Uruguay's Deputy Tourism Minister Lilian Kechiciahn revealed that in the first fortnight of 2007 the number of Argentine tourists traveling to Uruguay dropped 20% compared to a year ago, mainly because of the ongoing controversy over the construction of the Finnish Botnia-Orion pulp mill.
Finland's Botnia is willing to sit and discuss with Argentina and Uruguay a negotiated solution to the controversy over the building of a pull mill in Uruguay which Argentina argues will be highly contaminating.
The international investment group which is capitalizing Uruguay's flag air carrier PLUNA plans to balance the deficit ridden company by the end of this year with a five to six months restructuring plan to be implemented once the incorporation of the group is signed at the end of January.
Uruguay's Minister of Economy Danilo Astori announced Wednesday the country's economy would expand 4.6% in 2007, after having finished the third year running of expansion above the region's average.
The recovery of the Uruguayan economy from the 2002 crisis has exceeded all expectations but continued efforts are needed to entrench macroeconomic stability, deepen structural reforms and reduce vulnerabilities, reports the IMF in the last reviews of a stand by arrangement with Uruguay.
Moody's Investors Service upgraded the foreign- and local-currency bond ratings of Uruguay to B1 from B3 following a steady improvement in fiscal performance, a reduction in external and government debt ratios, and a significant reduction of refinancing risks.
Uruguay denied Wednesday it had rejected Spanish King Juan Carlos' facilitating efforts, following press reports in Buenos Aires attacking Uruguay for allegedly having desisted of the royal support to reestablish dialogue in the pulp mills controversy.
The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved Tuesday a 6.5 million US dollars loan for Uruguay to support the Foot and Mouth Disease Emergency Recovery Project and create a full-coverage livestock tracking system in order to keep the country virus-free and minimize economic losses.