Uruguay wants to increase business with European Union

Trade promotion agency Uruguay XXI and the European Union delegation plan to hold the 1st European Investment Forum June 21-22 in Montevideo as part of an effort to increase business in the South American country, officials said Thursday.

“Uruguay has an opportunity to pursue a renewed and intense connection with European companies with energy and efficiency,” Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said.

“We extend this invitation to all European businessmen interested in exploring opportunities in Latin America … to increase exchanges, cooperate in a coordinated way and establish interesting alliances,” the foreign minister said.

EU Ambassador to Uruguay Juan Fernandez Trigo said the trade bloc had a commitment to Uruguay, adding that 300,000 euros ($257,000) has already been spent to organize the conference.

“Trade between the EU and Uruguay is worth roughly 3 billion euros ($2.5 billion) a year, and it is very important for the country. Investment is even more important since not only is it greater than that figure, but because of the (EU business) presence, the job creation, the technology transfer and what all this implies for the country’s opening,” Trigo said.

Organizers expect 300 to 400 people to attend the investment conference, which will end on June 23 with a meeting of officials from the EU and Uruguay.

The meeting’s goal will be to target European business leaders interested in starting operations in Uruguay, which an official statement described as “a gateway to Latin American markets.”

“Participants will have access to custom-made agendas and the chance to meet with local business people and officials. There will be a B2B meeting space with local entrepreneurs, and we expect that European companies already operating in Uruguay will provide their expertise,” Uruguay XXI director Antonio Carambula said.

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