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In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Uruguay | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities


FDI in Figures

In a context where global foreign investment increased by 10.9% in 2013, in particular in Europe (+25.2%) and in Latin America (+17.5%), FDI flows to developing economies reached a new high of US$759 billion. However macroeconomic fragility and policy uncertainties are driving investors to caution.

Traditionally low, FDI inflows in Uruguay increased rapidly and regularly in the recent years, reaching 6% of the country GDP in 2008. They petered out for a year under the effect of global recession and have been progressively recovering since 2010. In 2013 FDI reached USD 2.7 billion. The government extended its economic plan of the previous years in 2013, which reassured the business environment by prudent budget and monetary policy, accompanied by a structural reforms program aiming to attract foreign investments.

Foreign investors benefit from the same rights and fiscal incentives as local investors. Foreign investments enjoy a total freedom in Uruguay and they are not subject to any declarations and there is not a limit regarding the transfer of profits or repatriation of capital. Uruguay is a member of MIGA, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and also a member of the International Arbitration Center in relation to investments that depend from the World Bank.

Foreign investment are attracted to the country's political stability, business climate and a skilled workforce.

Information on the 2013 FDI influx in this region can be accessed in the Global Investment Trade Monitor published in January 2014 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).


Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Uruguay Latin America & Caribbean United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 3.0 4.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 4.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 6.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 5.0 5.0 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 2,5042,6872,796
FDI Stock (million USD) 15,14717,54720,344
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 39--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 72--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 251424
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 28.424.422.5
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 32.635.236.1

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Uruguay

Strong Points
The main strong points of Uruguay are:
-The outstanding educational and health systems;
- The new laws that regulate the relationship among business partners;
- Its economic stability. Uruguay is among the first nations in Latin America to reach a certain level of stability and economic well-being, maintained by a relatively high taxation on the industrial sector. During the last years, Uruguay's economy has benefited from a favorable international environment for the export of its agricultural products;
- Positive growth perspectives. Uruguay benefits from an increase in domestic consumption, export development, high level and diversified investments and less dependence of Mercosur.
Weak Points
The main weak point of Uruguay is the high proportion of its foreign debt, which is subject to the fluctuations in trade and sudden changes in foreign currency exchange.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
Foreign investors have the possibility of developing any type of activity and in the same conditions as local investors. In some areas protected by the state, foreign investors can start activities within the framework of the concessions system of the  public working market. The government stimulates foreign investment by proposing tax exemptions on their investments.

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Acquisition of Holdings
A majority holding interest in the capital of a local company is legal in Uruguay.
Obligation to Declare
The Uruguay XXI body was specifically created to guide foreign investors through authorizations and formalities needed for implantation. This body has a centralizing role for all administrations and ministries to facilitate all procedures.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Central Bank of Uruguay.
State department of finance and economy.
Requests For Specific Authorizations
The ownership of companies developing activities relative to radio or television channels is limited to Uruguayan citizens.

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Uruguay on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
General Small and medium company office for ministry of industry
Uruguay Investment and Export Promotion Agency (in Spanish)
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Uruguay
Inter-American Development Bank, Tenders in South America
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Uruguay
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Commerce chamber of Uruguay.

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Learn more about Investing in Uruguay on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014