on the discussion of the economic development of Puerto Rico, framed in the dynamic of a public policy proposal that is typical of a pre-election period.

One of the PRCC’s goals is to ask political candidates for key elective positions on their commitment to proposals that meet the needs of the private sector and that promote the economic development of Puerto Rico.

“We are building on the work done by the presidencies that have preceded us over the past five years,” Pérez Blanco said. “We want to continue growing and strengthening the Chamber, giving continuity to previous efforts, but adapting to the current reality.”

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