Recently I had the pleasure of participating in Expo Puerto Rico 2019, a great event that allows entrepreneurs to network and learn valuable information about exporting their services outside of Puerto Rico.
During the event I was part of a presentation track: Exporting Services: Results and Challenges, and I shared background on Wovenware and our successes exporting our AI and software engineering services across the U.S., Europe, Canada and the Caribbean. Joining me in the session track was the esteemed Manuel Laboy Rivera, Secretary of Economic Development & Commerce; and fellow Puerto Rico businessmen, Francisco Martinez of CDM; and Franco Mondo of the BMA Group.
During his presentation, Manuel Laboy Rivera shared information on Act 20, a major incentive for Puerto Rican businesses to export services. Also known as the “Export Services Act,” it provides great incentives to ensure Puerto Rico’s competitiveness in attracting investments and establishes a legal framework to stimulate the establishment and development of a wide array of ventures, such as manufacturing, social media, other internet-based operations, commercial businesses, and the export of services. Key among the incentives is a tax break, which taxes companies on only 4% of their annual profits from exports. This represent a major cut from the typical 20-to-30 percent that is normally taxed on overall profits.
What struck me most throughout the event was the sense of enthusiasm and drive shared among the entrepreneurs in attendance; along with the diversity of talent and professional services offered across the island. From presentations from the likes of Google and Shopify, and successful local entrepreneurs, business growth is alive and well in Puerto Rico, and opportunities abound as the growth of complex technologies, such as e-commerce and AI require specialized services that we can offer.
Expo Puerto 2019 reinforced that Puerto Rico entrepreneurs have not only major incentives and the cooperation of government to grow their businesses through the export of their services, but they have the support of each other – a sure way to bring business to the next level.