Uruguay is a country with a long history of political, democratic, social stability and macroeconomic strength, important aspects to create a suitable and attractive environment for the development of successful investments.



Description of the country's economic outlook


Investors and international companies agree that Uruguay is an ideal destination to invest. This has been ratified for more than a decade with the good performance of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which has reached record growth levels, which has positioned the country among the main recipients of FDI, in terms of GDP in South America.

This is not surprising given that Uruguay is a country with a long history of political, democratic, social stability and macroeconomic strength, important aspects to create an adequate and attractive environment for the development of successful investments.

This is how this nation is positioned as a strategic point for international companies seeking quality, efficiency, experience and new opportunities, in the most stable and reliable business environment in Latin America. It has also become an important epicenter for the development of logistics and commercial activities, due to its geographical location, its advantageous legal and tax framework, as well as the great development of value-added logistics operations from all its regional distribution centers.

This has been perfectly understood by the Government that has declared both national and foreign investment to be of national interest and has granted them equal treatment, as well as access to a wide range of incentives adaptable to any type of activity, whether industrial, commercial or of services that want to be carried out in the Uruguayan territory.

In this context, the strategic location of Uruguay as a gateway to the region becomes an important bridge to Latin America. The country offers a first-class logistics infrastructure, state-of-the-art telecommunications technology and the best energy supply in Latin America based on renewable sources. Through this country you can access a market of 400 million people, which concentrates 68% of Latin America's GDP and represents a foreign trade flow of approximately 74% of the total for Latin America.

Also, part of this success lies in the educational quality of the population, characterized by a high practical theoretical degree, which allows them to easily adapt to new scenarios and market needs. For example, Uruguayans are multilingual since 75% of the population read English and 55% speak it, while 36% read Portuguese and 21% speak it.

The State also encourages subsidies for companies to implement training programs for all their staff and thus keep them always updated. It is worth noting the Government's commitment to guarantee free access to education, from the early pre-school stage to university. This is so important for Uruguayans, who invest 4.5% of their GDP here.


Why invest in Uruguay


Strategic commercial point

Uruguay is located in South America on the Atlantic coast and shares borders with Argentina to the West and Brazil to the Northeast, the two largest nations in the region. This location facilitates access to large industrial and business centers in the area, as well as to the member countries of Mercosur.

This country has strategically located along the Atlantic Ocean and the Paraguay-Paraná waterway, ports and waterway facilities that facilitate access to strategic economic points both on the sea coast and inland.

Another attractive aspect of Uruguay is its high economic freedom in the movement of capital, currency and gold inside and outside the nation, as well as an exchange system of free convertibility to the national currency. This is accompanied by an extensive infrastructure network that allows access to all of Latin America and the world. Its location, infrastructure and natural conditions position this nation as a strategic place for the main commercial and industrial centers of the region.

Strong economy

According to the Uruguay XXI Agency, the agency responsible for the promotion of exports, investments and image, this nation has been standing out for several years for its good macroeconomic performance, its political stability and its high standards of democracy among Latin American countries. Thanks to this positive environment, Uruguay has positioned itself on the radar of important foreign investors as a profitable and reliable destination.

These investors highlight the equal treatment that the government grants them compared to national citizens, since they are not required to have prior permits or authorizations to participate in the business sector, thus allowing the companies to be 100% foreign. They also benefit from free financial markets, without restrictions, taxes on the repatriation of profits, capital, dividends, or interest, or limitations on the exchange of currencies or strict regulations on the foreign exchange market.

It should also be noted that the country has become a regional hub due to its current international agreements, such as MERCOSUR and the FTA with Mexico, which have allowed it to access a market of approximately 400 million people, accumulating 76% of GDP. of Latin America and represents a foreign trade exchange of 80% of Latin America.

Although small, the Uruguayan economy is characterized by its support for regional and international trade, where exports are vital for the productive development of the country. For example, the services sector that has an important participation in the Domestic Product of the Country (GDP) and among which transportation, commerce, communications, financial services, among others, stand out.

Commercial stability

Thanks to the sustained growth of the Uruguayan economy in the last decade, accompanied by its broad economic freedom and a high degree of transparency, it allows investors to benefit from an institutional framework that establishes clear rules to execute trustworthy businesses and ventures in the region.

This confidence that the country has earned in international markets has also been achieved due to its free trade structure. In fact, the country has a privileged location compared to Latin American countries in this regard, which has earned it the recognition of important international institutions such as the Economist Intelligence Democracy Index Unit, Legatum Prosperity Index Institute and Heritage Monetary and Economic Freedom Foundation.

Due to the foregoing, the nation has received important flows of foreign direct investment capital, which deepened the strengthening of foreign trade in both goods and services. Within exports, the most benefited sectors are agro-industrial production in meat, soybeans, dairy products and logistics services.

Given the Uruguayan regime of freedom, the Government has concentrated on the search for new markets, either by public or private initiative, to export its products abroad and diversify the destinations of its exports.

