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CNE marks 25th anniversary looking at challenges, opportunities ahead  

Puerto Rico faces new challenges and opportunities, and the Center for a New Economy (CNE) presented its vision of what these entail as the organization celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The nonpartisan organization promotes the development of a new economy for Puerto Rico. It advocates for a more productive and stable island from its offices in San Juan, Washington, D.C., and Madrid, Spain. 

“At CNE, we have been thinking, researching and proposing solutions to problems related to Puerto Rico’s economy for 25 years. This process is not linear, there are often advances and setbacks along the way, and it is dynamic, as the economy and Puerto Rican society are constantly changing,” said Sergio M. Marxuach, the think tank’s policy director.

Marxuach discussed the history of the Earned Income Tax Credit in Puerto Rico, which CNE began researching and advocating for in 2003, as an example of the commitment and effort required to effect meaningful public policy changes.

Looking forward, Marxuach indicated that “CNE will continue to work for the benefit of the people of Puerto Rico even as climate change, geopolitical realignments and artificial intelligence are causing a shift in the economic development conversation.”

CNE President Miguel A. Soto-Class emphasized that the institution that “set the precedent as a think tank in Puerto Rico” is not solely defined by the stances it has taken over the years.

“Our unwavering commitment to Puerto Rico’s economic progress stands out by being a model of credibility, influence and collaboration. We’re focused on expanding our reach to ensure that CNE remains at the service of Puerto Rico in perpetuity. The important thing is that we don’t have a particular agenda, that we take our time researching issues objectively with academic rigor and we call them as we see them,” Soto-Class said.

“Puerto Rico needs CNE now more than ever, in part because the economic and social situation is worse, but there are also two relatively new aggravating factors: polarization and institutional breakdown. CNE has always been a centrist entity that makes decisions and recommendations based on empirical research and not on ideology,” Soto-Class added.

Rosanna Torres, director of CNE’s Washington, D.C., office, said “it is clear that Puerto Rico has undergone dramatic political, social and economic changes. Even so, many challenges persist.”

“To navigate them, we need stable institutions that offer serious analysis and put forth options that create the conditions that foster Puerto Rico’s growth, for the long-term, not just the next political cycle. With 25 years under the belt, CNE is poised to lead the way,” she said.

“CNE created a space that today is now shared by countless other organizations that are doing important work for the island. Twenty-five years ago, the opportunities for a career in an NGO were very limited. And apart from a few very specific issues, all public policy was monopolized by the government and political parties,” she concluded.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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