Looking to position the island as an “ideal investment destination for China” in the United States and Latin America, Puerto Rico will host the 1st China Investment Forum, Mar. 1-3, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced Tuesday.
The Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) will host the event that will take place as Chinese investment around the world is on the rise, as well as visits by Chinese tourists to the United States.
Accompanied by Sam Mei, founder of the Yingke Ecosystem and president of Yingke Global Holdings; Richard Mei, cofounder Yingke Travel; and Jeff Carmichael, CEO of Caribbean China Center, the governor said, “Puerto Rico is the ideal place for connecting China with the U.S. and Latin America. The dominance of Spanish and English of Puerto Rican professionals is one crucial aspect to ensure the success of business between the two countries. Puerto Rico is open for business.”
Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy-Rivera said China’s international nonfinancial capital investment increased by 55 percent during the first 11 months of 2016. That, combined with the growth factor of Chinese tourists visiting the United States, is important for Puerto Rico to insert itself in the visits this community makes to other jurisdictions in the country in search for doing business.
“The arrival of Asian investors is a great opportunity to strengthen business relationships. We’re very interested in promoting tourism between China and Puerto Rico and believe there are export opportunities for products and services offered by our small and medium businesses to China,” Laboy-Rivera said.
Expressing optimism about the arrival of China’s most important legal firm, Yingke, to Puerto Rico, Laboy said the country invested about $50 billion in the U.S. last year.
“In addition, we are exploring the possibility of investment in this sector in infrastructure and technology, such as the Puerto Las Américas and Roosevelt Roads. Our island is an American territory and we must always aspire to be the gateway for Europe and Asia to Latin America,” Laboy-Rivera added.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Luis G. Rivera-Marín and Omar J. Marrero, executive director of the Public Private Partnerships Authority, have worked to identify infrastructure projects that are ready for investment. They also developed an agenda on the benefits of doing business in Puerto Rico to present these opportunities to a group of about 75 investors, they said Tuesday.
During the forum, representatives of different government agencies will present programs and incentives offered in Puerto Rico for venture capital investment. Similarly, Chinese investors will present their intention to establish private business commitments in Puerto Rico. The forum will culminate with guided tours to several locations throughout the island representing potential investment opportunities, the government officials said.