Sunday, August 18, 2019

Puerto Rico official says drafting of Opportunity Zones regs underway

By on August 1, 2019

Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy (Jaime Rivera/CB)

List of priority projects will be available this month

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy Rivera said Wednesday that the development of Opportunity Zones of Puerto Rico will continue.

“We cannot stop our work plan, despite the changes that arise within the political processes we face. We recognize the economic importance of this law for the development of multiple projects related to the Opportunities Zones, which are estimated to generate over $600 million in investments. To give continuity to these projects, the process of drafting the regulation that will establish the rules for the selection and execution of the various initiatives has begun, which will allow us to demonstrate the competitiveness of Puerto Rico,” Laboy Rivera said in a press release.

The secretary belongs to the Committee of Priority Projects in Opportunity Zones, as provided by Act 21 of 2019, along with the executive director of the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency, Omar Marrero, and a representative from the House of Representatives and another from the Senate.

“The approval of the application to present the various projects to be developed in the areas designated as opportunity zones is already in the final phase. This document will be available in the coming weeks through the digital platform Single Business Portal and it will be processed by the DDEC Incentives Office, as established in Act 60 of 2019, known as the Puerto Rico Incentives Code,” Laboy added.

For his part, Marrero said that “this effort continues and we will continue to work hand in hand with the Federal Treasury Department to ensure that this is the case. Likewise, I would not pass up the opportunity to thank the federal government for its trust and support in these efforts.”

Laboy also said that as part of the work of said committee, an inventory of priority projects is being developed for the 98 percent of the island that was designated as an Opportunity Zone.

“This inventory should be ready by the end of August, once the new members that will fill the two available and needed vacancies are appointed to establish the quorum required to make decisions,” said Laboy, who also serves as executive director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co.

To request more information about the process or submit recommendations on priority projects to consider, write to opportunityzones@DDEC.pr.gov.