Doing Business in Uruguay

Paula Fitzgerald | 16 Oct 2018 | US Perspective

business people having meeting


As we seek to increase support for businesses exploring new markets in Latin America with our newest office opening in Bogota, the New York Team were delighted to attend the Doing Business with Uruguay event on October 4th to see what another Latin American market has to offer.

The event was hosted by the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce at the historic Coffee House in conjunction with the Uruguay investment promotion agency Uruguay XXI, the Uruguayan Chamber of Information Technologies Cuti, Uruguay Smart Services , the Ministry of Industry, Energy & Mining and the Consulate General of Uruguay in New York.

One of the key speakers of the night was Carolina Cosse; Minister of Industry, Energy & Mining of Uruguay, who outlined the range of opportunities in Uruguay’s IT sector.

Carolina discussed how and why more and more global companies choose Uruguay as a business hub. Reasons include Uruguay’s economic reliability, democratic stability, strategic location, outstanding tax incentives, talent availability and quality of life.

As the national export and investment promotion agency, Uruguay XXI provides tailored agendas, data analysis, contact support, soft-landing, and investor services.

We were fascinated to discover that Uruguay is a nation of firsts:

  • It was the first country in the world where every primary school child received a free laptop as part of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative which was established with the goal of transforming education for children in the developing world. This means that each of the 395,000 children in primary school across the country’s 2332 public schools, has access to free learning content that ensures an entire generation is growing up tech-savvy; a key factor that IT companies look for in a global workforce.
  • Uruguay is the first and only country in the world with a completely computerized traceability system for cattle; meaning consumers at home and abroad know exactly where their beef comes from and how it was raised. Which, in a country where cattle outnumber people by four to one, is very useful! But, at a time when consumers’ demands for cleaner, more transparent food processing are shaping food trends all over the world, this helps reinforce the country’s reputation as the world’s premier supplier and producer of quality beef exports, as well as representing a huge opportunity for Agribusiness and the AgTech sector.
  • Uruguay is also one of the only countries in the world that gets nearly 95% of its electricity from renewable sources, opening up the marketplace for CleanTech companies across the globe. It made the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy in under only 10 years, through heavy investment in wind and solar power with no subsidies or increases in consumer costs.

So, despite its relatively small population of just 3.5 million people, it is clear that Uruguay is forward-looking and strategic with its long-term investments and is punching well above its weight in a number of emerging industries – music to investors’ ears.