IMF includes Puerto Rico in World Economic Outlook for First Time
SAN JUAN – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published Tuesday its World Economic Outlook (WEO) report for 2016, in which for the very first time in history, Puerto Rico is included. The report can be accessed through this link: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2016/01/pdf/text.pdf.
On October 2015, the World Economic Forum (WEC) notified its Puerto Rico associated institutes—the Puerto Rico International Competitive Institute (ICI) of Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón campus, and Puerto Rico 3000—about its decision on methodological changes in its global competitive report that would impact the results of such report for the island.
In light of these changes, and not for reasons directly related to Puerto Rico, for the first time since 2006 the WEF did not include the island in their Global Competitiveness Report in 2015.
The main reason given by WEF management to exclude Puerto Rico was basically because it decided to use statistical data from the IMF as the main source of information, but Puerto Rico does not participate in such data.
“With the commitment and the effort to comply with the new requirements established by the WEF, and to ensure the future inclusion of the island in publications from such a recognized entity, Mario Marazzi-Santiago, executive director of the Puerto Rico Statistics Institute, took the initiative to begin taking all the possible steps necessary to have Puerto Rico included in the IMF. Today is a historical moment for Puerto Rico; the island’s inclusion in the IMF’s Global Competitiveness Index is not only a great achievement, but also opens the door to the island’s effective global comparison in several world forums such as the Global Innovation Index,” commented Francisco Montalvo Fiol, local coordinator for the WEF and director of ICI.
Andria Salvá, president of Puerto Rico 3000, explained that Puerto Rico was the third most competitive country in the hemisphere, according to WEF results for 2014.
“Defintitely, it is significant that Puerto Rico takes part in high-caliber world economic reports, which are used by many of the world’s largest multinational companies to decide where to establish their businesses. This in turn will bring to the island new business and economic development opportunities as a competitive place from where they can operate their businesses in the Caribbean and Latin America. This is an exceptional moment and we truly appreciate Marazzi’s efforts in achieving it.”
In turn, Marazzi said this achievement was possible thanks to work by the team of Puerto Rico government statistical staff.
“Since August, the Statistics Institute accepted the challenge placed by the WEF by stating they would exclude the island from the Global Competitiveness Index for not participating in the IMF databases. We contacted the authorities from the federal and Puerto Rico governments and there was a virtual consensus that Puerto Rico had to retake the road and insert itself in the global economy,” Marazzi said. “Thanks to the collaboration of the Government Development Bank, Puerto Rico Treasury Department and the Puerto Rico Planning Board, among others, were we able to provide the data required by the IMF. Once more, we demonstrated that by uniting efforts we can achieve much bigger objectives than the sum of all the individual parties.”
Marazzi indicated there’s still more that needs to be done to re-insert the island in the Global Competitiveness Index, adding that the Statistics Institute will be working alongside Puerto Rico 3000 to have the island re-inserted as soon as possible.