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Puerto Rico’s Padilla Looking at Energy, Tourism in Economic Push

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 3, 2013

Above: San Juan (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla is looking at reforming the country’s energy policy and harnessing the potential of tourism as part of his economic push.

Puerto Rico recently passed a new jobs act, which Padilla said could create 50,000 jobs in 18 months.

The act features a combination of exemptions, credits, reimbursements and deductions, including energy credits, exemptions on personal property and other measures.

That plan, he said this week, has already led to 15,896 job commitments, in areas including manufacturing.

But energy policy, like elsewhere in the Caribbean, remains a major issue for the economy.

“We all agree that the current energy situation is unsustainable,” he said this week in an address to the Manufacturers Association of Puerto Rico. “It is not good for the country in general, it is not good for the industrial climate, it is a deterrent to attracting investment.”

On that front, Padilla said he had begun the process of promoting dialogue for the eventual design of a National Energy Plan, one which will feature a move toward the use of liquefied natural gas and from oil to natural gas.

The government is also eyeing the tourism sector, he said.

“Aware of the potential of tourism as a growth axis, we are launching the ‘National Brand’ for the promotion of Puerto Rico,” he said.

Without giving specifics, he said that plan would be ready for presentation in May.

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