Enlace Empresarial and the U.S. Department of Commerce signed a collaboration agreement Monday to work together to raise awareness of existing export opportunities among members of the business community in the United States and Puerto Rico, especially among small and mid-sized operations.
The local private organization — whose mission is to promote the export of local products and services to the Caribbean and the rest of Latin America, as well as increase contracts with the federal government — partnered with the stateside agency’s International Trade Administration to carry out coordinated efforts.
“We have agreed to cooperate and coordinate our export promotion activities and programs to promote greater awareness of the National Export Initiative and educate businesses and the general public on exporting, the export assistance federal agencies provide,” said Enlace Empresarial President Luis Torres Llompart.
As part of the agreement, both organizations will keep a record of all educational, awareness and outreach programs related to exporting. Similarly, they will also share materials, events, websites, newsletters and other educational materials in benefit of participants.
“Our goal is to ensure that the general public knows about the economic benefits of exporting, build public support for exporting activities as a strategy for economic growth and job creation, create an awareness of our resources and encourage those interested in exporting to seek support from the agency’s Federal Commercial Service,” said Thomas Strauss, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s southern network director.
Founded in 2010, Enlace Empresarial is joint effort of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, the United Retailers Association, the Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors, the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association and the Puerto Rico Products Association.
Puerto Rico’s external trade exceeded $73.3 billion last year, including goods and services produced by both local and foreign companies established on the island. Through August 2012, that figure exceeded $39.5 billion, according to data provided by the Puerto Rico Statistics Institute.