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PUERTO RICO Hi-Tech Learning Embracing innovation to focus on a knowledge based economy for the future. ith a strategic location in the heart of the Caribbean and a modern infrastructure, Puerto Rico has a growing reputation as a leading investment destination and innovation platform. With a young and ambitious population of four million, the island nation’s key sectors include the manufacturing of pharmaceutical and medical devices, food processing, and tourism. As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rican products are not subject to U.S. duties or quotas. Heavy investment in a new marine port and upgrades at its main airport will transform the country into a commercial hub. A leading exporter of talent, both the private and public sectors are working hard to secure a bright future for the country through a focus on better knowledge, privatization, and improved efficiencies.
“Our educational system was developed to produce graduates for multinational enterprises.” Marilina Lucca Wayland, Chancellor, Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Metropolitan Campus
As such the government is transforming the industrial based economy through the dual approach of a highly educated workforce and a focus on scientific and technology research and development (R&D). “In terms of a knowledge based economy, we are not only talking the talk, but walking the walk by investing heavily in education and education related facilities,” says Secretary of State, Kenneth McClintock. “Puerto Rico boasts world class manufacturing facilities and a very loyal workforce. We are looking for an integrated, vertical operation where businesses can do R&D relatively inexpensively because of low labor costs and excellent scientific knowledge.”
Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Bayamón Campus.
That vision is shared by Carlos Chardon, Secretary of Education, who is overseeing major changes in the nation’s education system as it looks to evolve and innovate. “We are investing more than U.S.$150 million next year in retraining which will really shake the system,” he states. “Our focus for the next five years is on science, math, English, and Spanish, which are the skills needed to compete in today’s globalized economy.” Helping the island achieve this goal is the Inter American University of P.R., Metropolitan Campus. Part of the Inter American University System, the university promotes a more flexible and technological way of learning. The campus recently teamed up with Microsoft to establish a hi-tech innovation center. “Our educational system was developed to produce graduates for multinational enterprises,” says chancellor Marilina Lucca Wayland. A leading exponent of science and technology, Inter American University of P.R., Bayamón Campus offers specialist courses in biology, biotechnology, environmental sciences, and aviation, among others. Headed by chancellor Juan Martínez, the university is looking for foreign investors to help it to create more world class facilities, particularly in research fields.
Nurturing leaders and entrepreneurs for the world
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BARBADOS Wealth of a nation The Central Bank of Barbados keeps a close watch on the financial services sector ith a thriving economy built on its long established tourism industry, Barbados is the Caribbean’s leading foreign direct investment destination as it offers international investors a safe haven from the global economic storm. A leading financial offshore center, Barbados is the region’s financial services capital and acts as a powerful magnet for global companies and investors seeking a secure climate for their investments. The highly respected Central Bank of Barbados is the guardian of the island’s economy and provides a safe and stable financial environment for citizens, visitors, and foreign investors. The bank has a powerful array of tools with which it regulates the industry through licenses, reviews, and on-site inspections. Famous for its low-tax environment, the financial services industry helps drive growth in the economy, with the Central Bank of Barbados also responsible for monetary policy and inflation controls. In addition, the central bank liaises closely with the government, financial services officials, and overseas regulators and foreign central banks. “The financial services sector is quite vibrant here,” says Central Bank of Barbados Governor, Marion Williams. “Barbados is a lowtax jurisdiction that operates to international guidelines. Most of the domestic financial services providers cater to the regional market. “While we have other international financial entities, they cater mainly to clients who are wealth providers or overseas based owners of substantial wealth.”
W Puerto del Rey Marina.
Meanwhile, with 40,000 students, the Ana G. Méndez University System is a leader in bringing academia, government, and private industry together. The university boasts global alliances with countries such as Argentina, Costa Rica, and Panama. “We see ourselves as a promoter of economic development. Universities that want to be successful have to become international in that respect,” states president, José Méndez. A relatively new but unique institution, Atlantic College pioneers the development of digital animation and graphic design. “If you want to be part of a creative and successful institution and be the best, you have to study here,” say president Teresa de Dios Unanue and vice-president Heri Martínez de Dios. In 2007, the college won a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award for Best Technical Achievement. Banking and financial services are also driving Puerto Rico’s future success and prosperity. Leading mortgage lender R-G Premier Bank of P.R. is committed to environmentally friendly policies. “We have taken a proactive role in promoting environmental responsibility,” says the bank’s president, José Díaz. With a welcoming climate complemented by beautiful beaches lapped by the warm Caribbean Sea, it’s easy to see why tourists flock to Puerto Rico in ever increasing numbers. Puerto del Rey Marina is the Caribbean’s largest marina and a magnet for international visitors. “The marina is ideally situated for nautical tourism between the islands of Vieques and Culebra, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico’s east coast, ” says company president, Daniel Shelley. Leader in Digital Arts
Atlantic College Emmy ® Award winning Institution
MASTER BACHELOR’S ASSOCIATE’S DEGREES
Digital Graphic Design Digital Graphic Design with Computer Animation Science of Digital Animation Science of Art & Design of Videogame Business Administration in General Administration Business Administration in Information Systems Business Administration in Accounting Computer Science Trimester Courses Day/Night Schedules www.atlanticcollege.edu
by Business Focus www.businessfocus.org.uk
Puerto Rico Report 10 2009