August Luncheon - Uruguay: More Than Just the Next Big Thing in Wine...Outsourcing, Logistics Hub, and Beyond

02 Sep 2015 10:56 AM | TB OWIT (Administrator)

How much do you know about Uruguay?

If you were at the August TBOWIT luncheon you know a lot more and you are impressed!

Theresa Rice, the PR Representative in the U.S. for Uruguay XXI, the country’s investment and export promotion agency spoke about Uruguay to the delight of the TBOWIT audience.

Did you know that Uruguay produces 13.6 million liters of wine a year? On top of that, Uruguay is the first country in South America with traceability built into their supply chain.  This means that in the case of wine, you can know down to the piece of land where the grape were grown that went into the making of the wine. In the case of beef, you can know the specific cow that gave you that piece of meat that you are eating.  Speaking of which, all cows and lambs in Uruguay are grass fed, the ultimate in organic. Uruguay is the ONLY southern hemisphere country to produce caviar. The sturgeon fish that produce the caviar are farmed in large canals with fresh water flowing naturally. Uruguay is the 7th largest producer of caviar and because of its location in the southern hemisphere, fresh caviar reaches the market at the peak of caviar season. One’s caviar can also be traced to its origin.  Uruguay holds the title to the best olive oil outside of Europe and the 8th worldwide. Uruguay is also the 6th largest rice exporter.

As far as population, Uruguay has about 3.4 million residents and 2.8 million tourists. One challenge is to extend the tourist season and one means is to build a convention center.  Another challenge is to improve the roads and rails which they are doing by encouraging public-private investment. On that front, last year they had $2.75 billion (US) in FDI. Uruguay is the only country in South America to have a free port and airport.

Half of Uruguay’s’ energy comes from renewable sources. They have the largest percentage of wind produced energy in the world. On the IT frontier, every child in Uruguay is given a laptop. Uruguay has more fiber optic cable laid to homes than the US and their download speed is faster. In fact, 98% of households have the internet. Plus, there is free wi-fi throughout the country..

Uruguay is a small country with a stable social and political system.  Public education is free. Uruguay does not compete on costs. Uruguay focuses on value-added services such as financial services, IT. Uruguay is an easy entrance to the Mecrosur, the sub-regional bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

This is just a small sampling of the information offered at the luncheon. There was also a lively question and answer session after Mrs. Rice’s presentation. Everyone left with a better understanding of Uruguay and all it has to offer.

Going back to wine, Mrs. Rice was brought a bottle of wine to be raffled off and the lucky winner was Selma Canas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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