CNE’s 2017 Conference was unique in many ways. Puerto Rico’s debt crisis provided an exacting but precious backdrop for a much-needed and multifaceted discussion on the current fiscal policies and the prospects for future structural change.
The two-day Conference consisted of seven events designed to bring the conversation about debt, uncertainty, austerity and growth to a wide variety of groups.
A variegated audience of over one thousand people gathered on April 6, 2017 at the San Juan Symphonic Hall to listen and reflect on Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz’ words of caution and forward-looking advise regarding Puerto Rico’s economic predicament. Stiglitz is one of 17 experts who conform pro-bono the CNE Growth Commission for Puerto Rico.
Click here to access a complete recording of the event.
Watch the following summary videos:
In introducing Stiglitz, CNE’s President and Founder Miguel A. Soto-Class stressed the need for ample involvement in the process of economic recovery and made an urgent call-to-action.
Stiglitz cautioned against the contractionary effects fiscal austerity measures will have on the island’s economy…
…and urged for growth measures as anchors of any fiscal and debt restructuring plans.
“Historically, the Puerto Rican tax code and regulatory system abound with provisions for special business interests…The result is a complicated web of policy-induced financial incentives that helps sustain a rent-seeking business culture and an overly intrusive role for the government.” —Steven Davis
On April 6, 2017, Steven Davis, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Global Economics and Management at the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led a conversation with Puerto Rico entrepreneurs and business leaders on how free markets can help Puerto Rico create a healthier economic climate and foster growth. Davis, who is a pro-bono member of the CNE Growth Commission for Puerto Rico, argued in favor of simplifying regulations affecting the island’s business environment.
The CNE Growth Commission for Puerto Rico convened for the first time in San Juan and began to craft an agenda focused on helping the island devise economic development opportunities and strengthen execution capabilities.
The Commission’s vision is based on the premise that – given the demands of a rapidly changing knowledge-based economy and heightened global competition – long-term sustained economic growth is a result of a country’s capability to move into higher value-added activities. Therefore, the Commission understands that any new economic strategy for long-term growth in Puerto Rico ought to be focused on:
Speeding up the process of economic structural change by advancing the economy’s insertion in high-value niches, investing in innovation, and adopting new knowledge and technologies.
Creating the institutional framework to promote this structural change; that is, revamping the institutions whose mission is to promote this transformation.
Devising public policies that help raise the wellbeing of society in an inclusive manner, so that most of its members can benefit from the gains of improved economic performance.
With the objective of prompting a far-reaching dialogue about the process of economic recovery, the CNE 2017 Conference included also a series of workshops, presentations and meetings with Puerto Rico and US media, University of Puerto Rico students and the general public.