Invest Puerto Rico (InvestPR) CEO Rodrick Miller reported that despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization managed to achieve some of its goals in fiscal year 2020. These include a commitment of 3,500 jobs, $58 million in capital investment and an average payroll of $51,000 a year for the jobs committed.
InvestPR, the official promotion organization for investment on the island, shared the results of its Annual Report, corresponding to fiscal year 2020. As submitted to Gov. Wanda Vázquez, the presidents of the legislative bodies and their board of directors, the report offers an overview of InvestPR’s recent operations and their impact on attracting new business and capital to promote economic development on the island. .
Miller explained that the entity has bolstered its media efforts, resulting in increasing awareness about Puerto Rico’s business opportunities. “Media coverage increased by 3,800 percent from the first quarter (January to March) to the end of FY 2019-2020, resulting in over 160 million in earned media impressions for the island,” he said.
In addition, InvestPR’s pilot marketing campaign, ‘Jot It Down,’ delivered more than 7.3 million impressions over a three-month period through June 15, 2020, across major markets on the East Coast, including Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C.
Regarding Sales Key Performing Indicators (KPIs)—which measure how well InvestPR is converting advertising and marketing initiatives into tangible opportunities—the organization identified 3,100 new leads, 1,861 new opportunities and prospects, and received 1,485 new incentive applications. These resulted in the aforementioned secured commitments.
Moreover, amid a 40 percent national and global contraction in equity investment due to COVID-19, InvestPR experienced a 30 percent increase in its portfolio of opportunities during the fourth quarter of FY 2019-2020. Miller underscored that these efforts sow the seeds for the creation of new jobs and future investments, especially in core sectors such as bioscience manufacturing, technology and innovation firms.
Following Prospects in 2021
Specifically, when outlining the pipeline summary for FY 2020-2021, InvestPR is pursuing the following prospects: the Biosciences industry, with 20 prospects amounting to $548.8 million in capital expenditures and 1,025 full-time jobs; three prospects in the Agriculture, Food and Beverage Manufacturing industry with $76 million in capital expenditures and 265 jobs; Advanced Manufacturing, with nine prospects, $65 million in capital expenditures and 970 jobs;
Information Communication Technology, 12 prospects, $49.5 million in capital expenditures and 982 jobs; the Energy sector, with three prospects, nearly $5.4 million in capital expenditures and 27 jobs; and three prospects in the Aeronautics, Avionics and Defense sectors amounting to roughly $4.3 million in capital expenditures and 22 jobs.
In total, InvestPR is pursuing 50 prospects in a variety of economic sectors that represent $748.9 million in capital expenditures and 3,291 full-time jobs. The entity also focused on activities that would fundamentally change Puerto Rico’s competitive position in multiple sectors.
This includes highlighting the innovation and resurgence of entrepreneurship taking place across the island, increasing the opportunity for remote work to attract new talent, and taking advantage of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s waiver for air transshipment to build the capacity of the island as a logistics and manufacturing center.
As such, Miller affirmed that the island is poised to become a leader in air transshipment; Technology, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Biosciences reshoring, the latter of which is heightened by local and federal interest to attract pharmaceutical manufacturers to the island to reduce the U.S. nation’s reliance on foreign countries like China, while boosting Puerto Rico’s economy.
“The onset of the pandemic did not stop our promotional plan; it simply led us to turn around and redouble in fulfilling our mission. This is an exciting time for InvestPR and for Puerto Rico,” Rodrick said, adding that 2020 was a year for InvestPR to reflect on its role as an organization committed to the island’s economic development.