MONTEVIDEO – The European Union has high expectations that the 1st European Investment Forum in Uruguay will attract new European businesses and investments to the South American country.
That is what EU ambassador to Uruguay, Juan Fernandez Trigo, told EFE, adding that 400 companies have already committed to attending the event – jointly organized by the EU and the investment and foreign trade agency Uruguay XXI – which is to be held June 21-22 in Montevideo.
“Hopefully it will go well and we will be able to give this forum the credit of having achieved increased levels of investment,” said Fernandez Trigo.
The seminar will prioritize four pillars of the investment sector – infrastructure, energy, global services and agribusiness – through various B2B conferences with entrepreneurs and seminars in which both political figures and European firms already settled in the Latin American country will participate.
The ambassador said: “Uruguay is a country that has a special interest in attracting investment,” adding that the forum is an “opportunity to draw the attention of potential European investors to a country that has very special characteristics that enable it to be, in a way, the window or the door to Mercosur.”
He pointed out that within the region there was a series of factors that enabled it to do business better elsewhere, such as the institutionalization of business ethics, economic and political stability, and transparency.
Another vital factor, according to the ambassador, is that “Uruguay has embarked on a policy focused on attracting investment, as the president of the republic (Tabare Vazquez) has shown during his recent trips.”
The objective of this convention is not only to get new investors but also to strengthen the commercial ties that already exist in the country.
“In every sector we have important companies that are working here such as Movistar (a Spanish telecommunications firm), BBVA (a Spanish bank), Glencore (a Swiss commodity trading and mining company ), as well as German companies; that is to say, there are important investments, which we evaluate to be worth $1,3 billion,” said the ambassador.
Asked about future agreements between the EU and Mercosur, Fernandez Trigo said that he could not offer a date, but that they were in a “very optimistic moment” regarding the “willingness of both parties to launch the negotiation.”
“The EU is very determined to continue to promote free trade, so for us, this is an opportunity to show that we have the will to work together with a region that has no important agreements with the rest of the world and therefore be pioneers in hooking Mercosur into the world market.”