Department of Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel A. Laboy, traveled to New York this week, where he made a presentation to the Japanese Foreign Trade Organization and met with the Consul General of Japan in New York, Kanji Yamanouchi, looking to attract investment in Puerto Rico.
“For two days we had the opportunity to present to a group of Japanese investors the opportunities we offer for new businesses development or the expansion of existing ones,” said Laboy.
Currently, products and services industries owned by Japanese companies or Japanese brands operating in Puerto Rico employ between 10,000 and 15,000 workers, he said.
“There is still an opportunity to continue expanding this market that contributes more than $400 million a year, and approximately $240 million in special car taxes to the island’s economy, according to the Japanese Consulate,” said Laboy.
According to a Office of Foreign Trade Statistics’ State Exports Report for the year 2018, Puerto Rico occupies the 19th place among all states and U.S. territories in exports to Japan, reaching a total of $1.3 billion in the value of all commodities.
Meanwhile, Japan accounted for 1.2% of Puerto Rico’s total exports for fiscal year 2018. The main exports are related to the manufacture of chemical products, which includes the production of pharmaceutical products. Regarding imports, the manufacturing group of electrical equipment and its components showed the most growth in the last three years.
Laboy was accompanied at the presentation by representatives from Invest Puerto Rico, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, the Honorary Consul General of Japan in San Juan, and former Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce president Manuel Morales, Jr.