January 2017 | Business View Caribbean

86 87 PUERTO RICO we must define a new path to meet present and future obligations. In this regard we are neither the first or last government to face sim- ilar circumstances. Other cities, states, and countries have confronted the same situation only to regroup in order to rebound and prosper. Our current financial situation was caused by decades of prioritizing on short-term, expedient decisions over long-term plans. But a prob- lem of decades in the making will not disappear overnight. We have taken firm steps to solve our current situation by reform- Puerto Rico is undergoing a second economic transformation, from a manu- facturing economy to a knowledge-based one. We have reached a momen- tum so strong it is practically unstoppable. Yet this transformation also entails taking care of our public finances because economic development and fiscal stability go hand in hand. Alberto Bacó Bagué Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce of Puerto Rico ing our pension system, implementing spending restraint measures, and presenting the most austere budget to ensure liquidity of the government. Also, we are ad- dressing energy - one of our most challenging hurdles in economic development - with a complete restructur- ing process that will incorporate additional sources of energy production, and will translate into savings and a more reliable system for our people. The fact that we are seeing progress at the negotiating table is a clear sign of our commitment to reform and to be more effective. This represents an invaluable opportunity to collaborate and for strategic alliances in the region. Our geographical location is our most prized posses- sion. We are all unique but at the same time, just by being neighbor countries in this strategic, geographi- cal location called the Caribbean, we are in some ways