The economy of Uruguay is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector and a well-educated work force, along with high levels of social spending. After averaging growth of 5% annually during 1996–98, in 1999–2002 the economy suffered a major downturn, stemming largely from the spillover effects of the economic problems of its large neighbors, Argentina and Brazil. In 2001–02, Argentine citizens made massive withdrawals of dollars deposited in Uruguayan banks after bank deposits in Argentina were frozen, which led to a plunge in the Uruguayan peso, causing the 2002 Uruguay banking crisis.
|Economy of Uruguay|
World Trade Center Montevideo
|Currency||Uruguayan peso ($, UYU)|
|WTO, ALADI, Mercosur|
|Population||3,506,000 (2018 est.)|
|GDP||$60.180 billion (nominal, 2018 est.) $81.599 billion (PPP, 2018 est.)|
|GDP rank||76th (nominal, 2018) 91st (PPP, 2018)|
|1.7% (2016) 2.7% (2017) 2.1% (2018e) 2.1% (2019f)|
GDP per capita
|$17,164 (nominal, 2018 est.) $23,274 (PPP, 2018 est.)|
GDP per capita rank
|45th (nominal, 2017) 60th (PPP, 2017)|
GDP by sector
|agriculture: 6.2% industry: 24.1% services: 69.7% (2017 est.)|
|7.633% (2019f est.) 7.607% (2018) 6.218% (2017)|
Population below poverty line
|39.7 medium (2016, World Bank)|
|0.804 very high (2017) (55th)|
|1.748 million (2017 est.)|
Labor force by occupation
|agriculture: 13% industry: 14% services: 73% (2010 est.)|
|Unemployment||7.6% (2017 est.) 7.9% (2016 est.)|
|food processing, electrical machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, textiles, chemicals, beverages|
|Exports||$11.41 billion (2017 est.)|
|beef, soybeans, cellulose, rice, wheat, wood, dairy products, wool|
Main export partners
| China 19% |
United States 5.7%
Argentina 5.4% (2017)
|Imports||$8.607 billion (2017 est.)|
|refined oil, crude oil, passenger and other transportation vehicles, vehicle parts, cellular phones|
Main import partners
| China 20% |
United States 10.9% (2017)
|$44.84 billion (31 December 2017 est.) Abroad: $19.97 billion (31 December 2017 est.)|
|$879 million (2017 est.)|
Gross external debt
|$28.37 billion (31 December 2017 est.)|
|65.7% of GDP (2017 est.)[note 1]|
|-3.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)|
|Revenues||17.66 billion (2017 est.)|
|Expenses||19.72 billion (2017 est.)|
|$15.96 billion (31 December 2017 est.)|
In the 19th century, the country had similar characteristics to other Latin American countries: caudillism, civil wars and permanent instability (40 revolts between 1830 and 1903), foreign capitalism's control of important sectors of the economy, high percentage of illiterate people (more than half the population in 1900).
José Batlle y Ordóñez, President from 1903 to 1907 and again from 1911 to 1915, set the pattern for Uruguay's modern political development and dominated the political scene until his death in 1929. Batlle introduced widespread political, social, and economic reforms such as a welfare program, government participation in many facets of the economy and a new constitution. Batlle nationalized foreign owned companies and created a modern social welfare system. Income tax for lower incomes was abolished in 1905, secondary schools established in every city (1906), telephone network nationalized, unemployment benefits were introduced (1914), eight-hour working day introduced (1915), etc.
Claudio Williman who served between Batlle’s two terms was his supporter and continued all his reforms, as did the next President Baltasar Brum (1919–1923). Around 1900 infant mortality rates (IMR) in Uruguay were among the world's lowest, indicating a very healthy population.
The number of trade unionists has quadrupled since 2003, from 110,000 to more than 400,000 in 2015 for a working population of 1.5 million people. According to the International Trade Union Confederation, Uruguay has become the most advanced country in the Americas in terms of respect for "fundamental labour rights, in particular freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike.
Throughout Uruguay's history, their strongest exporting industries have been beef and wool. In the case of beef exports, they have been boosted since Uruguay joined the Mercosur agreement in 1991 and the country has been able to reach more distant markets, such as Japan. In the case of wool exports, they have not been doing so well in recent years suffering from other competitors in the market like New Zealand and the fluctuations of its demand during the 2008/09 recession in the developed world. At the same time with timber refining being kept within the country, forestry has become a growth industry in the recent years.
Although this is a sector that does not make substantial contributions to the country's economy, in recent years there have been some activity in gold and cement production, and also in the extraction of granite.
Due to two major investments made in 1991 and 1997, the most significant manufactured exports in Uruguay are plastics. These investments laid the way for most of the substantial exports of plastic-based products which has taken a very important role in Uruguay's economy.
