‘Puerto Rico is the Answer:’ New investment think-tank
With the goal of stimulating the investment of national and foreign capital, a group of Puerto Rican experts in the fields of finance and economy have come together to create action-tank “Puerto Rico is the Answer,” to drum up investments for the island.
The nonprofit will hold a press conference Wednesday to outline its strategy and discuss Puerto Rico’s “unique set of economic and tax-incentive opportunities that enable the creation of a business-friendly environment, generating a great deal of interests for potential investors.”
“Dedicated to identify economic opportunities and present them to potential investors, ‘Puerto Rico is the Answer’ serves as a liaison for entrepreneurs, aiding them through the evaluation process and formation of their particular investment projects,” the group said in a statement released Monday.
“It also offers counseling services that will help accelerate their residency process, enabling investors to build business relations between their country of origin and the United States,” it said in the statement.
The group’s board of directors comprises executives Miguel A. Ferrer, former president of UBS Puerto Rico; Gustavo Vélez, president of Inteligencia Económica Inc.); Gabriel Hernández-Cepeda, director of the tax division at BDO Puerto Rico; and Edgardo Ríos-Méndez, expert in national and international tax law.
The group has also lined up government support from the government, as Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó is expected to participate in the news conference to be broadcast as it happens live Wednesday at 10 a.m. via http://puertoricoistheanswer.com.
Puerto Rico is the only territory in the U.S with fiscal autonomy, providing tax exemptions, economic incentives and unmatchable investment conditions without the federal tax burden — individual or corporative. Also, it’s ideal geographical location proves as optimal for storage and as a distribution point for products destined throughout the Americas, the statement said.
Where exactly were all these “experts” all these years? Besides,
until something is done about how karst land is classified, no one
in their right mind will come and build in PR. Landowners are left
with real estate being dictated by those who don’t pay its’ taxes
yet are quick to take the services those taxes provide. Conservation
is important but so is compromise. This “all or nothing” mentality of environmentalists may someday be their own downfall because
unless money comes into the island, and soon, environmentalists
will also have to leave the island in order to eat!
I admire all efforts to promote investment in Puerto Rico, but the tax-driven model of development has proven ineffective and has compounded the island’s fiscal crisis. Better incentives are a safe, clean environment, with good schools, roads and public services. It should be self-evident that we cannot continue trying to fund these with debt financing. And tax exemptions take us in the opposite direction from having the necessary resources to improve and maintain our island.
Respectfully, the prominent individuals who lead this group’s initiative should reconsider their strategy (based on the illusory “fiscal autonomy”) and redirect their efforts towards activities in which Puerto Rico is inherently competitive. This means dropping aspirations for high-tech manufacturing and complex offshore financial services. If Puerto Rico were truly competitive in these areas, tax incentives would be superfluous.
Puerto Rico’s greatest untapped potential is in tourism and entertainment. Major investors do not need tax incentives to make successful investments in these areas. But they do need a safe, clean, beautiful and orderly environment. These more than low taxes should be the main pursuits of both the government and private sector.