URUGUAY WEEK IN CHINA SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDED
The event, which celebrated 30 years of bilateral relations with the Asian country, brought together more than 800 people, including businessmen, government authorities and the press. The mission that toured Beijing, Chongqing and Guangzhou was led by Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa, Uruguay's Ambassador to China, Fernando Lugris and the Executive Director of Uruguay XXI, Antonio Carámbula.
On the occasion of the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Uruguay and China, Uruguay's Week in that country was held as part of several activities that will take place throughout 2018.
The activities, which included the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rodolfo Nin Novoa, the Uruguayan Ambassador to China, Fernando Lugris, and the Executive Director of Uruguay XXI, Antonio Carámbula, began with a business seminar in Beijing. There, the chancellor signed an agreement by which Uruguay became the first country in the South Atlantic and Mercosur to join the 21st Century Silk Road, a Chinese initiative known as "One Belt One Road".
This series of business meetings organized by the country's investment, export and image promotion agency, Uruguay XXI and the Uruguayan embassy in China, welcomed more than 800 high-level businessmen and potential investors, along with government authorities, personalities and some 60 media representatives.
The purpose of these events was to promote Uruguay as a gateway to Latin America and a hub for business, logistics and technology, as well as a destination for investments in infrastructure, agribusiness and corporate services. On these points, the executive director of Uruguay XXI pointed out that, although the country is famous for its football and its meat, the objective is that it should also be known for its macroeconomic solidity, its institutional strength and its quality of life.
On Thursday, August 23rd, the activity moved to Chongqing City. In this city, one of the fastest growing in the world, the delegation made a country presentation at Smart China Expo, where Uruguay XXI also had a country stand. In this instance, Mu Gang, the president of Lifan - a company located in the department of San José - joined the group and praised Uruguay as an investment destination.
During this presentation, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rodolfo Nin Novoa, invited the companies of the region to invest in Uruguay and stressed that in the services sector there are also important opportunities for Chinese companies in terms of distribution, transport and information services and telecommunications. He also stressed that Uruguay is the leading exporter of software in Latin America in relative terms and the third largest in absolute terms.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Uruguay XXI, Antonio Carámbula, said that Uruguay has become an ideal country for the establishment of service centers for export to the region. He also highlighted that the country has made significant investments in infrastructure associated with technology. Carámbula mentioned several rankings that confirm Uruguay's leadership in ICTs in Latin America and highlighted that the country is one of the seven most digitized countries in the world.
The president of the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in Chongqing, He Yi said that "the political stability (of Uruguay), investment incentive policies and the developed transport system have strongly attracted the attention of all entrepreneurs in Chongqing". He added that "Uruguay has unique advantages among Latin American countries".
The activities finished in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Monday, August 27, where in addition to the business seminar, the inauguration of the Uruguayan Consulate General took place in that city. Regarding this new milestone in the Asian giant, the Uruguayan foreign minister explained that "it has an eminent role as a'commercial antenna', to open doors, generate more spaces for Uruguayan companies, identify opportunities, detect market and value niches, support Uruguayan and Chinese firms in the promotion of commercial exchanges and generate quality information for entrepreneurs. In short, to position Uruguay economically in the South of China".
In 2017, the province of Guandgong imported Uruguayan products worth US$ 682 million, representing 40% of Uruguay's total exports to that destination. The chancellor also said that last year there was an increase of 52.2% compared to 2016 in Uruguay's sales to this region.
The Vice Governor of Guangdong, Xu Ruisheng, also welcomed the establishment of this new consulate and said that "a new stage has been taken between Guangdong and Uruguay to offer better conditions for communication and cooperation".
In all the instances the businessmen and the press enjoyed cultural and gastronomic interventions such as the "Flavors of Uruguay" cocktails, led by Chef Sebastián Barcos and sommelier Javier Muyala, who offered a tasting of typical Uruguayan products such as meat, wine, dairy products, olive oil and caviar, among others. The events were also accompanied by a candombe show.
In addition, Uruguay XXI launched a content campaign on Chinese social networks about Uruguay and created, with the aim of strengthening commercial links with that country, its Chinese language pages www.investinuruguay.uy/cn and www.buyfromuruguay.uy/cn
This official visit, with events organized as part of the "Uruguay in China Week", as well as the participation in November of the 12th China-LAC Summit in Zhuhai and the first Chinese importers' fair in Shanghai, aims to spread the knowledge of Uruguay and its qualities as a strategic business partner, in order to continue expanding the relationship between both markets.
China is Uruguay's largest trading partner, with an exchange of US$ 2.549 billion and a 20% share of its total exports from the Latin American country.