It's good news that President Trump opened up federal assistance for Puerto Rico by declaring a major disaster on Sunday, but disaster aid is only a temporary solution to the island's economic woes.
Even though Puerto Rico fared much better than what most others in the Caribbean endured, the hurricane underlined how economically vulnerable Puerto Rico is, given that the island's public-sector debt and pension fund obligations combined add up to $120 billion.
As we prioritize recovery from Hurricane Irma, we should not forget the importance of long-term economic planning. Encouraging entrepreneurship is critical to helping Puerto Rico build a brighter future.
Many people on the island are accustomed to looking to traditional jobs in sectors such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and government — and that is where our education system has steered them — but that is not where the island's future lies. Nor is it where career opportunities will be found, as those jobs fade. That is why so many of our young people leave the island and move to the States after graduating from college.
Where we should be putting our emphasis is on fostering programs like Parallel 18, a business accelerator in San Juan that selects and supports 40 start-ups from around the world every six months.