Puerto Rico Economic Development and Commerce Department Secretary-designate Manuel Laboy-Rivera said Tuesday given the island’s fiscal crisis, he has already begun implementing the economic measures set forth by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló this week.
“From day one, we are working with the governor to bring to Puerto Rico a better economic future,” Laboy said. “The first executive orders were signed and are ready to responsibly address the fiscal crisis.”
On Monday, Rosselló signed six executive orders addressing a number of ways to revitalize the economy, as this media outlet reported.
“We’re facing great challenges and the task of stabilizing Puerto Rico’s finances is an issue that deserves immediate attention. The initial steps we have taken are the correct ones to encourage our island’s economic development,” he added.
As soon as the governor was sworn-in he signed orders that ordered the reduction by 20 percent of government trust positions and 10 percent of the budget and professional services contracts. He also signed an executive order to create the Center for Federal Opportunities to attract up to an additional $1 billion in federal funds.
In addition, he declared a state of emergency regarding the island’s infrastructure to expedite permits that will create economic development needed in the short and medium term. He also presented a package of measures to address other issues of economic nature.
“We have a plan for Puerto Rico with specific solutions to move Puerto Rico forward. From day one there is a change of vision and a government that will give space to the private sector and other sectors to boost economic growth,” said Laboy- Rivera, who was deputy secretary of the agency he now heads during the administration of former Gov. Luis Fortuño.
The designated Economic Development Secretary said he is working closely with the Rosselló to achieve fiscal recovery and hailed the proposals to amend the Public-Private Partnerships Law to attract new investment, the creation of Enterprise Puerto Rico to promotion of the island around the world, and the creation of new incentives to attract doctors and other professionals who have left the island, among other measures.
“We’re ready. There is much work to be done and at the Economic Development and Commerce Department we will concentrate all our efforts to make our Plan for Puerto Rico a reality,” Laboy-Rivera said.
“Together we will build a strong, participatory and technology-based economic system. We’re going to position Puerto Rico as a unique destination for business and investment,” said Laboy-Rivera.