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Twenty-three cooperative agreements between Uruguay and China have recently been signed

by | Nov 24, 2023

Within the framework of the recent Uruguayan official visit to China, 23 cooperation agreements between Uruguay and China were signed.

Leaders Luis Lacalle Pou and Xi Jinping met on November 22, 2023, in Beijing and signed twenty-four cooperation agreements on trade, livestock, culture, and science and technology, among others.

It also agreed to elevate relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership, which allows deepening commercial exchange and agreements between Uruguay and China in other areas.

23 agreements between Uruguay and China:

Mutual legal assistance in criminal matters

Uruguay and China “will provide each other with the broadest possible legal assistance in investigations, prosecutions and judicial procedures linked to criminal matters.”

The Silk Road

Uruguay and China agreed to advance the memorandum signed in 2018, during Tabaré Vázquez’s presidency, to construct an economic and maritime Silk Road.

“Among the areas addressed include cooperation in the digital economy, tax, high seas fishing ports, advances in energy, industrial, food cooperation, and promotion on topics such as watershed planning, efficient irrigation, and the development of mini-hydroelectric plants, as well as the construction of small dams and the creation of a joint laboratory,” details a document prepared by Uruguay’s Foreign Ministry.

Antarctic Cooperation

Based on the guidelines of the Antarctic Treaty, the two countries will carry out “exchange and research activities on Antarctic matters in the spirit of cooperation and mutual assistance.”

Exchange on economic development

An agreement between Uruguay and China  seeks to promote training through scholarships and exchange on various topics, such as “macroeconomics, the Belt and Road Initiative, investment, trade, sustainable development, clean energy, digital economy, and cultural exchanges.”


The number of places for Uruguayans to study in China will increase from 20 to 25, and the teaching of Chinese in Uruguay will be promoted.

Joint Laboratory in Bio-Nano-Pharma

Pharma will be created, with an investment of $279,000 by the Chinese government and the facilitation of “access to infrastructure and human resources” by Uruguay. The objective is to serve as a “platform to jointly conduct high-level research, promote the exchange and training of researchers, and encourage technology transfer to strengthen scientific and technological capacity.”

Industry, information, and communications

A new memorandum was agreed upon that establishes exchange and cooperation in “regulations and policies for innovation, industry, information, digital transformation, and communication technologies, as well as capacity development in these areas.” On the other hand, it includes “industrial improvement in the manufacturing of equipment, raw materials, light industry, biopharmaceuticals and renewable energies, electricity storage, information technologies; and cooperation in the development of policies for free zones, industrial parks, high-tech parks, cooperation zones for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), innovation campuses and industrial clusters of SMEs.

Geosciences and mineral resources

An agreement between the two nations seeks to promote scientific and technical research through student exchanges and joint projects.

Five-Year Strategic Plan for agricultural cooperation

The signing of a second five-year plan of this type between Uruguay and China is “focused on strengthening collaboration in agriculture, agroindustry, and fishing. Its objectives include exchanges on agricultural policies, efficient water use, animal husbandry, plant health, capacity development, agricultural trade, scientific and technological research, dairy, fisheries, and aquaculture.”


Uruguay and China will create a working group to analyze the evolution of the trade flow “to promote its expansion and create a direct channel of consultations that allows addressing possible trade barriers and their elimination.”

Digital Economy

The agreement in this area seeks to generate “synergies between the plans, policies, regulations, norms, and standards of both countries related to the development of the digital economy, as well as the strengthening of cooperation in financial payments, smart storage, online and offline visualization, Internet of Things, big data, cloud computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and other associated areas.”

Likewise, this includes the commitment to advance the “digital transformation in the manufacturing industry, services, transportation, and logistics, to promote the transformation and modernization of traditional industries and green and smart development.”

Investment in “green development”

Uruguay and China agreed to encourage “companies to cooperate on investment in green development, including clean energies such as photovoltaics, wind energy, green hydrogen and solid biomass and other forms of bioenergy, such as liquid fuels and gases of biological origin. The agreement looks at the vehicle industry based on new energies such as the electric battery, the production service of intelligent charging cells and second-life batteries, disposal and recycling, as well as green finance and the construction of “green infrastructures, energy efficiency and alternatives associated with cement production.”

Cultural cooperation

Based on the collaboration agreement in the cultural and educational area, signed in 1988, “a more fluid exchange between official delegations in the cultural field, artistic groups and cultural institutions of both countries” will be sought between 2024 and 2028.


A “general framework to develop cooperation in the area of health between Uruguay and China” was agreed upon and “lists in a non-exhaustive manner the following priority areas of cooperation: public health (prevention and control of infectious diseases and health promotion); medicine in the context of emergencies and disasters; telemedicine; medical investigation; maternal and child health care, and health for the elderly.

Beef protocol

The beef protocol was updated, allowing the export of beef stomachs – including tripe -. According to the National Meat Institute of Uruguay, this could imply an increase of 40 million dollars annually for the export of tripe, which, added to what is already exported, would total about 59 million dollars.

The quarantine period for livestock in agricultural establishments before slaughter was reduced from 90 to 46 days.

Sheep and goat meat protocol

The sheep and goat meat protocols were also updated, and the quarantine period was reduced from 90 to 46 days.

Sports equine protocol

The quarantine and health requirements for exporting sport horses between Uruguay and China and the health responsibilities of both countries were agreed upon.

Export of lemons

The export of lemons is added to the citrus that Uruguay exports to China.

Live aquatics for consumption

Establishes quarantine and hygiene requirements for the export of edible aquatic animals to China.

Scientific and technological cooperation between the Technical Laboratory of Uruguay (LATU) and the China Market Regulatory Administration

This agreement between Uruguay and China seeks to be the starting point for collaboration and development of joint projects, scientific production, and exchange of researchers. “It will focus on specific areas such as scientific and industrial metrology, as well as other advanced areas of metrology.”

Media, news, and audiovisual sector

Work is also underway to finalize the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Uruguayan Film and Audiovisual Agency (ACAU) and the National Radio and Television Administration of China (NRTA) for an exchange in the creation of content, co-productions, technologies, and training.

Sustainable development and low carbon emissions

A memorandum was drawn up to promote cooperation on sustainable and low-carbon development. “It focuses on key areas such as combating the global environmental crisis, protecting the environment, saving energy and improving energy efficiency, the circular economy, and reducing food loss and waste.”

Digital Economy

The MIEM and the China National Data Administration will generate digital economy policy exchanges and cooperation.

In conclusion, the relationship between Uruguay and China is characterized by a multifaceted and mutually beneficial partnership that has strengthened over the years. Diplomatically, both countries maintain positive and cooperative ties, focusing on promoting economic collaboration and cultural exchange. One of the critical features of their relationship is the robust trade ties, as China has become a significant trading partner for Uruguay. The Chinese demand for Uruguayan agricultural products, such as beef, has driven economic growth in Uruguay. The two nations have also engaged in infrastructure projects and investments, contributing to Uruguay’s development. Furthermore, cultural exchanges, educational initiatives, and people-to-people connections have fostered a deeper understanding and appreciation between the citizens of both countries. Overall, the Uruguay-China relationship is characterized by a strategic alignment of interests and a commitment to mutual benefit.

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