Puerto Rico Maps It, Hoping That Balking Investors Will Come

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(Bloomberg) -- Puerto Rico is publicizing a new map tool to help investors find opportunities on the bankrupt and hurricane-battered island.

The lights are still out in many corners of the commonwealth, but its top official for economic development spent Thursday touting the new interactive map, which lets would-be investors assess sites for, among other things, proximity to competitors and key infrastructure. It also contains an inventory of government properties that can presumably be had for the right price.

“The idea is to facilitate and streamline the search process for both local and foreign investors, so they can access the entire inventory of government properties and business opportunities available,” said Manuel Laboy, executive director of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce.

A map is hardly a panacea. In fact, much of Puerto Rico’s future may be in the hands of the U.S. Congress, which is set to make critical decisions on aid and how the commonwealth will be treated in tax reform.

Nevertheless, a little added transparency couldn’t hurt in a market that has historically vexed outsiders with bureaucracy and economic informality.

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