SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Feb. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A delegation of senior Puerto Rico government officials are in New York City today to promote ways Puerto Rico does it better in its economic programs for the Island.
The delegation, which includes Lieutenant Governor Kenneth McClintock and Jose R. Perez-Riera, Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce, is focused on building awareness and recognition for the extensive revitalization programs underway on the Island in the country's financial capital.
"We are here to demonstrate to U.S. business executives, investment bankers and others the unparalleled opportunities in Puerto Rico and the pro-growth approach of our Island's political leadership," said Sec. McClintock. "From tax cuts to business and housing incentives, we are telling our story to a very important audience, one that can influence investment in Puerto Rico."
One of the key events of the trip will be when members of the delegation, joined by executives of several of the Island's rum companies will ring the closing bell at the NASDAQ stock exchange and talk about how Puerto Rico is becoming the business hub of the Caribbean.
"Over the past two years, the Fortuno administration has made great strides in rebuilding Puerto Rico's economy," said Sec. Perez-Riera. "We have already seen good results – reducing the budget by 20 percent, cutting the number of government employees and reducing the budget deficit as a percentage of revenues from nearly 44% to less than 11%. We have been rewarded as Moody's raised Puerto Rico's bond rating from Baa3 to A3, the highest it has been in 35 years. Fitch recently assigned a BBB+ rating to Puerto Rican bonds with a stable outlook and Standard's & Poor's gave the bonds a BBB- rating with stable outlook."
The Puerto Rico officials are scheduled to meet with executives, news media, and others in New York City specifically to discuss:
- The most sweeping tax reform package in the history of the Island, including an immediate 25 % cut in individual rates, which will reach nearly a 50% over the next several years, an 11% cut in corporate rates and a corporate tax simplification plan that moves from seven tiers to three tiers at a lower tax rate;
- The dramatic cutting of regulations and red tape on the Island to make it easier for businesses to invest;
- The signing of two landmark pieces of legislation by of Gov. Luis Fortuno aimed at diversifying the Island's portfolio for energy production, while at the same time laying the foundation for Puerto Rico's rise as a renewable energy haven;
- The turn-around in the Puerto Rican housing market – featuring an 18 percent increase in housing sales in the first four months of the Administration's unique housing incentive program; and
- The passage of an innovative hospitality incentive program that has already helped bring a major resort complex to the Island.
At the same time, as part of the trip to New York City, Rums of Puerto Rico, the umbrella government program that encourages the consumption of rum and protects its leadership in the U.S. market, is launching its 2011 campaign – "Just Think, Puerto Rican Rum."
The tagline is tied to other Puerto Rico promotion efforts, including the Puerto Rican Tourism Company's "Just Think, Puerto Rico" campaign, which launched last fall in New York City. Both campaigns also employ the green and black "Puerto Rico Does It Better" logo that is now featured on all of the government's promotional materials.
The DEDC serves as the umbrella entity for key economic development agencies in Puerto Rico. This Department is responsible for implementing and supervising the execution of Puerto Rico's public policy on economic development in the various entrepreneurial sectors of industry, commerce, tourism, services, among others.
About Rums of Puerto Rico
Rums of Puerto Rico, a division of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), was created in 1948 to administrate the advertising and promotional programs that encourage the consumption of rum and protect its leadership in the United States market. The quality brands produced in Puerto Rico are aged at least one year by law. This sets the standard of excellence that includes only the finest rums and offers an extensive choice in the rum category including Bacardi, Don Q, Ron Llave, Ron del Barrilito and Palo Viejo, among others.
SOURCE Puerto Rican Department of Economic Development and Commerce