Uruguay exports increased 9% in 2012 compared to the previous year reaching a record $8.751 billion, according to figures from the Instituto Uruguay XXI, a government funded organisation that promotes foreign trade.
Brazil, China and Argentina were the country’s top trading partners with sales to Brazil reaching $1.746 billion dollars, up 6.4% compared with 2011 and to China they reached $916 million, up 22% over the previous year. The organisation also says that in a highly unpredictable global context, Latin America is becoming one of the most dynamic regions in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) attraction.
Brazil is the main recipient of FDI in Latin America, and Uruguay is ninth of the 20 countries that make up the trading block. FDI flows in Uruguay have increased significantly during recent years because since 2008 the country has been experiencing major economic growth. Uruguay has been receiving an average investment of over US$ 2 billion per year since then.
Quote from Gringos.com : “Tired of looking for an affordable place in South America to live? Try Uruguay on for size and see how far your $$$ will go. Not to mention it’s a really cool place to hang and enjoy life.”
The main origins of Uruguayan FDI are Argentina, England, Brazil, Spain and Belgium which together represent almost half of the FDI attracted by Uruguay. ‘In recent years a strong process of productive FDI inflows has been taking place. These inflows are mainly allocated to the construction and agriculture sectors, mainly farming and forestry, and the manufacturing industry,’ says the report.
It also points out that despite the current complex international scenario, with poor economic growth in some Eurozone countries, FDI flows are expected to continue growing in the region in the coming years. ‘We expect Uruguay to continue to be immersed in this process and continue to attract productive investments. The undertakings in Uruguay- in particular the construction and operation of Montes del Plata cellulose plant and the Aratirí mining project, ensure a sustainable investment flow for the following years,’ says the report.
‘Likewise, the existence of other important projects such as the Deep Water Port, Regasification Plant, and an eventual third cellulose plant, also ensure excellent perspectives for Uruguayan investment in the medium term,’ it adds. However, officials also point out that it is necessary to continue to improve the legal framework to promote investments and the investment climate in the country.
‘The complex international scenario, mainly due to the critical situation of European economies and the scarce growth of the United States, generates uncertainties and may reduce but not stop the flow of foreign investment,’ the report points out. Officials regard other emerging countries as being the most important for trade and investment.
‘Emerging countries are the ones who will boost global growth in coming years. This trend will be accompanied by a larger attraction of investment flows from developed countries and also from emerging countries, which have in turn made important progress in regulatory issues and in the improvement of their business climate,’ it concludes.