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PROFILE: Uruguay

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Tips for Doing Business in Uruguay

  • Men and women should dress conservatively.

  • The majority of people are middle class.

  • Education is very important.

  • They have an inherent trust of people.

  • Greetings are warm with a firm handshake.

  • Uruguayans stand very close when conversing.

  • Use of OK sign is considered very rude.

  • Meetings are very formal but don`t usually start on time.

  • Present business cards to everybody in meeting.

  • Print all materials in Spanish including business cards.

  • Many executives speak English.

  • People are very proud of their country.

Brief History

  • 1726 - Spain established Montevideo as a military stronghold

  • 1821- Annexed by Brazil

  • 1825 - Declared independence

  • 1828 - Secured its freedom

  • 1973 - Uruguay`s President ceded control to military because of violent Marxist urban guerilla movement

  • 1985 - Civilian rule restored

  • 2004 - Left of center coalition won elections and held power until 2019

 

Location

In the southern part of South America bordering south Atlantic Ocean between Argentina and Brazil

 

General Information

  • Capital City - Montevideo

  • Literacy Rate: 98.5%

  • Size: About the size of Virginia and West Virginia combined

  • Population: 3.4 million (2022 est.)

  • Population Growth: 0.27% (2022 est.)

  • Population Distribution: Most of the population is in the southern part of the country. 80% of the population is urban

Economy

  • Free market economy

  • Export oriented agricultural sector

  • Well educated workforce

  • High government spending

  • Many foreign trade zones, which is a major factor in attracting foreign investment

  • Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (2/2022)

  • Currency Exchange Rate: 1 US$ = 41.25 Uruguayan Peso (4/18/22)

  • GDP: $75.06B (2020 est.)

  • GDP Growth Rate: 4.4% (2021)

  • Labor Force: 1.69M (2020 est.)

  • Labor Force Breakdown: Agriculture - 13%, Industry - 14%, Services - 73%

  • Major Industries: Food Processing especially meat, agriculture, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages, tourism

International Trade

Total Product Exports: $7.01B (2020 est.)

 

Major Product Exports: Meat: $1.8M - Wood: $975.1M - Oil Seeds: $804.1M - Dairy, eggs, honey - $676.9M - Cereals: $574.5M - Plastics, plastic articles: $242.4M - Milling products, malt, starches - $204.9M - Pharmaceuticals: $144.2M - Animal & vegetable fats, oils, waxes - $136.8M - Live animals - $113.8M 

 

Major Product Export Partners (2020): China - 20%, Brazil - 19.3%, US - 7.66%, Argentina - 4.37%, Algeria - 3.06%, Netherlands - 2.53%, Turkey - 2.27%, Mexico - 1.91 %, Peru - 1.78%

Total Product Imports: $7.7B (2020 est.)

 

Major Product Imports: Mineral fuels including oil - 12.2%, Machinery including computers - 9.8%, Vehicles - 8.7%, Electrical machinery, equipment - 7.7%, Plastics, plastic articles - 5.3%, Pharmaceuticals - 3.6%, Other: chemical goods - 3.5%, Meat - 3.4%, Fertilizers - 3%, Food industry waste, animal food - 2.6%, 

 

Major Import Partners (2020)

Brazil - 21%, China - 19%, Argentina - 13%, USA - 11.4%, Angola - 2.82%, Germany - 2.79%, Mexico - 2.21%, Spain - 2.01%, India - 1.85%

 

English Language Online Sites

MercoPress - general news - www.en.mercopress.com

 

Sampling of Companies

 

National Holidays 2022

  • January 1 - New Year’s Day

  • February 28 - Carnival Monday

  • March 1 - Carnival Tuesday

  • April 14 - Maundy Thursday

  • April 15 - Good Friday

  • April 18 - Landing of 33 Patriots Day

  • May 1 - Labor Day

  • June 19 - Antigas Birthday

  • July 18 - Constitution Day

  • August 25 - Independence Day

  • October 10 - Day of the Races

  • December 25 – Christmas​

By: Paul Mastilak

InterMark3, Inc.