SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The World Economic Fund’s (WEF) newly released Global Competitiveness Report for 2014-2015 ranks Puerto Rico first in Latin America and behind only the United States and Canada in the entire Western Hemisphere in terms of its pro-business climate.
“The latest WEF report offers more confirmation that Puerto Rico is a great place for business investment,” said Alberto Bacó Bagué, Puerto Rico’s secretary of economic development and commerce. “The factors cited by WEF are the same reasons that international companies such as Lufthansa Technik, Actavis, Seaborne, Air Europa and Putnam Bridge have invested in Puerto Rico.”
The report by the Swiss organization said Puerto Rico’s strengths include infrastructure (roads, ports, airports); the quality of the workforce (education, compensation, productivity, confidence in management, training programs); industrial sophistication (competitive advantages, development clusters, value chain variety, marketing expertise); and the capacity for innovation (availability of engineers and scientists, and innovative activities).
“The economic development team is leveraging Puerto Rico’s strengths to attract new investments that will further improve the island’s competitiveness as a destination for business,” Bacó Bagué said. “We have the foundation for the development of new economic clusters such as aerospace and medical tourism. Both of those sectors require the educated workforce, world-class infrastructure and other assets that the WEF cited in Puerto Rico.”
Puerto Rico’s economic development plan focuses on three key areas:
• Re-energizing manufacturing, commerce, tourism and other traditional industries;
• Accelerating the development of projects with high economic impact, including the Roosevelt Roads development, the Port of the Americas and the Trust for Science, Technology and Research; and
• Implementing new strategic initiatives that capitalize on Puerto Rico’s fiscal autonomy and legal protections.
In addition, the Department of Economic Development and Commerce is continuing its efforts to make more investors and business executives aware of Puerto Rico’s advantages and its incentives for the development of new businesses on the island. These efforts are complemented by investments in physical and technological infrastructure, including the ongoing project to transform Puerto Rico into the Gigabit Island with ultra-high speed connectivity.
“We’re moving in the right direction, both fiscally and with economic development that will help improve our global positioning. We are harnessing all emerging opportunities to advance Puerto Rico’s economic transformation,” Bacó Bagué said.