Puerto Rico flag Puerto Rico: Invertir a Puerto Rico

Inversió estrangera directa (IED) a Puerto Rico

FDI in Figures

For more than half a century, the Puerto Rican government has pursued its principal objective of creating new jobs by attracting foreign investment through financial and fiscal incentives. Among the financial incentives offered are rental of public buildings at attractive rates, wage incentives and access to financing through tax-free industrial bonds and direct loans. However, in the name of national security the federal government limits foreign investment in transportation, utilities, banking, communication, finance, nuclear power and defence. In 2020, FDI in Latin America and the Caribbean decreased by 38% to an estimated USD 88 billion, amidst one of the deepest recessions across the developing world caused in part by the COVID-19 pandemic (UNCTAD, 2021). Nevertheless, there have been some significant investments made in the country during that period. In September 2020, the German health-care company Fresenius Kabi announced it would invest USD 30 million to expand its manufacturing complex in San Germán, modernising and automating the plant to increase its capacity and competitiveness. Another German corporation, the pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim, also made an investment to expand its manufacturing site in Puerto Rico, at a total cost of USD 50 million.

The country ranked 65th out of 190 countries in the last Doing Business report, published by the World Bank in 2020, which indicates a slight decrease from the previous year, when it ranked 64th. The United States has created a variety of incentives for foreign investment in Puerto Rico, including tax incentives and exemptions, the use of U.S. currency, and government-backed start up costs. The Puerto Rican government actively seeks FDI, mainly through financial and tax incentives, which include renting out public buildings at attractive rates, wage incentives and access to financing through tax-exempted industrial bonds and direct loans, full or partial tax exemptions on income, property ownership, gross income of municipalities and construction, and excise taxes for certain agricultural activities. Additionally, the national investment promotion agency provides aid for foreign investors who seek to invest in the country. Puerto Rico's attractiveness include a skilled and relatively cheap labour force, excellent infrastructure, political stability, and a diversified economy. Also, as Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, treaties signed by the U.S. government apply to the island as well. However, Puerto Rico is vulnerable to climatic factors, it has a high rate of poverty and unemployment and high level of bureaucracy.

 
Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors Puerto Rico Latin America & Caribbean United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 7.0 4.1 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 6.0 5.2 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 8.0 6.7 9.0 5.0

Source: Doing Business, Latest available data

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action.

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What to consider if you invest in Puerto Rico

Strong Points
Puerto Rico's strong points in terms of attracting FDI include:

- bilingual and skilled labour force, which is less expensive than in the mainland United States;

- excellent communication network and infrastucture;

- the security and political stability of the U.S. judicial system;

- diversified economy, benefiting from its US founding.

Weak Points
The major obstacles to FDI in Puerto Rico include :

- vulnerability to climatic shoks (a huricane partially destroyed the island in 2015, strongly slowing down the economy);

- high external debt ;

- rather complicated administrative organisation, as a self-governing Commonwealth inside the US;

- high poverty and unemployment rates.

Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
For over half a century, the Puertorican government has been pursuing a policy of attracting foreign investment through financial and tax incentives, with job creation as its main goal. The financial incentives offered include renting out public buildings at attractive rates, wage incentives and access to financing through tax-exempted industrial bonds and direct loans .

Tax incentives include full or partial tax exemptions on income, property ownership, gross income of municipalities and construction, and excise taxes for certain agricultural activities; they also concern some manufacturing, tourism, film production and service industries (such as banking, finance, insurance, audit, IT, distribution and laboratories), if these services are rendered in Puerto Rico exclusively for non-residents and provided that 80% of employees are Puertorican residents.
Bilateral investment conventions signed by Puerto Rico
Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, treaties signed by the U.S. government apply. The United States currently has 42 bilateral investment treaties in place. For more information, see this website.

Find out more about Investment Service Providers in Puerto Rico on GlobalTrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Actualitzacions: April 2022

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