MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay sees a future of opportunities, a close present and a common past with the European Union in relation to the 1st European Investment Forum taking place in Montevideo that will see more than 600 businesses gathering there.
The executive director of the investment agency Uruguay XXI, Antonio Carambula, highlighted these ideas as a starting point for the Forum, which will be attended by representatives of European, Uruguayan, and Latin American companies between June 21-22.
“The growth of Uruguay in recent years has happened because of the increase in exports of goods and services, but also the arrival of foreign investment in the country,” said Carambula.
The goal of the first international forum is to further enhance foreign investment in the country and strengthen relations between companies based in the Uruguay and Europe.
Presently, one-fourth of the companies registered at the forum are foreign, said Carambula, who added that “there are already about 200 meetings scheduled,” but that number was likely to rise over the coming week.
According to Carambula, the first day of the forum will have presentations by specialists and parallel sessions in which the Uruguayan ministers of economy, transport, industry and livestock will participate, along with entrepreneurs already operating in the country who will share their own experiences.
“Regarding the subject of services, we will have the presence of the German company BASF, which has chosen Uruguay as a base from which to serve all its subsidiaries in the region, and ENEL, which is an Italian company linked to energy production focused on wind,” he said.
The investment sectors to be discussed in the conferences can be divided into four fundamental pillars: infrastructure, energy, global services, and agribusiness.
“These are the sectors that Uruguay has traditionally prioritized and where we understand that the country has its greatest opportunities,” he said.
Carambula also highlighted the possibilities for business that Uruguay may have in this forum in the areas of renewable energies, meat exports, honey, wine and logistics hubs.
“Uruguay has positioned itself as a major exporter of global services. This is associated with the arrival of investment to enable their installation here, that way they will be able to provide services to the region from here,” he said.
The second day of the forum will be a B2B meetings space, which according to Carambula “is working very well, at least in the sign-ups,” and will serve to reaffirm policies and provide an opportunity to start developing new business opportunities.
There will also be technical visits: “on one side you have everything that has to do with the production of services, on the other there’s a focus on logistical factors,” he said.
Carambula stressed the importance of a trade agreement that Mercosur and the EU may sign in the future.
“We are at a very special moment because the EU and the Mercosur bloc are negotiating now and taking important steps for the possibility of a strategic trade association,” he said.