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Information on Uruguay, its Economy and its Geographical Situation

The highest level of literacy, culture and communications in South America.

Uruguay has the highest index level of Latin America (97%), the highest High School schooling rate –50% over the continental average-, and the highest indicators regarding culture and communications: newspapers, TV receptors, and telephone lines every 1000 inhabitants.

It has been traditionally distinguished for the high cultural level of its people and the quality of its labor, which is the main national assets. The average schooling of occupied workers in the private sector raises to 8.9 years, and 30% of them have a level of technical or university education.

According to “The World Resources Institute”

One of the highest availabilities of fertile soil per-capita in the world.

Uruguay has 4.7 has. of productive soil for each inhabitant dedicated to pastures or agriculture: 6 more times than the world average. The rate of its territory dedicated to natural production is the highest in the world: 85%

The economic potential of its 15millon hectares of fertile soil, is multiplied by considering the wealth of its natural resources. It has exceptionally suitable areas for agriculture, cattle breeding and timber. The former ones have positioned Uruguay as a privileged supplier of food, leather and wool for decades. Timber lands, a recent activity, raises at the rate of one of the most important outputs per hectare of the world.

According to CEPAL (United Nations for Developing Latin America Economic Commission)

The most homogeneous society in Latin America.

“Uruguay continuous to be a remarkable exception in the region as for its low level of inequality as for its persistent tendency to the income decentralization  which began in the last decade”.  Uruguay has the more equitable wealth distribution in Latin America, and it is the only country in the continent that has actually reduced poverty levels for the last 15 years. Between 1990 and 1994, urban poverty has descended from a 12% -which is quite low in Latin American context- to a 6%.  It is the country that allocates the highest percentage of its resources to welfare spending regarding the Gross Domestic Product, 23.6%. Its wealth distribution has repeatedly been compared that of countries like Denmark, by the present President of BID (Inter American Development Bank).

According to the Inter American Development Bank (BID)

For the last 15 years, the greater economic growth in the MERCOSUR.

Uruguay is the MERCOSUR country whose economy records the greater economic growth in the last decade, increasing its GDP to an annual average of 3.8%.

In the commercial field, it’s been one of the first economies that evolved towards an open international commerce with no restrictions for export/import. Today its opening-up rate is 43%, measured as the rate between import plus export of consumer goods and public services and the GDP. In the financial area, Uruguay is the most important regional financial center supported by a policy of total freedom of capital flow kept for over 25 years and its strict respect to bank secret which is guaranteed by law.

According to Moody’s, IBCA, Duff and Phelps

The safest economy in the MERCOSUR.

Uruguay has been unanimously declared risk free country by the most important international qualifiers, reaching top place among the MERCOSUR countries, and being among the first three safer economies in Latin America.

These qualifications are the consequence of its economic policy continuity and consistency, its long tradition of commercial and financial freedom, its juridical system reliability and independence –which does not discriminate between local and foreign investors- its good economic performance and the structural changes introduced into its economy. The international bond markets have supported these qualifications by giving Uruguay more advantages than to other countries of the region.

Source: Republic of Uruguay Presidency

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