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Private Sector Coalition, NY Fed swap ideas to develop island economy

James Orr, senior economist and deputy vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

Concrete ideas for creating jobs, especially for recent graduates, and a strong commitment to jump-start the economy were the result of the recent meeting between representatives of the Private Sector Coalition and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which established agreements to work together to benefit Puerto Rico’s competitiveness.

Representatives of various associations belonging to the multi-sector Coalition met with representatives of the Federal Reserve Bank, the main source of political strength for the U.S. currency, to exchange plans centered around Puerto Rico’s economic development and competitiveness.

The meeting served as the venue to discuss the Coalition’s development plan as well as the Bank’s “Competitiveness Report of the Economy of Puerto Rico,” Coalition President Francisco Rodríguez-Castro said.

“It was a very productive meeting where we were able to exchange ideas about the challenges we face and the actions we must take to encourage more economic development, create jobs and boost the island,” he said.

“We’re in tune with this prestigious institution about the steps we must take to develop competitiveness and agreed to work together on a strategic plan so that measures we’re proposing separately are not left up in the air and become a concrete action plan,” said Rodríguez-Castro regarding the recent meeting with James Orr and Rae Rosen, senior economist and deputy vice president of the stateside organization, respectively.

The Federal Reserve Bank, the largest in the federal system in terms of assets — and one of the most important among the system’s 12-member banks — studies global economic systems.

“We’re going to work together to turn words into action and we’ve asked the Federal Reserve Bank to give its support stateside to create the NY FED Commitee on Puerto Rico along with the Coalition to promote the need to change public policies needed to promote concrete actions to get the economy going,” he said.

The report Orr presented to Coalition members includes a number of economic challenges among which are increasing job opportunities, developing human capital and reducing the costs of doing business. It coincided with some of the Coalition’s proposals on issues such as the challenges of energy costs, permit system problems and cabotage laws (Jones Act), which state that the transportation of goods between ports U.S. and Puerto Rico can only be done on ships built and owned by U.S. companies, operated and managed by Americans and flying the American flag. The Bank’s report also presents the challenge of redefining and expanding the manufacturing sector.

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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