Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Punta del Este > Blog > What you need to know about Uruguay.

What you need to know about Uruguay.

by: John S. Leaman - Investment Advisor Engel & Völkers

For many people around the world Uruguay is still “terra incognita”, an unmapped or undocumented territory somewhere in the vastness of South America. The globalization of football has somewhat changed this, with fans everywhere having discovered that there is in fact a small country of about three and a half million inhabitants, which has achieved amazing feats in the football fields for over a century, but many do not yet know much else about it, except perhaps that it has sophisticated beaches and summer resorts.

But there is much to Uruguay than soccer stars and beautiful beaches!

The fact is that Uruguay is by far the most politically and economic stable country in a sometimes-rocky South America, with a mature democratic system in which its three main parties have alternated in government in the last 25 years, maintaining throughout a commitment of keeping its business climate and clear ground rules. This makes Uruguay stand out as a glowing example of stability and pristine political practices and a bastion of respect for the rule of law, democracy, and growth. Further, it is the most equitable country with the highest per capital income in Latin America and the Caribbean, and leads all charts as the most uncorrupted country of the continent.

But why is this noteworthy, especially in our times? Because the region has the capacity to increase production of foodstuffs to feed a hungry world with a growing demand for food and a declining amount of agrarian land, and within it, Uruguay is by far the best option for investment, according to the ESG index that considers the quality of governance, social and environmental factors. In turn, these factors are also weighted in the EMBI country risk indicator, resulting in Uruguay being the most reliable of all the emerging economies in the world to invest in.

2022 will consolidate Uruguay´s 20th successive year of economic growth, despite the region´s instability. Macroeconomic soundness, prudent policies, export diversification, reduced banking sector vulnerabilities, and ample reserves allowed it to preserve its stability.

The first semester of this year has evidenced a sharp increase in exports of 39% led by its beef exports, up 49% in comparison to the same period of 2021; soybeans up 117% as compared to the same period of last year; dairy products up 23% and pulp wood 20% compared to the first semester of 2021. But also, rice, wheat, barley, and malt are registering extremely interesting export levels.

In addition to the above, land prices in Uruguay in comparison to North America, Australia/New Zealand and Eastern Europe are still very attractive and investments in the Uruguayan agricultural sector offer interesting potential yields in a legally safe environment where no governmental restrictions are imposed on foreigners who may come to invest. 


It is not surprising that given the global socio-political upheavals, high net worth individuals such as Bill Gates, who according to a January 2021 article of The Land Report, has become America’s biggest private farmland owner, Jeff Bezos and David Turner, have turned their attention towards this increasingly popular asset sub-class. Following this trend, Europeans, and Americans, who had not heard of Uruguay until recently, are now looking with great interest at the country as a destiny for their own investments. Others have found in it a retirement paradise, induced by Uruguay´s peaceful atmosphere and attractive tax system with benefits for foreigners who choose Uruguay as their fiscal residence. 

These individuals are looking to distance themselves from social and racial tensions, terrorism, war, or the threat of a conflict in Ukraine which they fear may overflow to other countries, high taxation, inflation, and other ominous clouds gathering in the horizon which are concerning for all.

And what safer assets with good returns can you find today than excellent agricultural land at good prices in a world which needs foodstuffs, with a rising demand and a tendency which experts unanimously predict will continue to increase in a country like Uruguay, which observes sustainable agricultural practices, promoting the quality of the environment and the basic resources on which agriculture depends, is economically viable and improves the quality of life of farmers and society.

Therefore, at Engel & Völkers we invite you to consider Uruguay´s fertile lands and friendly investment atmosphere as a very attractive proposition and are ready to assist you with all your queries, the different investments options available and even the selection of the right experts in the preparation of  your investment plan and in managing your property.

 Contact us.

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