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Private Sector Coalition calls for changing P.R.’s image

CofC President Salvador Calaf (left) looks on as PSC Spokesman Francisco Rodríguez-Castro signs a multisector agreement with labor leader José Rodríguez-Báez to lobby for job creation. Joining them are PRMA President Pedro Watlington and media union leader Néstor Soto

The Private Sector Coalition is calling for the union of all sectors, to change the perception that Puerto Rico is one step from becoming a narco-state maintained by an underground economy into one seen as having the region’s best infrastructure, technology and professionals.

Job creation is one of the key weapons in the battle to break down the economy fueled by drugs and other illegalities that generate money quickly, PSC members said.

Coalition Spokesman Francisco Rodríguez-Castro, recently said Puerto Rico has the resources and talent to refocus the economy and be the prosperous jurisdiction recognized as having first-class manufacturing, being the commercial bridge of the Caribbean and boasting a solid knowledge-based economy.

“There is still time to stop this social economic deterioration that is overtaking us, but we must work together, the government, the private sector, workers and communities, with a single plan for everyone’s benefit,” said Rodríguez-Castro.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association President Pedro Watlington said “the only way to combat this terrible image is to give back to Puerto Rico the tools so that it can once again become the mecca of manufacturing.”

“Our island has good infrastructure and technology. We also have the best-prepared professionals for this industry. Now we just need to capitalize on the tools that allow us to achieve greater competitiveness to be more attractive to achieve investment,” Watlington said.

For his part, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce President Salvador Calaf said there is a need to maintain lines of communication open and focus on seeking consensus to adjust to prevailing global labor trends to create jobs.

“Currently there are proposals in Congress related to job creation that we should support with one voice, to create economic development. Only then can we put up a fight against violence and drug trafficking,” said Calaf, referring to the Puerto Rico Investment Promotion Act, known as PRIPA, and the American Jobs Act.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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