Puerto Rico Compass ©

Q1 2014: PR Still Moving Sideways

Analysis of 1st Quarter 2014 economic indices

During the first quarter of 2014, the government remained in the eye of the fiscal storm. Despite the adverse impact of junk status of PR GO’s and other public corporations’ bonds, the PR Treasury Department and the Government Development Bank successfully sold a $3.5 billion GO bond issue. Of course, the interest paid was high but necessary, in order to fund the daily government operations and debt obligations. The current administration has also worked hard on several initiatives geared to restore growth and create jobs. Among these initiatives is the “Star Isle” tourism campaign, the Jobs Now Act, a new aeronautic cluster, and the proposed energy reform, among others. However, these valuable efforts appear to have been diluted due to a lack of coordination and difficulties to deliver a clear message. Individuals have been hard hit by utility prices and businesses face uncertainty regarding tax reform. In short, Puerto Rico still moves sideways with expansionary and recessionary policies, which cause a near zero net effect.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

March 2014: Time to Realize ICT’s Potential

Some suggestions to make it happen in PR

For too long, PR has ignored the limitless possibilities that can come from the Information Communication Technology (ICT). This has resulted in lackluster growth and productivity when compared to the leaders of the industry. It is time to take matters into our own hands and learn from our competitors while using our own distinct advantages to become competitive and attractive for foreign investment. PR has a relatively untapped broadband market that can lead to massive amounts of growth in GDP and jobs. Educational institutions in the island need to adopt this technological platform if they are to provide the world with some of the most capable engineers, doctors, and other professionals for a fraction of the cost incurred in the US. By improving the information infrastructure; creating competition; and harnessing our workforce with Computer Science, and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, PR can also experience the same kind of growth that leaders in ICT in other countries are experiencing.