The entrance to the Governor’s office of the former Secretary of Justice, a person who does not appear to be a politician, seems to me a great short-term opportunity to tend to the economic development projects that are being held and to regain confidence with the federal government achieving the entry of hundreds of millions of dollars in CDBG funds, among others, for the reconstruction of homes and for the hundreds of businesses that are closed or that operate with difficulty due to lack of capital.
The temptation must be avoided and pretend by December 2020 to fill by filling the pipeline and continue playing the game with a lot of announcement and few results. We must focus on the results and not on the efforts and make sure that the pending projects move forward.
It is essential to integrate all sectors in a common effort mainly, banking, insurance companies, business organizations and community sectors with the government to promote Puerto Rico, fight corruption and ensure that, “Puerto Rico is ready to resume the path of progress.”
The Act 20/22 initiative is a great opportunity, but not limited to buying a house, living 182 days on the island and operating from Puerto Rico.
This initiative, focused on specific projects, can be of great help in public transportation projects such as the expansion of the urban train, the Roosevelt Roads base and the Arecibo Highway to Mayagüez, where they are needed and due to the lack of capital and the political changes over the years nothing happens.
The government has to send a clear message of its position to the foreign investment.
This reality that we often ignore reminds me of my visit to China in 2015. This mogul that manufactures everything instead of having a protectionist philosophy is quite the opposite, they live and sleep thinking about how to attract foreign investment.
Given this reality, I met a government official to whom I asked the strategy behind promoting foreign investment, and his response did not need further explanation “through foreign investment we create more jobs to buy what we manufacture and more importantly, they teach us to be better and stimulate the emergence of hundreds and hundreds of local companies that manufacture their products with quality and better prices.”
For years, Puerto Rico has measured foreign investment by job creation. It seems to me to be an extraordinary time to rethink the strategy and by the hand of the effort to repair the damage of the last months, develop for the first time a clear country vision that tends to the next generations and not the short term electoral game. My advice to the new Governor is that look at this job as the CEO of Puerto Rico, who must evaluate the team she inherits and remove those who are not high performance individuals.
The CEO cannot be satisfied with keeping the company running, its function has to be more invasive, gain the trust of the employees, its customers, its suppliers.
It is not enough to repair, it is essential to change the perception of a business in trouble to one that emerged from its crisis and is on track for the future.