Puerto Rico Gov. Signs Incentives Bill to Create Ship Repair Industry
SAN JUAN—Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla signed a bill Wednesday that creates incentives to develop a ship repair industry on the island, as part of the administration’s aim to develop local ports.
“Because of its location and infrastructure, Puerto Rico has the potential to become an important regional center for ship repairs,” said Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. José Nadal Power, who authored the bill. “This industry could create thousands of jobs.”
The bill amends Act 73 of 2008 to expand the scope of incentives already benefitting investments in the manufacturing sector, in a bid to diversify the types of investments that Puerto Rico is trying to attract, Nadal Power added.
The senator, who also chairs the upper chamber’s Treasury Committee, said that the ship repair industry resembles the tourism sector, in that both are important when it comes to attracting new money to the local economy and providing labor opportunities for residents.
“Export industries [such as ship repair and tourism] are indispensable to achieve a stable economy and replace the fall on investments that took place after the loss of the incentives under Section 936,” Nadal Power went on. “[Through this law], we are trying to carry out the economic diversification that we should have always strived for and show that we have an enormous potential to grow through our own public policies.”
The legislator noted that the ports in San Juan and Ceiba have dry ship repair facilities with a unique infrastructure in the Caribbean, but the island has not yet fully used them. “I find it incredible that, even though we have these ports, we have not taken advantage of their enormous potential to create jobs,” he added.