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Puerto Rico government announces ‘significant’ increase in manufacturing

By on August 31, 2018

SAN JUAN – In a joint release Friday, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy touted the island’s manufacturing sector gains and employment since coming into office in January 2017, which they said are a result of industrial development measure Act 73 of 2008, as amended, known as the Economic Incentives for the Development of Puerto Rico Act.

During 2017, “74 decrees were granted under Act 73 and 33 amendments were made. While, in the first seven months of…2018, 59 decrees have been granted under the incentives law and 66 amended cases. The amendments to the decrees are an extension of the commitment to permanence by the companies located in Puerto Rico,” reads the release issued by the governor’s office, La Fortaleza.

“The economic growth metrics have increased significantly over the course of these 19 months. From January [2017] to July of this year, the investment commitment totals $360 million and the creation of 6,728 additional jobs. This, compared to last year, when an investment commitment of $48 million and the creation of 1,223 jobs were achieved,” the governor said.

The most recent report of the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics, La Fortaleza recalled, “revealed that the past month of June the Manufacturing Index [or Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)], increased to 61.1” and “has remained positive or over 50 for the past 7 months.”

“A PMI greater than 50 suggests that the industry is expanding. It shows that entrepreneurs trust in the investment climate of the island. We trust that with the new Incentives Code and other efforts such as Invest Puerto Rico, permits reform, and microgrid projects in industrial parks, among others, we will attract more investors from different parts of the world and we will strengthen the industries of local entrepreneurs, while promoting the island as the best investment destination,” added Laboy, who is also the executive director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co.

Of the 11 board members of Invest Puerto Rico, which began operations this week, three represent the public sector and eight represent such industries as information technology, investment, real estate, manufacturing, life sciences and aerospace.

Besides promoting the island’s benefits as an investment destination, the nonprofit entity also helps businesses establish themselves on the island.

“The structural reforms in the Fiscal Plan address the historic problems that have limited Puerto Rico’s competitiveness and made it more difficult and expensive for companies to invest and grow in Puerto Rico. The Government is also very focused on providing greater certainty to investors by implementing the Incentives Code, which will be one of InvestPR’s main promotional tools,” Laboy said this week.

“By providing greater focus, improved service, and more continuity to Puerto Rico’s marketing and promotional efforts, InvestPR will help maximize Puerto Rico’s potential as an investment jurisdiction. We will partner with other nonprofit organizations and private sector service providers to leverage their networks and expertise to best accelerate and maximize the impact of our new promotional initiatives,” InvestPR’s recently appointed Operations Director Ella Woger-Nieves, said in a release this week announcing the start of the organization’s promotional endeavors.

Recently, Rosselló and Laboy have publicly announced the expansion of companies such as Sartorius in Yauco; Pure Cap in Dorado; Suiza Fruit in Aguadilla; and Original Footwear in Arecibo.

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