In spite of having poor levels of investment in the fixed-line sector, the small size of Uruguay's population has enabled them to attain one of the highest teledensity levels in South America and reach a 100% digitalization of main lines. Although the telecommunications sector has been under a state monopoly for some years, provisions have been made to introduce liberalization and to allow for entry of more firms into the cellular sector.
In 2013, travel and tourism accounted for 9.4% of the country's GDP. Their tourist industry is mainly characterized for attracting visitors from neighboring countries. Currently Uruguay's major attraction is the interior, particularly located in the region around Punta del Este.  
"With a population of only three million, Uruguay has rapidly become Latin America's outsourcing hub. In partnership with one of India's largest technology consulting firms, engineers in Montevideo work while their counterparts in Mumbai sleep." - The New York Times, Sep 22, 2006.
|Currently in force (Free Trade Agreements / Economic Complementation Agreements)|
|MERCOSUR (signed and effective November 1991)|
|ECA N.ºTemplate:Esd36 MERCOSUR with Bolivia (signed December 1996 and effective February 1997)|
|FTA with Mexico (signed November 2003 and effective July 2004)|
|ECAa N.ºTemplate:Esd59 with Ecuador (signed October 2004 and effective April 2005)|
|ECA N.ºTemplate:Esd58 MERCOSUR with Peru (signed August 2005 and effective December 2005)|
|ECA N.ºTemplate:Esd62 MERCOSUR with Cuba (signed July 2006 and effective September 2008)|
|Comercial Preference Agreement MERCOSUR with India (signed January 2004 and effective June 2009)|
|FTA MERCOSUR with Israel (signed December de 2007 and effective December 2009)|
|Partial Agreement N.ºTemplate:Esd63 with Venezuela (signed December 2012 and effective March 2013)|
|Comercial Preference Agreement MERCOSUR with SACU (signed September 2011 and effective April 2016)|
|FTA MERCOSUR with Egypt (signed December 2015 and effective September 2017)|
|ECA N.ºTemplate:Esd72 MERCOSUR with Colombia (signed July 2017 and effective December 2017)|
|FTA with Chile signed October 2016 and effective December 2018)|
|Concluded (not in force)|
|FTA MERCOSUR with State of Palestine (signed December 2011)|
The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017.
|Year||GDP in $
|GDP per capita in $
(Percentage of GDP)
|1980||12.46 Bln.||4,240||6.0 %||63.5 %||...||...||...|
|1985||14.41 Bln.||4,749||1.5 %||72.2 %.||13.1 %||...||...|
|1990||20.33 Bln.||6,511||0.3 %||112.5 %||8.5 %||...||...|
|1995||27.81 Bln.||8,616||−1.4 %||42.2 %||10.3 %||...||...|
|2000||33.33 Bln.||9,952||−1.8 %||4.8 %||13.4 %||17.8 %||...|
|2005||38.42 Bln.||11,461||6.8 %||4.7 %||12.1 %||29.2 %||84 %|
|2006||41.23 Bln.||12,277||4.1 %||6.4 %||10.8 %||32.5 %||76 %|
|2007||45.09 Bln.||13,425||6.5 %||8.1 %||9.4 %||29.6 %||68 %|
|2008||49.28 Bln.||14,652||7.2 %||7.9 %||7.9 %||24.2 %||60 %|
|2009||51.76 Bln.||15,321||4.2 %||7.1 %||7.8 %||21.0 %||63 %|
|2010||56.48 Bln.||16,627||7.8 %||7.0 %||7.0 %||18.5 %||59 %|
|2011||60.62 Bln.||17,763||5.2 %||8.1 %||6.4 %||13.7 %||58 %|
|2012||63.92 Bln.||18,655||3.5 %||8.1 %||6.3 %||12.4 %||58 %|
|2013||67.96 Bln.||19,756||4.6 %||8.6 %||6.5 %||11.5 %||60 %|
|2014||71.42 Bln.||20,681||3.2 %||8.9 %||6.6 %||9.7 %||61 %|
|2015||72.47 Bln.||20,902||0.4 %||8.7 %||7.5 %||9.7 %||65 %|
|2016||74.45 Bln.||21,395||1.5 %||9.6 %||7.9 %||9.4 %||62 %|
|2017||78.15 Bln.||22,371||3.1 %||6.2 %||7.4 %||7.9 %||66 %|
The following table shows the position of Uruguay in the world.
