SAN ANTONIO, USA -- Alberto Bacó Bagué, the secretary of Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC), closed a two-day American Latino National Summit on Wednesday by outlining the government’s plan for driving economic growth. The plan focuses on increasing employment by providing competitive advantages for international companies to operate and hire in the US commonwealth.
Alberto Bacó Bagué
“Our top priority is to create opportunities that leverage our skilled and hard-working workforce,” Bacó said in the closing statement at the summit. “By creating a more diversified, knowledge-driven economy that meets the challenges of globalization, Puerto Rico will once again transform its business portfolio as it did successfully four decades ago with manufacturing.”
Addressing Latino leaders from government, business and education communities, Bacó discussed a vision for an economy that builds on proven pharma and bio industries and encourages IT, insurance, financial and tourism market expansion. He said Puerto Rico is in the midst of transitioning to a regional service- and high tech-industrial hub.
The American Latino National Summit featured discussions around education and economic policies that will improve the lives of all American citizens. Bacó stressed the importance of American Latinos seeking business opportunities that draw on their rich entrepreneurial spirit and to consider Puerto Rico as an opportunity to strengthen ties not only with the mainland US but also with South and Central America.
“We are a bilingual, bicultural bridge between North and South America, with first-class transportation infrastructure, an educated workforce and all of the legal protections of a US jurisdiction,” Bacó said.
He laid out the government’s strategy to revitalize Puerto Rico by stimulating job growth through driving the relocation and investments of international businesses, building on the success of companies that have called Puerto Rico home for years, such as Microsoft, HP and Amgen, while reducing government spending and tightening the budget.
Bacó closed his statement by describing Puerto Rico as a region in the process of reinvention and also as one of enormous opportunity, not only for Puerto Ricans, but for investors from the mainland.
“Our incentives are designed to generate investment and jobs in Puerto Rico.” Bacó went on to note, “this is an exciting time for the Latino community. The new economy is breaking down old barriers between North and South and creating new opportunities for those of us who understand both worlds.”
The Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) is focused on achieving a more diversified, knowledge-based economy by leveraging Puerto Rico’s competitive strengths. Its five year economic development plan expects to create more than 130,000 jobs and $10-12 billion in incremental GDP by 2018.