In-depth country-focused analysis on Uruguay's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight


Our comprehensive assessment of Uruguay's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Uruguay, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Uruguay's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Uruguay before your competitors.

Uruguay Operational Risk Coverage (9)

Uruguay Operational Risk

BMI View:

BMI View: Uruguay is one of the more attractive locations for investment in Latin America, benefiting from limited risks to businesses. The country performs well across the BMI Operational Risk Index in comparison to leading emerging markets in the region. Uruguay offers a better educated and more flexible labour market, a higher quality and less congested transport network, a more open FDI policy, and a safer environment for foreign workers and businesses than several leading Latin America countries - including neighbouring Argentina and Brazil. Uruguay is therefore...

Uruguay Crime & Security

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BMI View: Uruguay's major security threats to businesses stem from the increasing levels of organised crime in the country, and the lack of operational experience among the high-level security forces. While the police force is competent and effective, the country's intelligence services and military are small and ineffectual. Fortunately, there are few conflict and security risks emanating from international actors and terrorists. However, porous borders and high dollarisation makes Uruguay an attractive country for narcotics and weapons smuggling rings, leading to an overall increase in crime and violence. For these reasons, Uruguay receives a score of 63.4 out of 100, placing it ninth in the Latin American region out of 42 states. This places it...

Uruguay Labour Market

BMI View:

BMI View: Uruguay's labour market presents investors with a number of challenges which undermine the country's appeal. The small size of the population, along with the poor quality of education, means that sourcing highly-skilled staff can be difficult and foreign workers may have to be imported, at considerable cost. Businesses also face somewhat stringent restrictions on the organisation of their workforce and their ability to freely set wages, with trade unions prevalent in most sectors. Nevertheless, Uruguay's more flexible labour market relative to its direct neighbours, Brazil and Argentina, makes it an attractive proposition as an entry point to the region. Overall, Uruguay scores 52.3 out of 100 in BMI's Labour Market Risk Index, ranking it 16 thout of 42 states in Latin America.

Rigid Labour Regulations Undermine...

Uruguay Logistics

BMI View:

BMI View: Uruguay poses fewer risks to businesses in terms of its logistics network than most of its Latin American peers. The utilities and transport networks offer greater coverage and quality than many of the country's neighbours, while export and import processes are cheaper and faster. The well-developed and relatively uncongested transport network makes Uruguay a particularly attractive entry point for goods to the Mercosur market, as supply chains in both neighbouring Argentina and Brazil suffer from extended delays. Uruguay is therefore ranked highly on a regional comparison in the BMI Logistics Risk Index, in sixth place out of 42 ...

Uruguay Trade & Investment

BMI View:

BMI View: Uruguay possesses many qualities that make it a desirable trade and investment destination, including diverse trading partners, numerous free trade agreements, low tariffs, a burgeoning middle-class with a high demand for imports, an efficient bureaucratic system and independent judiciary, as well as a welcoming attitude to foreign investors. Nevertheless, Uruguay's tax burdens are relatively high, and current global economic conditions have decreased international demand for the country's only major export, agricultural produce. Hence Uruguay scores 51.7 out of 100 for over...

Uruguay Industry Coverage (2)


Uruguay Telecommunications

BMI View:

BMI View: We highlight Uruguay as one of the most developed telecoms markets in Latin America, particularly in the mobile segment, where it leads the region in smartphone penetration, postpaid subscriber mix and 3G/4G uptake. All three mobile operators have launched 4G services as of September 2014, with competition expected to drive uptake. The success of the Uruguayan mobile market has largely been a result of its strong economic performance, which has led to high consumer purchasing power. Organic growth will be limited due to the high penetration rate and the fact that the market is already driven by a high number of dual sims and perhaps a sizeable portion of inactive accounts not yet discounted. Nevertheless, BMI remains concerned about the risk of government involvement in the sector through its lack of a truly independent regulator and its stake in Antel. We believe that policymaking will be characterised by broad...


Uruguay Water

BMI View:

BMI View: Owing to its state ownership and comparatively limited project pipeline, we view Uruguay as one of the least open and least attractive markets in the region with regards to its water and sanitation sectors, and we do not anticipate any substantial changes to this status quo over the next five years. However we do see some potential for companies selling parts for networks and facilities as there is a small project pipeline to improve and expand OSE's water and sanitation infrastructure.

Uruguay's water infrastructure is well developed, especially in comparison with other Latin American countries; it is also state-owned and -managed, which means that tariffs are low, but there are only limited opportunities for private-sector players. The government has promised continued investment in water...

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