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No Money For $1 Million ‘Made In Puerto Rico’ Products Law

Treasury Can’t Identify Funds To Match Local Businesses’ Marketing Expenses


May 29, 2003
Copyright © 2003 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

It has been nearly 10 months since the passage of the Made in Puerto Rico Products $1 Million Promotional Fund law (No. 157 of Aug. 10, 2002), which was meant to supplement local businesses’ marketing expenses so they could compete with nonlocal products’ campaigns, but the Treasury Department has yet to identify where it will get the money.

An effort between House of Representatives Vice Speaker Ferdinand Perez and former Puerto Rico Products Association (PRPA) President Rolando Avila, the law would match dollar for dollar the investment by local companies in marketing campaigns.

"We finished the regulations and submitted them to the Treasury Department, but the [matching] funds aren’t available," said Hector Jimenez Juarbe, outgoing executive director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. (Pridco). "It is now up to Treasury to come up with the allocation."

After the law’s approval, a disagreement between the PRPA and Pridco regarding how to disburse the funds caused a delay in drafting the fund’s regulations. An agreement was reached, and the regulations were approved on April 7. The law now states that the funds will be disbursed to Pridco and the responsibility for developing promotional programs and advertising campaigns for locally made products will be shared between Pridco and the PRPA.

Pridco Marketing Director Daniel Nazario, who will manage the fund on behalf of the agency, said, "Treasury Department Secretary Juan Flores Galarza is aware of the need to identify the funds for the law. As a member of the board, Flores Galarza was present at our last board meeting April 7, where he said he would evaluate the request but believed there were no funds available."

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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