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Puerto Rico industry stakeholders to host White House officials in ‘Industry Capabilities Tour’

August 17, 2020
  • Visit will feature tours of Puerto Rico-based facilities and host talks with industry associations on strengthening the territory’s role in U.S. economic resilience
  • The island’s 60-plus years of expertise in pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing positions it as a solution to filling key supply chain gaps nationwide

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, August 17, 2020 — Invest Puerto Rico (InvestPR), in partnership with the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC), Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association (PRMA), the Pharmaceutical Industry Association (PIA), the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA), and other industry organizations and government officials, will host White House officials in a special visit to Puerto Rico August 18 – 20. The three-day tour will include visits to companies and facilities for redevelopment in pharmaceutical and medical device industries, and feature roundtable discussions in an effort to showcase the island’s capabilities as a global life sciences manufacturing hub.

The purpose of the visit is to measure the island’s capacity to reshore more manufacturing operations back to the U.S., especially given Puerto Rico’s storied background in pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

The visit, part of the “Industry Capabilities Tour” initiative, will be led by White House Special Representative to Puerto Rico, Rear Admiral Peter J. Brown, and officials in defense, environmental and trade policy. The delegation aims to assess and fully understand opportunities to quickly mobilize.

“Invest Puerto Rico is pleased to host Rear Adm. Brown and his delegation as they witness the island’s bioscience manufacturing expertise,” said Rodrick T. Miller, InvestPR CEO. “Puerto Rico has proven itself to be a next-generation global pharmaceutical hub, hosting a powerhouse of talent, suppliers, incentives, and available sites at the ready to accommodate quickly starting up manufacturing operations on the Island. Hosting the nation’s largest concentration of pharmaceutical and medical equipment experts right on the island, offering a tremendous number of available sites meeting sterility and safety requirements, and having the industry resources and guidance on-hand; it’s the perfect opportunity for our island and for the nation.”

This visit follows President’s Trump’s executive order issued August 6 to increase domestic production for essential medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), in addition to personal protection equipment and medical devices. It also directed federal agencies to consider domestic procurement toward these industries and build a resilient supply chain strategy around the U.S.

“I am pleased to join InvestPR, the DDEC, and my Administration colleagues in advancing pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing in Puerto Rico,” Rear Adm. Peter Brown stated. “President Trump’s leadership and executive orders create the opportunity to improve America’s medical supply chain and Puerto Rico’s economy, making both more secure, stable, and resilient for the future.”

“These visits and meetings are a result of the legislation we have sponsored in Congress, including the MMEDS Act with Senator Marco Rubio to position Puerto Rico as a pharmaceutical and medical device hub,” Resident Commissioner Jennifer González said. “We have the talent, resources and capabilities to play a leading role in bringing the manufacturing of medical devices and pharmaceuticals back to our nation. These site visits will provide an opportunity to demonstrate what Puerto Rico has to offer in an industry of utmost importance to our national security while showcasing the commitment of all Puerto Ricans contributing to the nation’s economy and the Island’s economy and creating new jobs.”

For his part, Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy stated, “Puerto Rico has everything to position itself as the world leader in manufacturing in the Bioscience sector, among others. Over the next few days we will visit several pharmaceutical companies and centers that offer specialized services worldwide. They are a great example of the success of the operations of these companies in Puerto Rico with a first-class infrastructure and a workforce of excellence. As a government we are committed through the Department of Economic Development and Commerce to support private investment through incentives, in sectors with a positive return on investment, as established by the Puerto Rico Incentive Code.”

InvestPR continues to work closely with other key organizations involved in the tour including the Industry Research Center (INDUNIV) and the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA), as well as other leaders in the Bioscience, supply chain and logistics sectors.

Carlos. M. Rodríguez, president of the PRMA said, “The PRMA has been working hard through a task force we established early in the year to bring back manufacturing to Puerto Rico,” said Carlos. M. Rodríguez, president of PRMA. “We have joined forces with InvestPR and other organizations to implement an Industry Sector Education Campaign to ensure key individuals that are responsible of influencing decisions regarding policy that affects the Island are aware of the assets, experience, talent and existing capabilities of Puerto Rico.”

From the pharmaceutical perspective, PIA president Wendy Perry said, “Puerto Rico has been for decades a global leader in the manufacturing of bio-pharmaceutical products and the most relevant contributor to the island socio economic development sector. The current scenario opens possibilities to expand the strong presence of this industry in Puerto Rico. We have the technical and regulatory expertise to support such expansion. We are pleased to collaborate with Invest PR, in this process of creating awareness on key stakeholders about our industry’s capabilities to supply products of the highest quality, consistently available to patients in the USA and around the world”.

Puerto Rico provides operations to 12 of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies as well as seven of the top 10 medical device companies. The Biosciences industry makes up roughly one-third of Puerto Rico’s GDP, employs over 94,000 in the field, and is the nation’s lead exporter of pharmaceuticals, sprinting past the next state (Indiana) by nearly double the exports.

Tour participants are required to complete COVID-19 testing prior to the visit and strict social distancing guidelines and health and safety measures will be followed throughout the tour. Visitors will also be asked to abide by each facilities’ specific “clean room” or other protocols implemented as part of general business practices or COVID protocol changes.

Media contact:
Natalia Rosado

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