PR Newswire (May 8, 2008)
NEW YORK — Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo-Vila presided over the official opening of the Commonwealth’s new offices in New York City on Wednesday.
Located at 135 West 50th Street in Midtown Manhattan, the new facility brings for the first time, Puerto Rico’s four economic development and promotional agencies under one roof: The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Rums of Puerto Rico and the Government Development Bank.
Hosting an evening reception for New York-based business leaders, finance experts and corporate location consultants, Governor Acevedo-Vila said:
“The Commonwealth ofPuerto Rico has long maintained a visible presence here in New York, the world’s financial, business and media capital, and the cultural and economic ties between the Island and New York are as strong as ever.
“With these four key agencies now under one roof, Puerto Rico’s new offices can more effectively reach out together to business targets and decision makers, creating new synergies that benefit companies interested in Puerto Rico,” the Governor added. “More than ever, we will be able to convey the message that Puerto Rico is a wonderful place to visit, a great place for business and investment and the source of some delightful rum products all at the same time.”
In addition to a suite of offices on 22nd floor, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company will soon open a storefront location on the building’s ground floor. According to Terestella Gonzalez Denton, Executive Director of the Tourism Company, the visibility will be especially valuable now, when record breaking numbers of overseas tourists, drawn by the weak American dollar, are flocking toNew York City.
Despite the downturn in the U.S. economy, Puerto Rico’s tourism program is thriving. The Island drew more than 5 million visitors in 2007, up nearly 100,000 from the year before. And, with 21 new hotel properties in the pipeline, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company is well on its way to meeting its goal of 14,000 new hotel rooms by 2011, a doubling of the existing inventory.
On the industrial development front, Boris Jaskille, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), reports more than 22 “high impact” projects over the 18 months, accounting for $2 billion in capital investment and 5,000 direct new jobs. These include nearly a billion dollars worth of new investment by life sciences companies such as Pall Life Sciences, St. Jude Medical and Abraxis Biosciences, as well as several millions of dollars in added investment by aerospace engineering companies, including Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, who are taking advantage of the large pool of highly skilled engineers on the Island.
“Puerto Rico has succeeded in attracting billions of dollars in investment in the last few years, much of it in high-technology sectors like biotech and aerospace engineering,” said Jaskille. “With our new offices in the heart of Manhattan, even more investors will learn that Puerto Rico is open for business, providing offshore advantages alongside the same protections they enjoy in the United States Mainland. We offer a unique value proposition.”
The new Incentives Act for Puerto Rico, which allows for tax incentives and added benefits to businesses establishing their operations on the Island, has been recently revamped in a paramount team effort of both the public and private sectors, to position Puerto Rico as the location of choice for foreign direct investment. “We’re currently sharing these new tools and provisions of the PR Incentives Act with potential investors and site selectors seeking highly competitive tax rates along with Puerto Rico’s world-class skilled workforce and unparalleled value proposition. We are also addressing global challenges and reducing energy costs. This strategic plan will undoubtedly position the Island as a front-runner in investment promotion”, said Jaskille.
Bartolome Gamundi, Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce, followed up, saying, “Many of the global companies located inPuerto Rico today have enjoyed our unique investment advantages for decades. With the opening of ourNew York offices, the economic development team can maximize our agencies synergies in presenting Puerto Rico’s business advantages to the world’s capital of finance and industry.”
SOURCE The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company