Nerve point of entry to the MERCOSUR economies

Within the economies of Latin America, the Uruguayan was the first to make the great leap to open international trade and without any restrictions, that is how in 1991 it signed a treaty with Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay that gave life to the Common Market of the South, better known as MERCOSUR, which boosted the economy of Uruguay and allowed it to achieve a successful integration process.

Through this agreement, the free movement of goods, services and products was established among the signatory members, who established by mutual agreement the eradication of tariff and non-tariff barriers. For example, the Common External Tariff (AEC), classifies, identifies and establishes a value for all products or merchandise that must be paid when entering Mercosur, which is determined in a percentage that ranges from 0% to 20%.

This agreement allowed Uruguay to achieve great growth, since with the arrival of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the nation positioned itself among the most attractive in South America for foreign investors. Additionally, thanks to its strategic geographic location in the center of the area with the highest population and income level, companies established in this nation will have access to a market of more than 270 million people. Also all the organizations that wish to distribute their products to the region benefit from its strategic location, a free trade regime and an effective infrastructure for the storage of goods for later distribution. In addition, Uruguay's road network is one of the most developed in Latin America.

Free trade zone

According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Uruguay, his country has become a commercial epicenter for the creation or relocation of companies thanks to its legislation with fiscal regimes and favorable free zones in these processes and where local companies are allowed to be 100% foreign owned and can be formed with a single shareholder.

This is how the Uruguayan nation consolidated a regime of 11 free zones in its national territory, specialized in a wide variety of areas such as commerce, industries or services, where the main activities are:

  • The commercialization, deposit, storage, conditioning, selection, assembly, disassembly, mixing of goods or raw materials that come from abroad or from the nation.
  • The installation and operation of machinery and manufacturing equipment.
  • The use of the network of financial services, information technology, human resources and repair and maintenance equipment in dispensable in the execution of the operation processes.

These special areas will allow legal entities to settle there as users and operate without paying the national tax, since they are exempt from income tax, VAT, wealth tax, internal specific tax and control tax on corporations. The eleven free zones in force in this country are:

  • Punta Pereira Free Zone
  • WTC Free Zone
  • Swiss Colony Free Zone
  • Aguada Park
  • New Palmira Free Zone
  • Science Park
  • Florida Free Zone
  • Freedom Free Zone
  • UPM Fray Bentos
  • Colonia Free Zone
  • Zonamerica

Solid and agile banking system

According to the Uruguay XXI agency, in charge of promoting investments, exports and the country's image, this sector is characterized by its solidity, great liquidity capacity and excellent high-quality credit portfolios. This, together with a favorable and attractive legal environment for the main international banks, positions the banking system of this country as agile and competent, which has earned it recognition as one of the most important financial centers for doing business in Latin America.

Thanks to the fact that there are no limitations on the outflow or inflow of capital, nor is there exchange control on operations in foreign currency, foreign investors feel safe and supported to operate in this nation.

Another attractive aspect of Uruguay is its long and stable tradition of banking discretion. The information protected by banking privacy laws can only be disclosed with the authorization of the interested party, by resolution of a court, or by request of the Central Bank of Uruguay.

Freedom and political stability

According to the World Bank, Uruguay stands out within Latin America as an egalitarian society that has a high per capita income and minimal levels of inequality and poverty. Its middle class, in addition to being the largest in the region, represents more than 60% of its population.

According to the international organization, Uruguay has a mature democracy, strong institutions, good governance and a high degree of social cohesion, accompanied by a high per capita income and relatively low rates of poverty, inequality and informality.

After the implementation of the reforms after the 2002 crisis, macroeconomic policy practices were improved, economic and financial exposure to neighboring countries was reduced, and new social policies were implemented that promoted Uruguay's resilience. Based on a clear legal and economic framework, promoted by the Government, a great advance was achieved in international inclusion, becoming one of the safest destinations for foreign investment. The Political Stability Index Report, published by the Economic Intelligence Unit, which evaluates indicators of economic difficulty and underlying vulnerability due to political instability, ranks Uruguay as the 50th country among the "Less Vulnerable" in the world, and as the least vulnerable in South America.

According to the previous year's Corruption Perceptions Index, Uruguay ranks second in the Americas after Canada and is first among Latin American countries in terms of transparency among 180 countries. The country's high levels of transparency and low levels of corruption make it a leader among Latin American countries, with transparency standards similar to those of developed countries.

Extensive preparation of human talent

With a population close to four million inhabitants, where 92.5% live in urban areas and 37% live in the capital Montevideo. Citizens have a high quality of life, enjoy access to basic public services, health and telecommunications.

The Uruguayan workforce is highly competitive due to a combination of high-quality basic, technical and university training and the flexibility with which locals adapt to new technologies and changing business and production environments.

