Invest Puerto Rico, the island’s new economic development engine, shared its data-driven plan to promote Puerto Rico as an investment destination and help usher in the island’s “next great economic transformation,” said CEO Rodrick Miller.
The promotional plan, based on extensive research and analysis of global megatrends, economic data, perceptions, disruptive factors and Puerto Rico’s existing competitive advantages, will guide the promotion of the island in key markets in the U.S. mainland and abroad with a core focus on attracting companies in the knowledge services sectors.
This targeted approach follows a global best practice of pursuing sector-focused promotional activities and aligns with the organization’s vision to be a transformational and results-oriented accelerator of economic development in Puerto Rico, said Miller.
The extensive research and analysis conducted by Invest Puerto Rico revealed that Puerto Rico is strongly suited to pursue new businesses in the knowledge services sector — which includes professional and technical services, business support services, software and IT, and finance and insurance.
The entity will prioritize promotional efforts on these target sectors but will also allow for longer term nurturing of existing industry capacity as well as adjustment based on changing trends and potential disruptive events, Miller said.
Invest Puerto Rico will focus on promoting Puerto Rico in these target sectors, while collaborating with the Department of Economic Development and Commerce in the retention and capacity building of the island’s mature and productive industrial sector.
“We’re excited about building on the economic transformation that is already underway in Puerto Rico,” said Miller.
“We have laid the foundation to accelerate this transition by creating a robust organization based on best practices and by developing a robust data-backed strategy that aligns with local market realities, takes advantage of global industry trends and builds on ecosystem capacities,” said Miller.
“This plan charts the path for successful and sustained new business attraction to bring jobs, opportunity and prosperity to the people of Puerto Rico,” he added.
Economic Development and Commerce Secretary and InvestPR’s Chairman, Manuel Laboy said, “through Invest Puerto Rico’s new plan, we can amplify the promotion of the island worldwide and attract new business, while the government can focus on retaining investment, cultivating existing relationships with current companies and improving the ease of doing business. Puerto Rico is a win-win business unique alternative for investors.”
Plan covers 4 overlapping areas
Invest Puerto Rico’s plan plots the organization’s activity across four overlapping areas: targeting for focus, competitive image building, activating channels and pipeline management.
Over the course of the plan’s implementation, the Invest Puerto Rico team will deploy actions across diverse channels — including personal networks, digital and traditional media, conferences and events, and a dedicated website — to engage with potential investors and deliver the right messages regarding Puerto Rico’s value proposition.
These efforts will be focused geographically in key markets in the United States, where high taxes are driving relocation considerations, and Europe, Miller said.
“The promotional plan is designed to raise awareness of Puerto Rico as an attractive investment destination, generate high-quality leads of companies that could relocate their operations to the island, and facilitate actions through the provision of proper service-levels and follow-up efforts to close deals and achieve desired outcomes,” he said.
In the months leading to the sharing of the promotional plan, the organization’s initial efforts following this strategy have yielded a pipeline of 2,000 leads and engaged in direct contact and servicing with more than 80 companies considering Puerto Rico as an investment destination, officials said.
Invest Puerto Rico has been a driving force in the recent surge of new business investment – just last year there was 38% increase in incentive decrees approved, the organization’s leadership said.
Competitiveness issues in the spotlight
While the plan’s primary focus is direct attraction efforts, the research also put a spotlight on gaps in Puerto Rico’s global competitiveness underscoring the need to include strategies to strengthen Puerto Rico’s competitive posture.
Competitiveness issues highlighted include improving the talent landscape, reducing the complexity of doing business, and strengthening core infrastructure amongst others. The importance of working in partnership with a broad range of stakeholders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, and the government was a prominent refrain throughout the plan.
“The Chamber of Commerce had the chance to review and discuss the promotional plan with Invest Puerto Rico. We’re confident that the strategy laid out is the most effective tool to execute a successful investment promotion program and leverage the resources from local stakeholder groups,” said Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce President José E. Ledesma-Fuentes.
“We look forward to working together in the coming years implementing this strategy and collaborating to showcase Puerto Rico as a premier global investment destination,” Ledesma said.
Recognizing the need to improve Puerto Rico’s promotion efforts to compete in the global marketplace, Invest Puerto Rico was created was created through the approval of Act 13-2017 with the mission to promote Puerto Rico as a competitive investment jurisdiction to attract new business and capital investment to the island.
“We intend to become the leading organization in Puerto Rico’s economic development ecosystem through the consistent execution of our plan, and with the indispensable support of our partners in the public, private and non-profit sectors, who will undoubtedly add value to our operation and contribute to our success,” said Miller.