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Uruguay presents Investment Guide “ Doing Business – Investing in Tourism in Uruguay”

by | Feb 24, 2024

As part of a collaboration agreement between the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), several countries have recently been invited to develop an investment guide contributing to generating investment opportunities in the tourism sector.  The document includes investment opportunities, the competitive landscape, regulatory information, and an overview of the country’s attractions to generate business development in the tourism sector.  One of the subjects of the guide is investing in tourism in Uruguay.

Uruguay’s president leads the discussion on investing in tourism in Uruguay

The presentation was led by the Uruguayan president, Luis Lacalle Pou; the Vice President of the Uruguayan Republic, Beatríz Argimón; the Minister of Tourism, Tabaré Viera; the Undersecretary of Tourism, Remo Monzeglio; the General Director of the Secretariat, Ignacio Curbelo, the National Director of Tourism, Roque Baudean, the Executive President of CAF, Sergio Díaz – Granados, the Executive Director of UN Tourism, Natalia Bayona and the Regional Director for the Americas of UN Tourism, Gustavo Santos, among other national, regional, departmental authorities, and representatives of different embassies in Uruguay.

The Executive President of the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean, Sergio Díaz–Granados, presided over the meeting and stated, “This Guide reflects what Uruguay offers.  This includes institutional economic stability, innovation, entrepreneurship, and human talent.  Uruguay also offers sun and sand, nautical tourism, and cruises.  The country has fertile lands for agricultural and wine tourism.  All this is reflected in the guide’s potential to promote investing in tourism in Uruguay.  Additionally, it highlights the important investments that have already been made.”

On the other hand, the Regional Director for the Americas of UN Tourism, Gustavo Santos, referred to “generating more investments in our region and for this having a standard methodology that we have imposed through these Investment Guides so that all the countries in the region can finally reach their tourism potential.

Post-pandemic tourism has made a comeback

The Minister of Tourism, Tabaré Viera, expressed that “tourism is a great engine of development and has perhaps been one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic crisis, but it has also proven the great resilience it has, particularly in Uruguay.  “As a result of the implementation of public policies and the tenacity of the private sector, it has recovered, although it still has some challenges.”

Officials present the guide on investing in tourism in Uruguay

Once the opening was completed, the guide on investing in tourism in Uruguay was presented.  An overview of its contents was presented, as well as further information about the country by the Executive Director of UN Tourism, Natalia Bayona, and the Director General of the Secretariat of the Ministry of Tourism, Ignacio Curbelo.

The General Director, Ignacio Curbelo, said, “We produced the tourism guide with the firm conviction that it would be a very useful tool for motivating entrepreneurs and businesses to invest in tourism in Uruguay.” He pointed out the qualities that make Uruguay a country with excellent investment potential in the tourism sector.

“ Uruguay has political stability and institutionality.  It has had an average gross domestic product of 3.4 percent over the last twenty years.  This number places it above the average of Latin America and the Caribbean, where the index for the rest of the region stands at 2.5 percent.  Regarding inflation, the tourism guide highlights that in Uruguay, it has been at 7.7 percent over the last two decades, closing last year at 5.1 percent.  To this must be added a total foreign direct investment in Uruguay that closed  2022 with 3.8 billion dollars, 71 percent more than the figure for the previous year.

“Between 2015 and 2022, the Investment Law Enforcement Commission cited projects that total $9.6 billion.  Uruguay has investment agreements with 34 countries representing 78 percent of the world’s GDP.  And it is one of the three investment-grade countries in South America,” the secretary general remarked.

For his part, Bayona referred to the 71% growth of foreign direct investment in Uruguay.  “There are very few countries in the world that achieve this.” He further stated, “Uruguay is a success story of Latin Americans investing in Latin America, which is an excellent message to send to parties considering investing in tourism in Uruguay.” Additionally, he reported that almost 4,000 jobs have been created in the last year thanks to investment in tourism in the country.

“Investment financing” was also addressed.  Presentations on this topic were made by the Southern Regional Manager of CAF, Jorge Srur, and the Director of Tourism of CAF, Oscar Rueda.

The day closed with a panel that debated “Investment Outlook,” in which the Director of Ceres, Ignacio Munyo, and the Director of Uruguay XXI, Sebastián Risso, participated.

Macroeconomic strength makes Uruguay a good bet for investment

The guide for investing in tourism in Uruguay presents a vision of the future that highlights the country’s macroeconomic strength, wealth in natural resources, and investment possibilities that respond to new global trends in green investments and the response to global consumer sustainability trends.

The central objective of UN Tourism with the publication of this type of guide in various countries seeks to guarantee the growth and competitiveness of the sector, for which it is necessary to invest considerably in the training and improvement of the professional skills of the staff and implement technical programs that are centered on vocational training.

“Doing Business, Investing in Tourism in Uruguay” aims to show the conditions for attracting foreign direct investment in its five chapters.  The first and second chapters provide information and data on Uruguay’s economic and investment panorama.  Chapter three highlights the benefits of investing in tourism in Uruguay, which are derived from the comprehensive natural offerings, the unique geographical location, and the country’s biodiversity.  Chapter four analyzes green investments and their relationship with the tourism sector and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Finally, chapter five analyzes the positioning of the tourism sector in the world and the region, highlighting the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP, one of the highest in the region.

The presentation of the Investment Guide “Doing Business – Investing in Tourism in Uruguay” marks a significant milestone in promoting Uruguay as an attractive destination for investment in the tourism sector.  With strong leadership from President Luis Lacalle Pou and collaboration from key stakeholders, including the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), this comprehensive guide showcases Uruguay’s political stability, economic strength, and abundant natural resources.  By highlighting the country’s competitive advantages and investment opportunities, this guide is a valuable tool for entrepreneurs and businesses seeking to capitalize on Uruguay’s potential.  Through strategic investments and a focus on sustainable development, Uruguay is poised to enhance its position as a leading tourism destination, contributing to economic growth and prosperity for years to come.

Contact LATAM FDI to discuss your foreign direct investment plans in Latin America.

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