The President of the Republic of Uruguay, HE Tabaré Vázquez , currently on an official visit to the UAE, has invited Dubai World to explore emerging business opportunities in the South American country.
President Vázquez expressed his Government's interest in economic cooperation during a visit to DP World Jebel Ali and Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) on 2st May 2007. The President and his delegation were welcomed by Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah, Vice Chairman of Dubai World and Group CEO, Ports and Free Zone World, and presented briefs on the world-class projects undertaken by DP World, Nakheel, Istithmar, Jafza and other group companies. Mr. Bin Thaniah said: 'Our mission at Dubai World is to be where our stakeholders are and serve them to the best of our ability. Dubai World is eager to explore areas of cooperation with the Government of Uruguay. We are confident that our talks would lead to mutually beneficial projects being identified and developed.' President Vázquez praised Dubai's vision of diversifying its economy through the development of non-oil trade: 'We are impressed with Dubai's development and the high levels of performance in diverse economic sectors. The Republic of Uruguay would like to learn and gain from these experiences and we welcome Dubai's expertise in developing mutually beneficial projects in our own country.' Uruguay has a long coastline, as well as a strategic inland waterway that connects to neighbouring Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. Container handling in the country's main port in Montevideo has grown from 293,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) in 2002 to 522,000 TEU in 2006, representing average annual growth of over 15%. The major factor for growth has been the emergence of Montevideo as a significant hub for the relay of cargo to the hinterland. Uruguay enjoys a positive investment climate, with a strong legal system and open financial markets. It grants equal treatment to national and foreign investors, making it one of the most open economies in South America. It grants equal treatment to national and foreign investors, making it one of the most open economies in South America.