Women's International Shipping & Trading Association

Uruguay, a country facing the sea

August 23, 2023

Uruguay (name that comes from the guaraní language and means “river of the birds”), is located in the southeast of South America, and borders with Brazil and Argentina. Its 3,500,000 inhabitants are distributed in an area of 176,000 km2, concentrating 60% of the population in the metropolitan area of its capital Montevideo.

Country with secular and free education, 98% literacy, a gdp p/c of 21,000 usd, and is one of the most consolidated and stable democracies in the region.

95% of its territory is suitable for the agricultural industry, which makes it an exporter of commodities. The country has extensive global trade agreements.

Uruguay is a crucial player in the hydrographic river system of the region, making the port of Montevideo the main port of departure and entry of the regional foreign trade.

Among the commodities that Uruguay exports stand out meat, grains, dairy products, cellulose, wood; but it is also very significant the movement of containers with goods from the region and vehicles.

The port of Nueva Palmira is the 2nd most important in terms of movements and collection of merchandise, and is located in the west of the country, close to the agricultural and industrial production of that area.

Related to foreign trade Uruguay has enclosures with special tax regimes (free zones) that aim to boost investment, production and trade of goods and services which are determinating for the generation of classified employment and diversification of exports.

It is also worth noting the value of tourism industry, which represents approximately 10% of gdp. At the ports of Montevideo and Punta del Este arrive hundreds of cruise ships a year, and its proximity to Buenos Aires allows it to receive a lot of international tourism.

Land of futbol, mate, candombe, tango and beaches has been the cradle of human talent from various areas recognized worldwide: from Eduardo Galeano to Mario Benedetti, Joaquin Torres Garcia, Carlos Paez Vilaro, Carlos Gardel, Natalia Oreiro, and elite athletes such as Diego Forlán and Luis Suarez.

But… what can you expect when visiting Uruguay?

You would be able to know the cultural and architectural richness of its capital city Montevideo, the extensive, natural and wide beaches along the east coast, the mountain landscapes and their vineyards in the center and west of the country, the hot springs located to the west and north of the country on the great guaraní water reservoir, and the charming Colonia del Sacramento city with its historic center declared UNESCO world heritage site.

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