Villafañe: Government will Enable Industrial Sector
SAN JUAN – Secretary-General William Villafañe emphasized Thursday that the government will be an enabler for the industrial sector, which is why the administration will continue to approve bills that produce a new business environment.
Villafañe summarized the administration’s initiatives to promote Puerto Rico’s economic development. The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management & Economic Stability Act (Promesa) has few elements for economic development at a time when the island has to restructure its public debt to stop its financial deterioration.
“There are two elements on economic development, both industrial and governmental…. A new time has come for Puerto Rico. Gone are the days of discouraging investment… The era of professional responsibility has come… The people need action and results,” the official said during a conference before hundreds of people attending the 2017 Government Caucus held by the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association (PRMA).
He said the government’s agenda is “the heaviest,” but maintained that the challenge is not only the government’s, but also workers’ and manufacturers’. A recent study confirmed that Puerto Rico’s emigration has reached historic levels, along with a drop in home sales, and a precarious situation for the government.
“The money is over… Even the credit is over,” he said.
However, Villafañe projected a positive outcome, affirming that the administration is welcoming business people who want to invest in Puerto Rico. He emphasized the need to strengthen the finance, energy, tourism and tech industries.
The secretary-general listed unemployment and lack of investment as the island’s major problems, which is why measures like the permitting reform, Puerto Rico Enterprise, labor reform and the tax reform “are part of a symbiotic equation that generate a new industrial climate.”
“Today I assure that the desire, not just to deliver, but to persuade, has arrived,” he said. “The Plan for Puerto Rico is already becoming a reality…. Now we urge you to support us more than ever.”