DDEC unveils economic development framework for Puerto Rico
The Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish) unveiled the strategic framework of sustainable economic development for Puerto Rico that proposes that the island “becomes the ideal place to live and do business.”
The “PRopósito” plan is described as an integrated and collaborative project, which is implemented in conjunction with private companies, nonprofit organizations, business associations and government entities.
“It is a strategic framework for economic development worked with the spirit and intention of achieving objectives that transcend government administrations to achieve the continuity that is required to reach the common goal: to be the preferred island in the world to visit, to live, to undertake, to leave and to return,” government officials said.
“PRopósito,” which means “purpose,” is “what needs to be shared. Puerto Rico has great potential for economic development, and we’re in an ideal moment, since we’re rebuilding our island, we’ve put an end to bankruptcy, the economy is on positive ground, the labor force has grown considerably and unemployment is the lowest in history,” said Gov. Pedro Pierluisi.
The “PRopósito” strategy identifies five pillars, which the government states will make its execution possible:
Integration — It proposes the development of a diversified economy inserted in the globalized economy, where the connectivity of the island’s companies in the global logistics network is promoted through the export of their products and services. In addition, regional strengths will be identified, to attract foreign investment and tourism, entrepreneurship, marketing and the development of intellectual property and research and development (R&D) projects will be promoted. This pillar also identifies the focus areas to promote a multi-sector economy that includes the bioscience, aerospace, agro-industry, tourism and visitor economy, information technology, local businesses, and emerging sectors.
Entrepreneurship — Proposes that an agile business environment be promoted where tools are created that facilitate getting permits and other procedures necessary to establish a business. In turn, developing a competitive business ecosystem, backed by access to capital programs, incentives and everything that promotes entrepreneurship.
Competitive Citizens — This pillar proposes creating programs that promote the updating of the academic offer to train people in line with world trends and present and future industry needs. Also, it plans to develop job placement programs and talent planning based on the other economic development pillars.
Advanced infrastructure — This aims to develop a “sustainable, innovative and resilient infrastructure,” with the modernization of the electrical network to provide reliable and green energy, quality water and sanitation facilities, fast and stable telecommunications networks, physical and digital connectivity, and roads, and robust and secure public facilities, ports, and airports.
Social well-being — This proposes “to promote the well-being and general quality of life, through livable, safe, healthy, and social communities,” government officials said.
“For many years, economists, consultants, politicians, and professionals from all sectors have pointed the way and we’re executing it with this strategic framework because the similarities have always been greater than the differences,” DDEC Secretary Manuel Cidre said.
“However, despite all the consensus, consultations and committees, there has been a lack of execution and continuity. That is why we’ve acted,” he said.
“That’s the basis for our conviction of two specific things that should be highlighted above all else — the need for this to be a strategic framework in which we all participate and a differentiating element to everything previously proposed, that continuity be given to the initiatives that are set off,” said Cidre, adding that the government will be visiting different points of the island to get input from people.