InvestPR: Private sector commits to 5K jobs, $350M in investments in FY22
Invest Puerto Rico, the island’s economic development organization, revealed in its Fiscal Year 2022 annual report that it locked down more than 6,000 business leads, 2,000 prospective opportunities, the establishment of more than 700 new businesses, commitments by companies of nearly 5,000 jobs, and more than $350 million in capital investment.
During a roundtable with reporters, Invest Puerto Rico CEO Ella Woger and Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC, in Spanish) Secretary Manuel Cidre shared these and other data points published in the annual report.
Invest Puerto Rico took over the DDEC’s promotional and marketing tasks in 2018.
“Over the past fiscal year, InvestPR has been steadily focused on driving awareness of Puerto Rico as a world-class business destination, facilitating business attraction, growing, and leveraging partnerships with stakeholders to advance our mission, and strengthening Puerto Rico’s competitiveness levers to better position the island for investment,” said Woger.
“As this report shows, significant progress is being made, with more successes to come. We remain committed to achieving InvestPR’s mission and we look forward to continuing to work together with our partners to accelerate economic development on the island,” she said.
When asked by a reporter how many actual jobs have been created rather than committed, Woger explained that Invest Puerto Rico measures how many jobs have been committed by companies.
“The entity that offers oversight and that can supervise how many jobs have been created is the DDEC, that measures how many of those job commitments are generated over the years,” Woger said, while noting that “Invest Puerto Rico measures job commitments.”
For his part, Cidre said the current job activity is of some 113,000 newly created jobs in the past few years.
“Out of those 113,000 jobs there are medical device industry jobs, aerospace industry jobs, pharmaceutical jobs… 5,000 correspond to Invest Puerto Rico’s efforts specifically to attract those businesses to Puerto Rico,” Cidre said.
Among the initiatives that Invest Puerto Rico undertook to boost awareness of “Puerto Rico’s value proposition” was the development of a new brand identity and the launching of its first national campaign under the new brand platform: “Game-Changers, Welcome Home.”
This new platform also served as the foundation for launching sector-specific campaigns for bioscience, tech, and Impeller, a new proprietary investment matchmaking tool developed and deployed by the organization. The campaign exceeded the established marketing key performance indicators (KPIs), reaching more than 160 million individuals, organization officials said.
Furthermore, a new corporate website was launched earlier this year, designed to encourage prospects to “dive deeper into everything they need to know” on how to do business in Puerto Rico.
The Impeller website, meanwhile, was designed as a hub for investment opportunities on the island and has helped entrepreneurs find projects that they are interested in further developing.
Invest Puerto Rico’s achievements for FY22 can also be seen in the establishment of fully scaled enterprises, executives said.
The support offered by organizations such as Aptima, a leader in human-centered engineering, which announced its expansion in Puerto Rico and the immediate hiring for several remote positions, “has helped Invest Puerto Rico fulfill its mission,” Woger said.
In January 2022, Aurobindo Pharma established manufacturing operations on the island, marking the beginning of a three-year investment of $100 million and the creation of approximately 500 new jobs. Similarly, Amazon Web Services Inc., an Amazon.com Inc. company, announced the opening of its office in San Juan to support the adoption of cloud computing across the region.
Recognizing that its mission cannot be achieved alone, Invest Puerto Rico “spent much of FY22 fostering strategic alliances” with stakeholders and entities with similar objectives.
“These collaborations are vital to driving development and strengthening the current business ecosystem through access to information, knowledge, and global market trends,” Woger added. “The purpose of these associations is to increase the competitiveness of the island as an investment destination.”
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