Barber Business Advisors Tours Pharma Plants in Puerto Rico

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A cluster of health science companies are manufacturing sophisticated products in Puerto Rico.

The pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries continue to invest in manufacturing in Puerto Rico largely because of its experienced and knowledgeable workforce, said site selection consultant Dean Barber.

In his latest blog after touring manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico last week, Barber concluded that while there are distinct cost advantages and tax incentives being offered by the government of Puerto Rico, it is the educated and experienced workforce of the island that has been the primary driver for long-standing investment in health science manufacturing.

“Eleven out of the top 15 pharmaceutical and biotech companies have manufacturing sites in Puerto Rico and 11 of out of the top 20 medical devices companies have manufacturing sites are there as well,” said Barber, president of Barber Business Advisors, LLC.

“The tax advantages are real, but nothing trumps an experienced and knowledgeable workforce. That is exactly why a cluster has formed of companies manufacturing for the health sciences. They have the people with the knowhow to make very complicated and precise products.”

Barber noted that while the island does have an educated workforce, its economy continues to underperform with an alarming 13.5 percent unemployment and a labor participation rate that is significantly lower the mainland United States. Poverty remains rampant.

“Jobs are key. The government should partner with industry to develop ways to solve this chronic problem of unemployment, especially for the young and those who have less education. A tiered system with a lower starting wage should be examined,” said Barber, who was among a group of site selection consultants who toured manufacturing plants as the guest of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company.

Writing in an analytical but often humorous journalistic style, Barber outlines the opportunities and the threats facing Puerto Rico and its industrial climate in his latest Barberbiz blog --

As an experienced site selection consultant, Barber helps companies find optimal locations for future operations when they are ready to expand, saving them time and money.

“I take companies where they need to be. There’s an art and a science to proper site selection and I can guide a company around the mine fields. Reducing risk and optimizing success is what I do,” Barber said.

Barber Business Advisors, LLC., a site selection and economic development consulting firm based in Plano, Texas. Dean Barber can be reached at 972-767-9518 or at dbarber(at)barberadvisors(dot)com Please visit our website at

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