The elected president, Luis Lacalle Pou, will facilitate the entry of foreigners to increase the population.
Montevideo beach, Uruguay. / Photo: Pixabay - Reference Image
LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
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For three decades, the population of Uruguay has remained virtually the same. In fact, there are more cows than people in the country. According to the BBC, the country has a total of 3.5 million citizens, a number that President-elect Luis Lacalle Pou wants to increase. The president, who will take office on March 1, wants families from other parts of the world to see Uruguay as a destination to live. That is why he will try to make certain rules, which regulate legal and fiscal residence for foreigners, more flexible.
In his statements, according to El País, the president said that "during his term the 'clear rules of the game' will be maintained so that investors and families that choose Uruguay can do so with peace of mind and security."
The purpose of the president is that once the families are settled, they also transfer their capital and invest it in the country. “I first go for the family, after the families are there, they will be able to bring the money. If we have public safety, long-term certainties, the country will become a destination for the southern cone and also for the world”. said Luis Lacalle Pou.
Local media explained that the idea is to attract between 50 thousand and 100 thousand foreigners during the five years of Lacalle's government. The emphasis will be on small entrepreneurs, especially those Argentines who currently face difficult conditions in their nation.
However, the opposition has not reacted well to Lacalle's decision. Danilo Astori, the economy minister, said the easing could make Uruguay a tax haven again. Former President Pepe Mujica also spoke about it and said that instead of worrying about bringing Argentines, efforts should focus on Uruguayans investing in their country.
In an interview with BBC, Germán Cardoso, the next Minister of Tourism, explained that Uruguay is inspired by the European Union, especially in Portugal, to activate the economy without jeopardizing Uruguay's fiscal integrity.
Cardoso stressed that the current rules for granting residence make it difficult for foreigners to settle there; for example, spend six months in Uruguay and invest US $ 1.8 million. The flexibility would allow the investment amount to be less and that applicants are not required to spend half a year in the country.