García Padilla touts Puerto Rico while in Spain
MADRID – Gov. Alejandro García Padilla participated Tuesday of the “Puerto Rico, Global Destination” forum organized by the Spanish newspaper El País and Puerto Rico’s Prisa Group.
“My administration has established strengthening Puerto Rico’s ties with other countries as a priority, and the achievements have been significant. Even though the country doesn’t have embassies, consulates or diplomatic offices, this hasn’t impeded us from making relations with the world,” said García Padilla.
He added that after talks in Washington, D.C.,” we have opened commercial offices in Bogotá, Lima, Panama City and the Dominican Republic, and we are immersed in opening one of these offices in La Habana [Cuba].”
Likewise, he assured his government has strengthened bilateral relations between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, “and we are participating in several regional and international organizations, such as the Economic Commission for Latin America.”
“We have held various meetings on the island with potential investors from diverse countries. Consequently, we continue presenting Puerto Rico as one of the best investment destinations in the [northern] hemisphere,” he assured.
During the event in Madrid, which gathered international businessmen, García Padilla emphasized the business advantages the island has to offer over other jurisdictions worldwide, “making it an ideal destination for investment.”
Among the primary reasons listed by the governor during his speech is Puerto Rico’s relation with the United States and its privileged geographical location, both of which allow it to become a hub between the U.S., Europe, Latin America and the rest of the Caribbean.
He also mentioned operational costs, which are cheaper than in the mainland U.S., as well as the fact that the island has an autonomous fiscal and tax system, which allows it to offer exemptions and tax credits, among other incentives.
García Padilla added the island’s human resources to its list of benefits. The governor said Puerto Rico has a highly capable labor force, where a fourth of the population in reproductive age has higher education.
He also emphasized that Puerto Rico is an industrialized island with ample access to U.S. markets, “superior to any” country that trades freely with the nation.
“All these strengths explain why 12 of the world’s 20 most important pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies have manufacturing operations in Puerto Rico, and why our country produces seven of the 10 most sold pharmaceutical drugs worldwide. Likewise, they explain why Lufthansa -the European aviation and aeronautical giant- selected us to establish its first maintenance, repair and overhaul center in the [northern] hemisphere. We are Ibero-America’s best doorway to the U.S. market. We are a people who know that our destiny is tied to successfully involving ourselves in an increasingly globalized world,” García Padilla said.