Foreign investors are increasingly looking to Puerto Rico as an investment destination, thanks to a number of notable business opportunities and favorable conditions for market entry.
A US territory since 1898, whose residents have been granted US citizenship at birth since 1917, Puerto Rico has seen an almost unbroken rise in gross domestic product (GDP) since 1970.
Today, it is one of the most prosperous territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, registering a gross national income (GNI) of $21,740 per capita in 2020 — which would place the territory as a high-income nation by international standards, were it independent.
Being a US territory, Puerto Rico uses the US dollar as its official currency — which makes it particularly attractive to investors or businesses based in the United States, or who have holdings in US dollars.
While much of Puerto Rico’s trade is with the United States, businesses based in the Caribbean territory also benefit from US participation in a range of free trade agreements, providing preferential access to key markets in Latin America and throughout much of the globe.
The island has a highly developed industrial base, with industry contributing more than 50% of GDP and presenting one of a number of significant business opportunities in Puerto Rico, which are considered below.
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Business opportunities in Puerto Rico ready for investment
Puerto Rico’s highly-developed industrial base means it is an ideal location for establishing manufacturing operations. As well as boasting significant facilities for industrial production, the island has a highly developed infrastructure to help manufacturers receive raw materials and get goods to market.
That not only includes an extensive highway system, but also major ports, with the port of capital city San Juan being one of the busiest in Latin America and the Caribbean. Other major ports include Mayaguez and Ponce.
The presence of those three ports — each of which having a sizeable free trade zone (FTZs) to encourage international commerce — as well as the significant trade done with the mainland US market, and access local firms enjoy to other key global markets, means that import/export represents another of the notable business opportunities in Puerto Rico.
The island counts several major export products that investors can tap into, including pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, computers, garments, fish, and rum.
Puerto Rico has long been a top tourism destination in the Caribbean, and consistently registers significantly higher visitor numbers than other Caribbean islands. Between 2016 and 2019, only 2018 saw tourist numbers dip below 3.6 million people in a year.
Those numbers, in combination with the fact that San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport receives direct flights from multiple US cities, as well as the likes of Frankfurt, Madrid, and numerous cities around Latin America and the Caribbean makes tourism another of the key business opportunities in Puerto Rico.
4. Real Estate
After steep property value increases between 1995 and 2007, Puerto Rico saw a steady decline in its housing price index until around 2017. However, since then, the market has shown encouraging signs of recovery, reaching 182.64 points in the first quarter of 2021, having been at 174.75 points in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the Statistical Institute of Puerto Rico.
Having hit a high of around 210 points in 2007, the prospects for it to continue to climb back up look strong, thanks in part to a range of tax incentives established in recent years to make relocating to Puerto Rico increasingly attractive. As such, real estate represents another of the best business opportunities in Puerto Rico.
Biz Latin Hub can assist you in Puerto Rico
At Biz Latin Hub, our team of multilingual corporate support specialists has the expertise to help you take advantage of business opportunities in Puerto Rico. With a complete portfolio of back-office solutions available, including company formation, legal and accounting, and recruitment services, we can be your single point of contact for entering and doing business in Puerto Rico, as well as any of the other 18 markets around Latin America and the Caribbean where we are present.
Contact us now to discuss how we can support your business.
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