Doing business in Uruguay: investment outlook for 2018
Article 4 minute read

Doing business in Uruguay: investment outlook for 2018

20 March 2018

Uruguay is an intriguing mixture of both challenge and opportunity for investors. But above all, the economic outlook for 2018 looks good, and it remains a favourable country for investment.

There are some changing regulations on the horizon, and some political uncertainty with government elections next year. But a strong track record of economic growth, plus a well-established framework to support investors, provide a foundation for business development.

Economic outlook

Despite the volatility experienced in Latin America in recent years, Uruguay’s economy has grown year-on-year for the past 15 years, in one of the most extensive periods of economic expansion in the country’s history.

Since 2003, Uruguay has grown at rates above regional average, exceeding 7% on several occasions.  With the economic downturn in Latin America, this trend slowed in recent years, reaching its lowest level in 2015 but since then, growth rates have risen.

Although the 2017 figures are not yet finalised, economic growth is expected to be nearly 2%, with further growth of approximately 3% projected for 2018. Inflation in 2017 was at its lowest level since 2010, closing at 6.6%, and is expected to remain around 7% this year.

Regulatory challenges

One of the main challenges this year is regulatory changes. Some of the change is due to Uruguay adopting international trends such as CRS and the UBO register. There is also a new law changing some aspects of the Free Trade Zones. 

Compliance is key, and professional business support organisations such as TMF Group can advise and support investors on legislation, taxation, employment, and the formation of new business enterprises.

In addition to complying with regulatory change, business adherence can be bureaucratic. Although Uruguay has improved, digitalised and simplified many of its aspects to business progress, there are still hurdles that can make it difficult.  For instance, in the last version of the ‘Doing Business’ report prepared by World Bank Group, in which TMF Group participated as contributor, Uruguay was ranked number 94 out of 190 jurisdictions. Organisations such as TMF Group can help you to navigate local bureaucracy and develop your investment strategy.

Political stability

Uruguay has maintained a stable democracy for more than 30 years, with a commitment to facilitate and set clear rules to investors, whether they are Uruguayan or from overseas.

Next year will see government elections, which could generate some doubts among investors, but the investments promotion framework is expected to be strongly maintained.

Uruguay ranks top amongst Latin American countries for political and democratic stability, transparency, and prosperity.

Uruguay investment



Target sectors

Uruguay’s main industry sectors are the agricultural industry, energy and infrastructure, real state, services, logistics and tourism.  The country offers good prospects for internal development by local companies or as a hub for global or regional services. The government itself provides many opportunities.

Local support

Our team in Uruguay has the local knowledge and experience to provide tailor-made solutions to meet all investors’ business requirements, whether they are new or existing investors.

Understanding local law, regulations, processes, and requirements is at the heart of what we do, crucial to business success. No matter what country you’re based in, our team of experts will help reduce risk, simplify operations, and ensure a smooth launch for you into the Uruguay market.

TMF Group has been operating in Uruguay since 2006. Our team of local professionals works with over 100 local and multinational companies in a wide variety of business sectors, including retail, aviation, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, energy, and telecommunications.

Our full range of services includes Incorporation and structuring, Accounting and Tax Compliance, HR and payroll, Corporate Secretarial and Structured Finance Services, allowing investors to concentrate on delivering their core business offering. Get in touch to learn more.

Written by

Pablo González Coló

Managing Director

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