With its 3.3 million inhabitants, Uruguay is renowned for its political, legal and macroeconomic stability. This, coupled with laws that favour the arrival of investments through tax exemptions and the absence of restrictions on the outward transfer of capital or profits, in recent years has driven dozens of international companies to set up operations in the country.
According to data furnished by Uruguay XXI, the Investment and Export promotion agency, six of every ten foreign companies operating in the country do not encounter any restrictions in the expansion of their business, while eight out of ten show a high level of satisfaction with regard to their setting-up process.
Furthermore, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector activity has recorded a steady growth in recent years, positioning itself as one of the most dynamic sectors of the local economy, accounting for almost 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and attracting foreign investment in free zones; the arrival of multinational companies such as TATA Consultancy Services, Globant and TOTVS stands out.
Uruguayan companies render services with a high added value and have specialized in providing solutions, often custom-made, for industries such as banking, tourism, education, health, logistics, payment systems and security, among others. The quality of their services has enabled them to stand out internationally and become strategic partners with clients abroad.
In addition, Uruguay boasts the highest ICT Development Index in the region, as established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2013. With download speeds that exceed those of the US, due to its extensive fibre optic network, the country is also noted for having a high degree of Internet penetration and mobile communications. Moreover, the so-called "Plan Ceibal", local version of the "One laptop per child" project, has helped to substantially reduce the digital divide and to train from an early age thousands of digital natives.
The country's size and location are two aspects which have also been noted by foreign entrepreneurs. In this regard, its small market proves to be an excellent test bench for the subsequent launching of projects in the region and its strategic geographic location, with its time zone positioned in between Europe and the United States, makes it a perfect spot for the provision of global services, especially in the ICT sector.
Those who come to live or work in Uruguay point out the comfort and tranquillity that reigns, as well as the short distances, the pleasant climate and friendly people. The country benefits from a top-level health and education system, and is one of the safest in the continent. These features, according to the 2014 Legatum Prosperity Index, earned its recognition as the best place to live in Latin America.