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Puerto Rico Investment Summit: Essential Business Network

By on February 8, 2019

Editor’s note: The following originally appeared in the Feb. 7 -13, 2019, issue of Caribbean Business.

If there is an event that has proven to be essential for the creation of business networks that present the island as an ideal place for investment, it has definitely been the Puerto Rico Investment Summit (PRIS). This year, PRIS celebrates its sixth edition, Feb. 14 & 15 at El San Juan Hotel in Carolina’s Isla Verde community, where more than 400 investors and businessowners will gather to learn about tax incentives, competitive advantages and opportunities that make the island a unique destination.

The PRIS brings new topics to its program, such as Opportunity Zones, the Gilti Tax (global intangible low-taxed income) and, for the first time, a half-day Financial Services Forum, which focuses on financial- and insurance-specific content that includes the International Insurance Center and International Financial Entities (IFEs). PRIS unites professionals—investors, CPAs and lawyers—who work directly with these programs, plus investors and entrepreneurs who have already made Puerto Rico their destination for business and export services.

The second day of the conference includes panels, power talks, workshops and campfires, plus two networking events to provide attendees the opportunity to meet industry leaders and government officials.

“It’s a lot of work to put this event together, but to be frank, it is very fulfilling because you can see that the investors appreciate it, the local business[people]—who are very important to us, thank you—because it is a forum where all of them can present what Puerto Rico has to offer, without any ulterior motives beyond that, because we do not sell anything, we make the event,” explained Brenda González Santini, president of AdWorks, which organizes the event.

“There are many organizations that hold these kinds of events, but with the motivation of selling some fund or investment, of real estate, or something in specific. In our case, it is not like that; it is a unique event to exclusively promote Puerto Rico, which is a great option for business, export services or new investments. It not only has the most attractive tax structure in the U.S., but also provides other benefits that include a highly skilled workforce, privileged location and is under the U.S. legal and financial systems,” González Santini said. She insists that PRIS provides the best platform to learn, meet and network with top-level professionals.

Key leaders

Participants in the summit’s sixth edition include key speakers and government officials, such as Manuel Laboy, secretary of the Economic Development & Commerce Department, and Ella Woger, chief operating officer of Invest P.R. Other speakers include early adopters Nicholas Prouty, CEO of Putnam Bridge; Margaret Anadu, partner at Goldman Sachs; Edgar Ríos from PMA Law, one of the island’s leading tax law firms; Gaby Hernández of BDO P.R.; Jeff Carmichael, CEO of Yingke Caribbean Center; Walter Keenan of Advantage Insurance; and Manuel López-Zambrana of DLA Piper.

“We will also talk about the growth of China’s footprint in the region, with Chinese people coming to the Caribbean to invest and using Puerto Rico as their hub. We also have the Opportunity Zones, to which we are dedicating two full sessions. The first part will be the most technical, for which we will have Manuel López-Zambrana, who will speak from the point of view of government and the Legislature about what is happening in Puerto Rico and how this program will work on the island,” González Santini explained.

The president of AdWorks said that Opportunity Zones have become the new “hot topic” at the premier conference known for its comprehensive coverage of the island’s unique incentives and investment opportunities.

Attendees can benefit from panels, interviews and networking sessions and will enjoy two days of learning and discovering the latest regarding tax incentives such as Acts 20, 22, 73, 273 and 399 and Real Estate & Tourism, among others. Other topics will cover international banking, life insurance, captive insurance and management.

Created in 2013, the PRIS is the perfect platform at which to present potential investors with competitive advantages to develop and grow their businesses, while also creating much-needed jobs and helping boost the local economy. The event is aimed at investors, multinational CEOs, businessowners, tax lawyers, insurance professionals and financial experts.

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