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Uruguay investor guide

Uruguay Investor Guide is a document prepared by Uruguay XXI to assist those interested in doing business in Uruguay. It includes profile information on the country, its business environment, foreign trade and investment promotion system, corporate vehicles, accounting and auditing rules, tax issues, labor and social security system and practical aspects for setting up a business. 

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Published by URUGUAY XXI

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Uruguay offers significant competitive advantages to investors due to its strategic geographical location in the heart of the richest region in the continent, equipped with an adequate support structure in full development for the transportation of goods and passengers by land, air and sea. It also offers a high standard of living, a pleasant climate and environment and a high educational level. 

Business environment

Uruguay has a strong democratic tradition characterized by its political, social and macroeconomic stability; a stable institutional framework with clear rules for investors, a respect for contracts and an attractive promotional system. All of these elements constitute a favorable business environment explaining the boost in productive investment of recent years.  

Uruguay was one of the first economies in Latin America that evolved towards open and unrestricted international trade. The openness ratio, measured as exports plus imports of goods and services with respect to the GDP was 56.5% between 2006 and 2011, higher than that of its neighbors Argentina and Brazil. 

Attitude towards foreign investment

In Uruguay there is no discrimination in treatment of national or foreign capital and investment promotion incentives are available for both. There is also no limit to the allocation of foreign capital in companies. Foreign investors can perform any activity under the same conditions as local investors.  In certain activity sectors and under special government regulation, the foreign investor can carry out activities under a public works concession regime. 

The tax system is also neutral with respect to foreign investments. Likewise, save for environmental approval, investments do not require prior authorization.  

Investment incentives

In Uruguay no prior authorization or registration is necessary to make investments, which may be eligible for Business Income Tax exemption among other exemptions. Additionally, Uruguay has 13 free trade zones, comprised by areas where the established companies enjoy ample tax benefits. The country also has a Free Airport and Port Regime for the free transit of goods; and a Temporary Admission regime that allows imported goods to be incorporated or used in the production process of goods to be exported, without paying import taxes.

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