Uruguay opens its first technology consulate in San Francisco

It seeks to position Uruguay as a digital country, support national companies based in Silicon Valey and attract potential investors.
Publication date: 05/03/2020

On February 14, the General Consulate of Uruguay was opened in the city of San Francisco, United States. This is the first technological Uruguayan consulate in the world, which will give a strong emphasis to the issues of the "Digital Era", according to the official statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The inauguration was attended by local businessmen, representatives of investment funds, government authorities of the North American city, among other important actors.

The new office will have as a priority the generation of capacities for a better insertion in the global scenario, with the objective of creating "opportunities for the national innovative ecosystem", highlights the official communication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The installation of this new headquarters will serve as a pilot experience for the implementation of a "Diplomacy in the Digital Age", the communiqué details.

The work of the consulate will focus on three key areas: the linkage with technology companies, universities and venture capital funds, which aims to obtain financing for national enterprises, attracting productive investment for Uruguay, with emphasis on global services, telecommunications and digital development, and promoting cooperation with private and local authorities, which will seek to boost technological development and innovation in the country.

The purpose behind the opening of the new consulate, which was approved by the U.S. Department of State, lies in the importance of the U.S. market for the national software industry. In that sense, 65% of the exports of the booming sector are destined for the U.S. market.

Likewise, the number of Uruguayan entrepreneurs who choose to set up in Silicon Valley has grown in recent years. The southern area of the San Francisco Bay is "the epicenter of a technological revolution, which has a transcendental relevance for the global economy," says the statement from the Foreign Ministry. Silicon Valley is home to several of the world's largest technology corporations, including Apple, Alphabet, Intel, HP, Cisco System, Facebook and Oracle, among others. It is the leading center for innovation and development of high technology, as well as receiving much of the risk investment in the United States, the engine of the industry.

Along these lines, the technology consulate in San Francisco will seek to establish "permanent and lasting relationships with the actors represented in the area," the official communication states. The measure is part of a series of investments in information and communication technologies, which have positioned Uruguay as a reference in the field and at the forefront of the region. The country is a first-class business center, in addition to having the highest connectivity and Internet penetration in the continent, with 85% of households having fixed broadband access and 75% having fiber optics to the home.

It is the most advanced Latin American country in ICT development and the largest exporter of software per capita, with the most accessible Internet price and one of the highest download speeds in the region. It has one of the best Data Centers in Latin America and several underwater cable systems, as well as free zones and attractive promotional regimes. These qualities and its business climate position Uruguay as a global service center for the region and the world.