The Puerto Rico Builders Association unveiled Thursday its proposal for economic development that focuses on strengthening private enterprise as an axis of local production and empowering the third sector to develop communities.
The plan is divided into proposals related to Puerto Rico’s main pillars for social-human development and competitiveness. The group proposes investments in education, health and environment to support the development of human capital, which is central to make reality the vision of change for Puerto Rico, said the trade group’s President Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz.
The recommendations presented to improve competitiveness seek to establish reforms in the areas of energy, permits, technology and transparency, taxes and labor. The plan’s emphasis is on reducing dependence on subsidies and local incentives to spur the creation of internal wealth by strengthening private enterprise and the third sector.
“Attracting investors and the retention of economic activity depends on the perception of companies that there is a favorable investment climate in Puerto Rico,” he said. “To achieve that stability, it is necessary to maximize the transparency of government services as well as ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of its institutions.”
“However, the professional and business class has a responsibility to assume a leadership and be willing to work together with a single focus: to lift our economy,” he said.
Among the plan’s proposals are positioning Puerto Rico as a competitive global hub in its areas of strength, such as manufacturing, construction and development, services and tourism.
The plan seeks to expand the private sector and empower the third sector to develop infrastructure that will lead job creation and the island’s integration into the global economy, he said.
“Our plan seeks to achieve tools to continue creating new businesses that contribute to increasing labor participation on the island,” Álvarez-Díaz said. “When referring to private enterprise, we certainly encourage the creation of companies with export capacity to diversify those markets where we generate income and create specialized well-paid jobs for young professionals.”
“Our plan also seeks to facilitate the creation of small and medium enterprises that can retain and develop local talent, while promoting economic activity in urban centers. New businesses can benefit from a more expeditious and effective permissions process that serves as an engine to stimulate economic activity,” said Álvarez-Díaz.
The trade group unveiled its proposals for economic development on the threshold of the arrival of the Fiscal Control Board, trusting that it represents an opportunity to reform systems that are outdated and lack transparency, he said.