Investors from Argentina, Brazil, Spain’s Basque province and China are looking for opportunities in Uruguayan assets given the excellent political stability record of the country and proven reliability of its Judicial branch.
The trend which has been steadily increasing for several years now is proving impervious to the general election at the end of the month, even when opinion polls are forecasting a very tight race.
Analysts anticipate that not much will change whoever wins, since the three main political forces of Uruguay have rotated in office, in clean elections, and all have been very careful in their support of orthodox economics and the fostering of foreign investment, a consensus that has prevailed since the country returned to democracy a quarter of a century ago.
Precisely at the end of last month Marfrig from Brazil and one of the world’s leading food processing groups, announced the acquisition of a majority stock (51%) in the Uruguayan Tannery Zenda which works mostly overseas with upholstery for some of the most prestigious German car brands.
Almost simultaneously Jose Luis Pereira spokesperson for Uruguay’s Autoparts Chamber announced that three overseas companies were interested in establishing themselves in Uruguay to supply foreign manufacturers.
Argentina has also become an endless supplier of investors for Uruguay. Disenchanted with the unorthodox policies and uncertainties of their country they have crossed to Uruguay looking for investment opportunities not only in the more traditional agriculture and real estate sectors but also in manufacturing and services.
Actually recent Argentine government decisions have virtually “expelled” some of the most advanced farmers who have settled in Uruguay helping to promote a truly technological “revolutionary” transformation of Uruguay’s agriculture, which historically has been more traditional and adverse to risk.
In Spain an official Uruguayan trade delegation, headed by Finance minister Alvaro García, met with Basque entrepreneurs who expressed a firm interest in Uruguay’s foreign investors’ legal framework and opportunities to invest in different sectors. A delegation of Basque businessmen is scheduled to visit Uruguay in the near future.
Last September a delegation of Uruguayan entrepreneurs visited the International Investment and Trade Fair in China and also returned with good news. “Chinese businessmen expressed interest in knowing more and in depth about what is considered one of the most stable economies of the region and a reliable access to the South American trade area, Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay plus associate members, Chile and Bolivia).
“Chinese investors showed a special interest in infrastructure projects, renewable energies, water treatment plants and port facilities” according to Roberto Villamil head of the Uruguayan delegation.
China is one of Uruguay’s leading trade partners and since its opening to the capitalist system almost three decades ago, has been the main purchaser of the country’s wool clip and tops.
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