García Padilla sees PR Silicon Valley
The proposal would earmark $16 million to help establish 400 new businesses in Puerto Rico over four years. García Padilla pointed to the example of Chile, where he said 200 businesses were launched in two years through a $2 million investment.
The PDP candidate pitched his proposal to young entrepreneurs at EDP College in the Hato Rey sector of San Juan. He said the plan would organize existing resources in Puerto Rico and attract those that the island lacks.
A key aim would be to convert Puerto Rico into the Silicon Valley of Latin America and the Caribbean to serve as a platform for innovation and entrepreneurship, García Padilla said.
The Puerto Rico Startup effort would be supported by the Economic Development & Commerce Department, the Economic Development Bank and nonprofit organizations.
“Programs like this have been successful in places like the United States and Great Britain,” García Padilla said.
The plan is the latest plank in García Padilla’s pledge to create 50,000 jobs during his first 18 months in office if elected in November.
He is also betting on social media to play a key role through a “Tweet My Jobs” plan that aims to link employers with job seekers.
The PDP hopeful’s economic platform includes planks on maximizing the island’s fiscal autonomy, bolstering its credibility, spurring entrepreneurship, diversifying the labor market by stimulating agriculture and microbusiness, and boosting exports by taking better advantage of ties to the U.S. economy.