In service operations maximizing investment security is paramount. Uruguay offers investment security within an economically attractive region. The country has maintained strong political and social stability for years, supported by a consolidated democracy and the rule of law.
Uruguay consistently leads Latin America and the Caribbean rankings relevant to potential investors:
Uruguay has enjoyed 12 years of uninterrupted GDP growth. Between 2007 and 2014 the economy grew at an annual average rate of over 5%.
This expansion was accompanied by a growth in GDP per capita from US$ 10,000 in 2005 to almost U$S 16,092 in 2015, the highest in Latin America (measured in current U$S). In addition to Uruguay´s high GDP per capita, the country’s income distribution is also worth noting. Uruguay is the most egalitarian country in Latin America according to any income distribution measure.
Uruguay received FDI inflows of US$ 2,731 million in 2014. This was the second highest value in the country's history, despite being lower than 2013. Consequently, our country remains the second largest recipient in the region, just behind Chile, with incoming FDI flows of around 5% of GDP well above the average of both the region (2.9%) and the Mercosur (2.2% of GDP).
Uruguay is recognized for its orderly management of public debt and for its fiscal stability. The three major credit ratings agencies Fitch (March, 2015), Moody´s (May, 2015) and Standard & Poor´s (June, 2015) have all ratified the country´s investment grade.
Uruguay has a set of multiple strengths that position it differently against possible external shocks. The very large stock of reserves (USD 18,500 million, equivalent to 32% of its GDP), the floating exchange rate scheme, and its excellent access to international financing are some factors that explain this “shield.” During the last decade, Uruguay has significantly reduced its dependence on the neighboring economies of Argentina and Brazil, both as export markets and in the percentages of deposits and loans in its financial system.
By virtue of its investment law, Uruguay guarantees equal treatment for local and foreign investors. No prior approval or registration is required to operate in Uruguay, and there are no restrictions on the transfer of capital or profits from investments. Companies can operate in both domestic and foreign currency. Furthermore, there is a single national tax system. The most relevant benefits for service operations with an international focus are those stipulated in Uruguay´s Investment Law and those offered at the country´s free ports and airports, and free zones.
Other tools which enhance the business environment are the International Trade One-Stop-Shop (VUCE), a single platform which manages all the operations and documents related to imports, exports and transit; and the New Customs Code (CAROU) which introduces several innovations regarding to customs, facilitating Uruguay´s internationalization.
The complete regulatory framework, including specific sector regulations and other useful elements for investors are available in detail in the Investor Guide.