SAN JUAN – The Committee appointed through Executive Order 2020-051 to promote the marketing, promotion, strategy and logistics of international cargo and passenger transfer in Puerto Rico, delivered to Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced, the work plan to implement The Air Cargo and Passenger Exemption, granted by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), earlier this year, was announced on Thursday by the Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC), Manuel Laboy Rivera .
“In compliance with the provisions of the Executive Order, on September 30 we delivered the report and immediately began with the work schedule. The report establishes several strategies in which Invest Puerto Rico (IPR) and Discover Puerto Rico collaborate, as well as other organizations and whose objective is to maximize the economic development opportunities provided by the DOT waiver. The Air Cargo and Passenger Exemption offers a unique opportunity to promote the Island as a destination for a transfer hub, and to develop capacity to support multiple sectors, renewing infrastructure. Given the current situation of the pandemic, Puerto Rico has the opportunity to become the main center of the Americas in the manufacturing sector of pharmaceutical products, and other sectors. Likewise, the tourism sector is expected to begin its recovery in 2021 after being affected by closures due to the spread of COVID-19 ”, the also president of the Committee created to promote said dispensation said in a written communication.
The secretary of the DDEC added that another of the concerted efforts is aimed at continuing the collaboration with the federal government to attract more investment in the manufacturing area and this exemption is an added value for these purposes.
Rodrick Miller, Invest Puerto Rico’s principal officer, reported, “We have worked hand in hand with various sectors to develop a promotion plan based on the unique advantages that the Island offers as a transshipment center. From a strategy perspective, we have developed a selection of prospects based on those companies with operations abroad whose market is mainly in the United States and for which Puerto Rico provides competitive value. As part of the committee’s work plan, this week we are holding meetings in Washington, DC with federal agencies, organizations from the airline and transportation industry, as well as interested companies to position Puerto Rico within the framework of the opportunities that have arisen. presented in response to the pandemic ”.
It is projected that in the first two years of validity of this dispensation there should be a multiplier effect on commerce in general and that at least six thousand direct and indirect jobs will be created, among other benefits whose economic impact is estimated at 219.3 million dollars.
For his part, Discover Puerto Rico Chief Executive Officer, Brad Dean, stated that “Puerto Rico is well positioned to become a premier destination for international travel, which will create thousands of new jobs and boost our economy. The exemption granted by the United States Department of Transportation is unprecedented and could be useful to attract foreign carriers to recognize Puerto Rico as a gateway, both for cargo and passenger traffic ”.
The Committee established in Executive Order 2020-51 is composed of the secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, the secretary of the Department of State, the secretary of the Interior, the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Public Works, and the director Executive of the Ports Authority.
There are also members of the private sector such as: the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, and the Puerto Rico Industrial Association, among others.