LISBON – Uruguay presented itself on Tuesday in Portugal as a country of optimum investment opportunities because it is the perfect “gateway” to Latin America, in a campaign to lure all kinds of Portuguese companies to do business in the South American country.
The Uruguay XXI investment and trade promotion agency held a meeting in Lisbon aimed at attracting Portuguese businesses and was attended by Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Cooperation Teresa Ribeiro.
“Uruguay is a gateway to the entire Latin American region, now more than ever, with the negotiations going on between the European Union and Mercosur,” she told the gathering of Portuguese entrepreneurs.
Unfaltering economic growth, rule of law and legislation that attracts foreign capital were among Uruguay’s “strong points” cited by the executive director of Uruguay XXI, Antonio Carambula.
Areas such as public works, construction of schools and hospitals, waste treatment, water purification, tourism and services offer enticing investment opportunities for Portugal, he said.
Portuguese entrepreneurs received detailed information about the plan for infrastructure and public investment launched by the Tabare Vazquez government that boasts a budget of around $12 billion.
The shrinking price of raw materials and the downturn in China’s economy – its largest trade partner – have created “some difficulties” for Uruguay, for which it seeks to strengthen trade with other countries.
The executive director of Uruguay XXI consequently acknowledged the strategic importance that an EU-Mercosur free trade pact would have, and said he had great hopes that the negotiations will bear fruit in the very near future.