Senators Ramón Luis Nieves and José Nadal-Power announced Tuesday the filing of Bill 655 to promote “creative industries” in Puerto Rico, as a means of creating jobs and wealth.
“Our island has been going through a recession, unemployment and hopelessness for seven years. With this project, we say enough,” said Nieves. “It’s in times of crisis, as we’re living today, is when people should stand up and use their natural strengths and competitive advantages. We believe that one of the engines of our economic growth has to be the creativity of our people.”
The measure filed pursues creating public policy to stimulate a “creative economy” in four strategic areas: Design (graphic, industrial, fashion, interiors); the arts (music, visual arts, performing arts and literature); media (application development, video games, online media, digital and multimedia content); and creative services (architecture, creative education and social networks.)
“Creative industries are a real gold mine in Puerto Rico. They represent economic activity that already exists but are highly fragmented and this legislative measure seeks to provide a legal framework that allows creating an ecosystem that facilitates the growth of these industries,” Nadal-Power said, during a news conference Tuesday morning.
The bill has already garnered backing from central government officials at the Economic Development and Commerce Department, the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, the Chief Information Office and Puerto Rico Trade.
It has also pulled in support from the private sector and academia, whose members were present at the press conference. The group includes the Pontifical Catholic University in Ponce, the Ana G. Méndez University System, Liberty Cablevision, the Alliance Francaise, the Founders Institute, the Creative Incubator in Mayagüez, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Internet Society and the Angel Ramos Foundation, among others.
“The filing of this bill represents the beginning of Puerto Rico’s integration into global trends, as well as the much needed diversification of our economy,” said Ricardo Burgos, founder of the Puerto Rico Creative Economy Initiative, which is also standing behind the legislative effort.
“I’m very proud to be part of a pioneering team that opens the door to new generations of creative entrepreneurs to help Puerto Rico become the hemisphere’s creative and technological hub,” he said.