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PRMA CEO Summit To Assess Global Competitiveness Of Local Industry

Discussion to center on how manufacturing can sustain Puerto Rico’s economy


March 17, 2005
Copyright © 2005 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

More than 80 companies and 200 representatives of the local manufacturing industry are expected to attend the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association (PRMA)-sponsored first CEO Summit-Scorecard of Puerto Rico from the Private Sector Perspective, to be held at the Westin Río Mar Beach Golf Resort & Spa on March 18 and 19.

The CEO Summit will bring together manufacturing experts in areas such as transportation and communications, local and federal incentives, education, human resources, social climate, government, science and technology, local services, supply chain, banking and insurance, tourism and conventions, infrastructure and utilities, environmental regulations, as well as business opportunities in Puerto Rico.

"The PRMA has identified five strategic areas needed to transform the island’s manufacturing industry," said Reynaldo Encarnación, PRMA president. He added, "The CEO Summit’s primary focus will be on competitiveness, because we want to wake up the spirit of competitiveness that should be part of each Puerto Rican, although it will touch on each of the other four areas, which include education, science and technology, Puerto Rican businesses, and social responsibility."

Encarnación explained that at one time "the federal Internal Revenue Service Section 936 was like a shroud that protected us, and the U.S. manufacturing industry’s domestic market belonged to Puerto Rico. Today, what foreign-controlled corporations and IRS Section 901 do is position Puerto Rico on an even keel with other U.S. jurisdictions," he said.

"We must start a dialogue about labor costs, utilities, infrastructure, suppliers, and local government, and focus on becoming competitive and productive, establishing a long-term plan, and an overdose of good administrative practices, so Puerto Rico can get ahead," Encarnación noted.

The CEO Summit keynote speaker on Friday, March 18, will be forecaster and strategist Paul Saffo, considered one of the 100 "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. A consultant to multinational corporations and government agencies in North America, Europe, and Asia, Saffo is also research director and Roy Amara Fellow at the Institute for the Future, a group that for the past 30 years has forecast critical technological, demographic, and corporate trends.

Saffo will talk about how understanding the future can provide the key to success in business areas such as marketing, strategic planning, innovation, technology, competition, economics, and during times of social and political change.

There will be nine breakout sessions on Friday, March 18, covering transportation and communications; local and federal incentives; education and labor force; social climate and government; local services; industrial supply chain; banking and insurance; science and technology; and research and development initiatives. Gov. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá will be the keynote speaker during the CEO Summit Friday dinner. He will speak about his administration’s economic development plan.

On Saturday, March 19, two panels will feature CSA Group President J.J. Suárez and Industrias Vassallo President Rafael Vassallo, respectively, discussing how they have expanded their operations successfully outside Puerto Rico. Saturday activities will include four breakout sessions: tourism and conventions, infrastructure and utilities, environmental regulations; and business opportunities in Puerto Rico. For more information on the Summit, visit

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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