FREE TRADE ZONES IMPACT INVESTMENT ATTRACTION, CREATION OF QUALIFIED EMPLOYMENT AND DIVERSIFICATION OF EXPORTS
In 2017, Uruguay's total exports of goods exceeded US $ 9,025 million, of which approximately 29% was sent abroad from one of the Free Trade Zones, according to the new Competitive Intelligence report of Uruguay XXI.
Free Trade Zones are part of a set of policies that have as their main objective the incentive to invest in Uruguay, among which are also the Promotion and Protection of Investments Law, the Free Port and Free Airport regimes, the Public – Private Partnership Law (PPP) and the Industrial Parks Law, among others.
According to the report prepared by the Competitive Intelligence Department of Uruguay XXI, Free Trade Zones have an important role in attracting investment, generating qualified employment and diversifying country’s exports.
Exports of Uruguayan goods have shown great dynamism, tripling in the last decade. Likewise, markets have diversified and the Free Trade Zones have acquired relevance as intermediate destinations. Its importance lies in the characteristics that make them suitable places for establishing industrial complexes, installing manufacturing industries based on foreign or national raw materials, or using them as logistics or operations centers to provide various services to the world.
In 2017, Uruguay's total exports of goods exceeded US $ 9,025 million, of which approximately 29% was sent abroad from any of the Free Trade Zones.
The large investments made in the Free Trade Zones, favored by the current regulatory framework, have been the engine of its development. Based on data from the Free Trade Zones Area of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, total accumulated investment exceeded US $ 5,745 million between 2005 and 2014.
There are currently eleven Free Trade Zones in Uruguay: Nueva Palmira (state), Fray Bentos (UPM), Libertad, Punta Pereira (Montes del Plata), Colonia, Colonia Suiza, Floridasur, Zonamerica, WTC Free Zone, Science Park and Aguada Park .
A total of 1,420 companies operate in the Free Trade Zones. Approximately 45% carry out activities related to trade, followed by those developed in the professional services sector.
Likewise, free trade zones have an important role in generating employment with a high level of training. According to data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance of 2014, these spaces directly employ 14,500 people. 90% of the employed personnel, about 12,000 people, correspond to national workers.