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Investing in Uruguay

Strategic Location

Gateway to MERCOSUR, situated between South America’s two main markets. With rapid access to the region’s chief trade cities.

Deep-rooted democracy with political stability and social tranquility. Independent judiciary supporting a long tradition of respect for public and private agreements. Stable, consolidated political system with no surprises: all political parties have governed.

Foreign investors receive the same treatment as locals, with no limitations on free transfer of earnings and repatriation of capital. Uruguay ranks among the top countries in Latin America in terms of security, transparency, effectiveness of government, and stopping corruption.

Inflation at one-digit levels for over a decade and sustained growth at a rate over 6% annual since 2004. Uruguay got through the 2009 international financial crisis with 2.9% growth, the highest in the region and one of the best worldwide.

Uruguay has developed an active tax incentive system geared to fostering both local and international investment. Some of the current systems include the Free Trade Zones Law, the Temporary Admission Procedure for imports, and the Free Port System. The most recent institutional innovation has been the Investment Promotion Regime (Law No. 16.906), which affords tax benefits for all investments regardless of sector of activity, for up to 100% of the eligible investment.

Setting up business in Free Trade Zones (FTZ)

  • Exemption from national taxes (except social security contributions).
  • Industrial, commercial or service activities can be performed.
  • Goods brought into FTZs are tax exempt.
  • At least 75% of personnel must be Uruguayan citizens.

Temporary Admission System for imports

  • Companies may bring in inputs exempt from taxes on imports if they are used to produce goods to be exported (within 18 months).

Free Port System

  • Exemptions similar to those for FTZs.
  • Manufacturing activities not allowed. Break freight and warehousing are chief activities.
  • Within the port, merchandise is exempt from taxes and duties.

Investment Promotion System (Law No. 16,906)

  • Investment projects may obtain exemptions from income tax for up to 100% of the eligible investment, among other benefits.
  • The benefits to be obtained depend on the amount to be invested and compliance with a series of pre-established indicators (job creation, geographic decentralization, expansion of exports, increase in local valued added, use of clean technologies, impact of the project on the economy).
  • As of effectiveness of the system in the year 2005, Uruguay has promoted investments in this framework for an amount exceeding USD 3.5 billion (data at July 2010).

Uruguay is the country having the greatest penetration of Internet and broad band in Latin America. Almost full literacy and a high proportion of the population with university education make it competitive in terms of human resources.

In addition to a good business climate, Uruguay offers you and your company’s personnel first-rate quality of life. Public security, social stability and access to world-class technologies provide an optimum environment for setting up permanently to do business in Uruguay and in the region.

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Uruguay General overview