Puerto Rico Trade and Export, via its “Puerto Rico Emprende” platform, reached more than 15,000 companies in 2018, Executive Director Ricardo Llerandi said.
The initiatives were aimed at the development of creative industries, the digitalization of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and access to the new “Puerto Rico Emprende B2B Virtual Matchmaking” digital platform to promote exports, he said.
“This year we started a campaign with initiatives aimed at the digitalization of SMEs. This included the completion of more than 15 e-commerce workshops throughout the island, with topics ranging from opening an online business to specialized seminars on digital tools for SMEs offered by renowned companies such as Google, Shopify, YouTube, Microsoft and LinkedIn,” he said.
“Furthermore, we conducted the first commercial mission of creative industries to Colombia and we launched the new digital platform that facilitates the exposure of our companies to a globalized market. Our work agenda will continue in 2019 with initiatives aimed at boosting the digital economy,” said Llerandi.
The work agenda for the creative industries included the calls for economic incentives of more than $50,000, namely, through the “Creative Matchmaking,” “Creative Accelerator,” “Apps & Video Games Challenge competition,” and the “Creative Fashion” design competition programs.
A total of 13 fashion design companies participated in the commercial mission to Colombia, which established “important business relationships in that market,” he said.
Puerto Rico’s Creative industries were celebrated in May, with a full calendar of workshops on fashion, digital design and on the music industry. In November, Puerto Rico Trade announced the publication of the “Puerto Rico Creative ’18 X-Ray,” which detailed findings about the sector and its importance for economic development.
The launch of “Puerto Rico Emprende B2B Virtual Matchmaking” offers Puerto Rican companies a digital promotion and support platform to increase and diversify exports of local products and services.
Through this tool, the government agency recently carried out the first virtual commercial mission for the food and beverage sector. A total of 20 local companies held more than 120 business appointments with buyers from Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica, Quatar and the Dominican Republic, Llerandi said.
“The way of doing business has definitely evolved and to be able to adjust ourselves to this new business reality, ‘Puerto Rico Emprende’ has led new initiatives aimed at today’s entrepreneurs who seek to do business in an agile and cost-effective way,” Llerandi said.
“In 2019 we will continue betting on initiatives focused on innovation, digitalization and exports by our companies,” Llerandi said.