Logistics Sector - Investment Opportunities in Uruguay (March 2015)

1. Why invest in the logistics sector in Uruguay?

Uruguayan economy grew 3.5% in 2014 thus attaining more than a decade of uninterrupted growth. The GDP per capita reached USD 16,691.

The major rating agencies (Fitch, Moody's and Standard & Poors) have maintained the investment grade of the Uruguayan debt and their favorable view of the country, which reflects the trust generated by the country's institutional framework and the conduction of Uruguay's economic policy.

Uruguay has a comprehensive legal framework that offers the broadest guarantees and clear rules as well as the granting of attractive incentives to investors. In particular, the Promotion and Protection of Investments Act No. 16.906 passed in 1998 provides an attractive investment scheme in Uruguay. Foreign investment receives by law, the same treatment as domestic investment.

Direct foreign investment in Uruguay has grown significantly (4.8% in 2014). in terms of GDP, Uruguay has managed to position itself as the second largest recipient of FDI in the region, after chile, in the last decade.

Uruguay is the regional hub of excellence for the southern cone, thus it offers

significant advantages for the location of Regional Distribution Centers (RDC's).

Uruguay has a privileged geographic location, with two ports at the main entrance of the south Atlantic coast, which provide access to the Parana-Paraguay-Uruguay waterway. The wealthiest cities of the continent can be reached over a period of between 12 and 96 hours by land routes and between 1 and 3 hours by air.

Uruguay's regulatory framework provides significant advantages for logistics operations, with important incentives for the setting up of RDC's and the handling of goods in transit. This includes a Free Zone, free ports and airports, customs bonded warehouses, and temporary admission.

Uruguay has an adequate infrastructure.The new Carrasco International Airport was opened in 2009 and the road transport network of the country is the densest in Latin America. uruguayan ports have cutting-edge infrastructure and they are the only ones on the south Atlantic coast operating under the Free Port system.

The logistics sector in Uruguay has its own institutions. The National Institute for Logistics (INALOG) was created by law in 2010 and serves as a space for participation and public-private coordination for the development of the sector.

2. Economic importance of the Logistics Sector in Uruguay

A stronger globalization and the increasing internationalization of economies have lead to significant development opportunities in the logistics sector worldwide.

Indeed, access to new markets and reaching them in a timely manner involve significant costs for businesses, so reducing these costs and improving the quality of response have been established as material differentials for the competitiveness of countries and companies.

In this context, the logistics sector in uruguay has been one of the most dynamic in recent years: a pioneer in the introduction of new technologies, the application of internet potential and an important support to the manufacturing activity through "just-in-time" logistics.

According to available estimates, the logistics sector represents between 4% and 5% of the GDP in Uruguay1. This, along with the sector's importance for the development of international trade and as support for industrial activity denotes the strategic nature and potential of the logistics sector to the economy.

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