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CNE Growth Commission for P.R. to meet in April

CNE President Miguel Soto-Class offers details of the upcoming event during a session at its Old San Juan offices Wednesday.

The Center for a New Economy announced Wednesday that the CNE Growth Commission for Puerto Rico will meet during the first week of April, in San Juan, to discuss the agenda it has started to outline.

The Commission has the objective of identifying strategies and public policies to help restore economic growth in Puerto Rico, and is composed of 17 experts from academia, the private sector, and the public sector, the bulk of which are Puerto Ricans who reside on the island and the U.S. mainland.

They have accepted CNE’s invitation to re-think the economy of Puerto Rico and chart a long-term agenda, think-tank executives said.

“In the midst of an undergoing the fiscal adjustment process, the CNE Growth Commission for Puerto Rico is one of the most important initiatives that the island has to redefine its economic future,” said CNE President Miguel Soto-Class.

“Last year, as the discussion regarding the fiscal crisis and the debt problem gathered steam, we advocated for the creation of a permanent federal entity that would focus on the economic recovery of Puerto Rico,” he said.

“Neither Congress nor the White House acted on the proposal. Given that the lack of economic growth is the most pressing issue for Puerto Rico, we at CNE decided to assume a leadership role and convened a prominent group to begin delineating a new long-term development strategy for Puerto Rico,” said Soto-Class noting the Commission members represent diverse perspectives and intellectual beliefs, as well as diverse areas of professional endeavor.

Gustavo Bobonis, chief economist at CNE and general coordinator of the Commission, said the group’s agenda will define, among other things, diagnostic analyses and policy interventions that are necessary for Puerto Rico to develop a larger number of high value-added activities and a diversified portfolio of economic activities.

“Puerto Rico has tried to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century using tools that were successful decades ago but no longer offer satisfactory results,” Bobonis said. “It is necessary to identify ways to successfully insert the Island in the knowledge economy and in an ever-competitive global context.”

To foster long-term economic growth, Puerto Rico must: Accelerate structural change by promoting its insertion in high value-added niches, investing in innovation, and adopting the use of new knowledge and technologies; Create the institutional framework to promote structural change; that is, revamping the institutions whose mission it is to promote this transformation; and devise public policies that help elevate social well being in an inclusive manner, so that the majority of its members can benefit from advances in economic development, the CNE said.

The CNE will host a keynote lecture by Nobel laureate and Columbia University Professor, Joseph Stiglitz, titled “From Crisis to Growth,” on April 6. Stiglitz will discuss possible solutions to resolve the current crisis and the dangers of recurring to failed policies.

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

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