MONTEVIDEO – Executives from Spanish, French, and Greek companies taking part in the 1st European Investment Forum in Uruguay said on Thursday that they are hoping to see the European Union and South America’s Mercosur bloc reach agreement on a trade deal.
“The accord can serve us as an entry to all of the countries,” Gonzalo Sola, head of project development for Spain’s Aplein Ingenieros, told EFE.
“We believe that these kinds of accords are always positive, because they resolve all the administrative and tax problems one tends to encounter when one comes to a country,” he said.
Greek elevator-maker Kleemann’s interest in Uruguay as a potential base for its first Latin American facility is due in part to hopes for an EU-Mercosur deal, the company’s director of new business said.
“The Latin America market is very interesting to us and we will consider in the coming years the possibility of installing a marketing office or factory,” Kalliopi Karalia told EFE.
“Let’s hope it can be in Uruguay,” she added.
French cosmetics firm Onerique is impressed with Uruguay as a “pioneer in wind power” and a country that is sensitive to environmental concerns, executive Glorimar Primera-Riedweg told EFE.
“This accord will be an impetus for new, young undertakings and so all these relations between the European Union and Mercosur are very important,” she said.
More than 700 companies are represented at this week’s forum in Montevideo, along with Latin American and European governments.
The forum’s focus has been on sectors where Uruguay offers attractive prospects for investment, including infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, and global services.