Puerto Rico’s foreign minister has said the island is being asked to accept more Chinese tourists because of a shortage of native-born workers.
Maria Montes said on Tuesday the government needs to consider importing workers from mainland China to fill its jobs gap.
“I’m hearing that there is a shortage,” she said, referring to the shortage of Puerto Rican workers in the mainland.
“We are not asking for the Chinese workers.
China’s tourism industry has been a key source of revenue for Puerto Rico. “
But we are also asking for a different type of workers to fill that gap.”
China’s tourism industry has been a key source of revenue for Puerto Rico.
Last year, the island reported a $1.8bn surplus.
China has also been a major supplier of Chinese workers to Puerto Rico since the 1980s.
The island’s economy is expected to expand by 1.2 per cent this year and by 1 per cent in 2018, according to a report from the Puerto Rico Development Authority (PRD) released last month.
“They are the ones that bring the best and the best in the country, they have the ability to do the work,” Montes told local media.
“There’s no other country that can do that.”
The PRD said it was not prepared to provide a specific number of Chinese citizens it plans to import from mainland, but said it had received calls from companies interested in recruiting Chinese workers for the island.