Uruguay: a small country with great potential in South America

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Latin America is globally known for its multiculturality and complex history, amongst other things. The 20 countries that constitute Latin America have many similar traits, but one country in specific stands out from the rest due to its unique characteristics: Uruguay. 

Uruguay is a nation with few inhabitants, a small territory and a scarcity of mineral resources. However, the country has managed to progress steadily into one of the most stable countries in the area, ranking third in the Human Development Index (right after Chile and Argentina) and number 55 in the world, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Uruguay is located in the eastern part of the American Southern Cone. It has borders with Brazil in the northeast, Argentina in the southwest, and the Atlantic Ocean in the southeast. Its 176,215 square kilometres make it the second smallest country in South America after Suriname. In contrast, its 3,286,314 inhabitants (according to the last consensus of the INE in 2011) ranks Uruguay tenth in population size amongst South American countries.

Uruguay offers temperate and humid climates with warm summers and yearly rainfall. The governmental system of Uruguay is democratic and presidential and is one of twenty full democracies in the world.

Uruguay – A Growing Economy with Great Potential

Uruguay is one of the most stable countries in Latin America, ranking third on the Human Development Index.

The main growth of the Uruguayan economy is fueled by the agriculture sector with an export-oriented focus (rice, wheat, corn, and soybeans are staple exports). Uruguay’s developed industrial sector supported subsequent growth in agriculture. One of the key products with a significant share in Uruguay’s economy is livestock, with dairy being one of the nation’s biggest industries. However, besides the agricultural sector, it also nourishes vital service sectors: financial, transport, communication, and in particular, information technologies, software development and related services. Uruguay is a leader in software exports per capita in Latin America and the fourth in absolute terms, after Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.

Thanks to the beautiful coastline on the Silver River and the Atlantic Ocean, tourism is another excellent source of income for Uruguay. It is a territory with retreats, such as the internationally renowned Punta of the East, La Paloma, Punta del Diablo, and Cabo Polonia. 

Thanks to this activity fueling a record 15 years of positive economic growth, Uruguay’s poverty indicators experienced a considerable reduction over the last two decades, dropping from 29.9% in 2004 to 7.9% in 2019, according to the World Bank.

Workforce: a primary advantage

One of the best-known characteristics of Uruguayan society is its high literacy rate, which is the highest in Latin America according to the United Nations, as well as its life expectancy (around 77 years). Uruguay’s population is well-equipped to support the nation’s development. Also, education is free and accessible at all levels, reinforcing the recognition of Uruguay’s highly-educated workforce.

Likewise, it has one of the most equitable income distributions in the Latin American region. Citizens also have relatively easy access to health care due to a high density of doctors: 4.46 per thousand inhabitants (according to data from the Medical Union of Uruguay).

Similarly, according to the organization ”Transparency International”, Uruguay ranks first as the least corrupt nation in Latin America and 23rd in the world. This means that it has a perfect environment for the growth of the private sector, with remarkable political and social stability. Combined with a prepared workforce and a well-forged industrial sector in full development, Uruguay is an open door to small, medium, and large local and foreign companies that know how to take advantage of its potential.

Incorporating a company and jumping into these opportunities will support your business and encourage Uruguay to grow, develop and improve conditions in every aspect.

Geography and transportation facilitate reliable trade connections

One of the best-known characteristics of Uruguay’s society is its high literacy rate, which is the highest in Latin America, according to the United Nations Organization.

Surprisingly, Uruguay is a country that has more maritime territory than land. Its relief is basically made up of peneplains and plants, and its most important river basin is the Uruguay River, which communicates with neighbouring countries. In addition, there is the Río de la Plata basin and the Marín lagoon basin.

Its range of railways, road networks and airports, along with its major seaport in Montevideo, offer easy connection domestically and internationally. Thanks to Uruguay’s transportation networks relative to its size, Uruguay enjoys an extensive import and export relationship with two of its main trading partners, Argentina and Brazil.

This year in 2023, many favourable aspects make Uruguay a promising land for investment and business. The stable business climate enjoyed by this nation and the advantages offered to achieve new developments makes it a privileged country. This resulted in a 54.1 place in the ease of doing business index by the World Economics Organisation. Argentina is 49.5, Chile is 74.2, Paraguay is 49.6, and New Zealand is placed at 100.

Its people’s affability, high organization and the beauty and colour of its natural landscapes make Uruguay an incredible paradise in South America.

Need Local Support?

Impressive statistics throughout the last five years prove Uruguay is ready for a new intake of foreign investments. Its geographic size does not hinder its economic potential.  

Nevertheless, setting up an overseas business or incorporating a company in Uruguay can be challenging without the complete know-how of the Uruguayan business. Biz Latin Hub offers a range of superior services, including commercial representation, back-office services, and legal support that can help you to expand your business.

Source: Biz Latin Hub

Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about the best investment opportunities in the region. The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, providing expert advice on property acquisition and investment tours.

The Gateway Team – When You are Serious About Property


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