MONTEVIDEO – Montevideo is set to host the first European Investment Forum in Uruguay, bringing together more than 600 companies from Latin America and the Old World with the objective of strengthening trade links and creating new strategic alliances spanning the Atlantic Ocean.
Government officials and business executives will participate in the two-day event, organized by the European Union and the investment agency Uruguay XXI.
The forum, which starts Wednesday, will prioritize the areas in which Uruguay has attractive advantages for investment, such as infrastructure, energy, global services, and agribusiness.
The EU has “high expectations” for the forum.
“We hope it will go well and we will be able to credit this forum for having achieved increased levels of investment,” EU Ambassador to Uruguay Juan Fernandez Trigo, who will inaugurate the first session, told EFE.
“Uruguay is a country that has a special interest in attracting investment,” the diplomat said, adding that the forum represents 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.”
The executive director of Uruguay XXI, Antonio Carambula, pointed out how important the meeting will be, both for the growth of Uruguay and to give impetus to trade negotiations between Mercosur and the EU.
Uruguay’s growth in recent years can be explained, in least in part, by “the arrival of foreign investment in the country,” Carambula said.
During the first day, the significance of relations between Latin America and the EU will be highlighted by Astur president and former Ibero-American secretary-general Enrique Iglesias, and by the deputy head of the Latin American Unit of the European Commission’s trade directorate, Lorella De La Cruz.
Uruguay’s economy and finance minister, Danilo Astori, will open the session on investment opportunities in the country, while Agriculture Minister Tabare Aguerre will offer a presentation on the Uruguayan agribusiness sector.
Energy and Mines Minister Carolina Cosse will chair the segment on energy investment and the minister of transport and public works, Victor Rossi, will introduce the seminar on investment in infrastructure.
Thursday will feature not only discussions, but also on-site visits and B2B encounters, with nearly 200 already scheduled, according to organizers.