Working in Paradise

Q&A with San Juan, Puerto Rico's business leaders

Ivan Baez
Corporate Business Manager
Walmart Puerto Rico, Inc.
walmartpr.com

Describe the local business climate in three words:
Favorable. Enthusiastic. Vibrant.

Why should companies consider setting up shop in the island?  
As the capital city of Puerto Rico, [San Juan] is an important center of economic activity for local and international companies. Considering its historical sites, the city also receives thousands of visitors from different parts of the world on a weekly basis. The government also provides a good economic environment to invest in the city.

What are some of the biggest challenges impacting businesses in San Juan?
High-energy costs. Not only in San Juan, but in the whole Island.

From a global business perspective, what is San Juan’s competitive edge?
Fast-track in the permitting process.


Neil Mullanaphy, CHME

Senior Vice President, Sales
Puerto Rico Convention Bureau
meetpuertorico.com

Describe the local business climate in three words:
Sophisticated. Fast-paced. International.

Why should companies consider setting up shop in the island?
Puerto Rico offers numerous tax incentives, a sophisticated business infrastructure, and financing options. The island’s strategic location, comprehensive logistics capabilities, and highly skilled and educated bilingual workforce make it one of the most attractive locations to conduct business in the United States.

What are some of the key challenges impacting the business community in San Juan?
Getting the word out about the investment opportunities, incentives, and tax  benefits of doing business [here], especially in terms of overcoming the image of merely a Caribbean getaway destination. We’re so much more.

 

 

Juan San Emeterio
Owner, Hotel Milano
hotelmilanopr.com

Describe the local business climate in three words:
Great business potential

What are some of the key challenges impacting the business community in the island?
Similar to most of the world, the main obstacle facing businesses in Puerto Rico is securing financing. The conditions currently required to finance any business venture are highly difficult to fulfill, particularly for small businesses or new start-ups without a lot of capital.

From a global business perspective, what is San Juan’s competitive edge?
The Puerto Rican consumer is educated but emotional and is always willing to spend some money in products that are priced fairly and that stimulate their imagination and consumerism. In addition, the Latino climate with American influences and a solid educational system create a world-class workforce in terms of productivity potential and discipline.