With a literacy rate of 98.1%, Uruguay is one of the two highest rated countries in the region, where 1 in 3 workers has a technical or university degree. According to the Human Development Report published by the United Nations, Uruguay maintains a high level of human development, qualifying it as the 55th country in the world, and the third in Latin America, in relation to quality of life in general. In the region, Chile and Argentina are the only countries that qualify with a very high level, while Uruguay leads the group of high level countries.

Main taxes

Below you can find some of the main taxes in Uruguay, if you want to know in detail the country's tax information you can download our Global Taxes App.



Income taxes


Tax on capital gains and dividends


Inheritance and gift taxes


Value Added Tax / VAT

8,12% al 23,12%

Employment taxes

0% al 36%

Personal taxes

Sectors of interest and market opportunities

These are the sectors that offer the most investment opportunities in the country and that have the support of the government for their development.


Information and Communication Technologies

According to the Uruguay XXI Agency, this nation has become an important platform for the expansion of foreign technology companies that benefit from factors such as:

  • World-class solutions
  • Startups and innovative ecosystem
  • Ideal country as a laboratory for new technologies
  • Competitive STEM talent with high knowledge capital
  • Country open to foreign investors and capital where it is easy to develop business
  • ICT exports 100% exempt from Income Tax
  • Modern technological infrastructure

Due to the above, companies can establish a global operation in Uruguay that covers the entire ICT value chain. In other words, organizations choose to establish themselves from Innovation Centers to Commercial / Logistics Offices, service operations (SSC and ITO) and R&D Centers. They will also find themselves in a dynamic technology ecosystem with attractive partnership and investment (M&A) opportunities.

Another aspect that attracts foreign entrepreneurs is the exceptional tax benefits in the ICT area, such as, for example, the Investment Promotion Law, which gives companies the possibility of deducting, in certain cases, up to 100% of the amount invested. of the Corporate Income Tax. The Temporary Admission regime for equipment allows the importation of machinery and supplies that adhere to exported goods to be free of taxes (customs and others).



Possessor of a fertile surface where 93% is suitable for agricultural use, 100% for vineyards and georeferenced citrus plantations. This has allowed it to obtain food with high productivity standards where the country currently produces food for 30 million people, but has the potential to supply 50 million more.

According to Uruguay XXI, the accumulated amount obtained in exports from this sector between the period January-September 2021 totaled US$7,903 million, registering an increase of 35% compared to the same period of the previous year. Among the main products are beef, cellulose, dairy products, beverage concentrate and wood.

Due to its effort to offer reliable food, it has managed to lead the world in the development of advanced traceability and georeferencing systems to guarantee the origin and safety of food from the beginning of the production cycle, to the consumer's palate.

According to the Union of Exporters of Uruguay, the prestige achieved by Uruguayan products opened the doors to the most demanding markets in the world, such as Europe and the United States, for the country. Currently, its products are being exported to more than 150 countries, mainly the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, Italy, Spain, Germany and Hong Kong or Seoul.


Pharmaceutical and life sciences

Political and economic stability, tax exemptions, the availability of talent and quality of life have made Uruguay an ideal place for the creation or relocation of pharmaceutical and medical device companies, which use and combine different commercial platforms. This is how the country offers coordination and efficiency in the areas of logistics, assurance of the cold chain, efficiency in times and costs of access to Brazil and countries in the region.

The Uruguay XXI Agency highlights that among the most developed business models by both national and foreign entrepreneurs are the location of its regional headquarters, centralizing administrative services of finance and administration, human talent services, coordination of the supply chain , as well as the centralization of purchases between companies.

This nation comes from a long history in the pharmaceutical industry, successful entrepreneurs and research groups with extensive experience and knowledge. This has earned it recognition as a very attractive innovation hub for research institutes and R&D centers of life sciences companies. Additionally, in addition to having the support of the Government, it also has a well-formed ecosystem that enriches the life sciences companies that invest in Uruguay. This nation also has a high potential for multicenter clinical research projects.


Corporate services

Uruguay has become a strategic point for the location of the Regional Corporate Centers, where the main operations carried out are logistics and distribution, trade and services, and finally production and innovation.

There are many international organizations that choose Uruguay as a vital ally to provide services to other Spanish-speaking Latin American countries, Brazil and the world, because this nation is positioned as a strategic site for the development of logistics and commercial activities, thanks to its geographic location and its beneficial legal and tax framework.

Among the most executed commercial schemes is the location of the Regional Headquarters, F&A ancillary services, human resources services, supply chain coordination, as well as the centralization of inter-company trade or acquisition for all its regional operations.

This nation also stands out as a privileged destination for outsourced centers focused on high-value tasks (BPO and KPO CENTERS). These offshoring services represent 18% of total Uruguayan exports of goods and services.

Our advisors in Uruguay

Uruguay - GTS Uruguay (1)

GTS Uruguay

GTS Uruguay is a Certified Public Accounting firm established in 2001 to respond to the changing and demanding international tax and accounting regulations. The firm has a multidisciplinary team of professionals with extensive experience and training since 1990. The team mainly assists international clients with an economic interest in the country or abroad.