|Quality of Living index||Mercer||77° (Montevideo)||2018|
|Human Development Index||UNDP||55°||2018|
|Democracy Index||Economist Intelligence Unit||15°||2019|
|Global Peace Index||Vision of Humanity||37°||2018|
|Corruption Perceptions Index||Transparency||23°||2019|
|Economic Freedom Index||Heritage||40°||2019|
|Global Competitiveness Report||World Economic Forum||53°||2018|
|Cost of Living Index||Expatistan||177°||06february2018|
|Developed Country Recognition||World Bank||High Income||2018|
|United Nations||Very High HDI||2018|
Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay (also known as Banco República or BROU) is a state-owned bank in Uruguay, founded in 1896 under the presidency of Juan Idiarte Borda. It is the most important Uruguayan bank with the largest number of customers.It plays a dominant role in lending and deposit in the Uruguayan market. It is also responsible for the collection of exportation taxes.Bolsa de Valores de Montevideo
Bolsa de Valores de Montevideo, known as the Bolsa de Montevideo or as BVM, is the principal stock exchange of Uruguay. It is based in Montevideo and was founded in 1867.
The Montevideo Stock Exchange (BVM) is an institution whose primary function is to provide the platform for the realization of the laying operations, trading and safekeeping of public and private securities.
The placement process includes entering new values to the market, i.e., the monetary value. Trading involves the buying and selling of existing securities in the secondary market. Securities custody is a service that provides support and security to investors in the administration and marketing of its values, reducing the risk of loss, theft or forgery.
In addition to providing services to its members, the BVM also provides services to the issuers of securities and society as a whole.
Since 1867 the BVM asserts the tranquility of a secure and transparent market. Annually, the operators related to the BVM transact almost 3,000 million. The BVM custody more than 2,000 million dollars of its member values.
BVM can hold operations for Stockbrokers and the Special Partners. To be a Stockbroker it's necessary being a member of the BVM and meeting the requirements determined by the Uruguayan laws and regulations of the Central Bank of Uruguay. The Special Partners are institutions authorized to operate that do not have quality partnership from BVM. Special Members may be banks, fund managers, pension, social security institutions and insurance companies.
The BVM is administered by a committee composed of seven members Brokers partially renewed annually. In addition the Board has a BVM Fiscal Commission and a Court of Ethics, also composed by stockbrokers.Central Bank of Uruguay
The Central Bank of the Uruguay (BCU) (Spanish: Banco Central del Uruguay) is the central bank of the Uruguay.Currency of Uruguay
This is an outline of Uruguay's monetary history. For the present currency of Uruguay, see Uruguayan peso.Entes Autónomos y Servicios Descentralizados
The Autonomous State Entities and Decentralized Services (Spanish: Entes Autónomos y Servicios Descentralizados) are a type of government-owned corporation typical of the Uruguayan state.
According to Section XI of the Constitution of Uruguay, their legal personality is subject to public law.Index of Uruguay-related articles
The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to the Eastern Republic of Uruguay.List of Ministers of Economics and Finance
List of Minister for Economy and Finance of Uruguay since 1884:
¹ Ministers of the Military-Civic government (1973-1985).List of regions of Uruguay by Human Development Index
This is a list of regions of Uruguay by Human Development Index as of 2018 with data for the year 2017.Mercado Modelo (Montevideo)
Mercado Modelo is a central municipal fruit and vegetable wholesale market in of Montevideo, Uruguay. The area around the installations, which occupy several blocks of the Mercado Modelo–Bolívar barrio, has also taken on the name of the market, hence the composite name of the entire barrio. The central building has an area of 19,000 square metres (200,000 sq ft), to which more buildings were added in 1996 of an area of 15,000 square metres (160,000 sq ft), while the overall area of the market is 70,000 square metres (750,000 sq ft).In March 2009, the then mayor of Montevideo, Ricardo Ehrlich, announced that the market would be moved to the west of Montevideo.Mercosur
Mercosur (in Spanish), or Mercosul (in Portuguese), officially Southern Common Market is a South American trade bloc established by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991 and Protocol of Ouro Preto in 1994. Its full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela is a full member but has been suspended since December 1, 2016. Associate countries are Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname. Observer countries are New Zealand and Mexico.Mercosur's purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency. It currently confines itself to a customs union, in which there is free intra-zone trade and a common trade policy between member countries. The official languages are Spanish, Portuguese, and Guarani. Since its foundation, Mercosur's functions have been updated, amended, and changed many times: it is now a full customs union and a trading bloc.Mineral industry of Uruguay
The mining sector contributes only 0.1% to the GDP of Uruguay. Uruguay’s mineral commodities include clays, semiprecious gemstones, gold, iron and steel, sand and gravel, and stone. Uruguay has no proven natural gas or oil reserves but it does have substantial hydroelectric capacity.Port of Montevideo
The Port of Montevideo (Spanish: Puerto de Montevideo), in the northern part of the Old City of Montevideo, Uruguay, is one of the major ports of South America and plays a very important role in the economy of Uruguay.Revenue stamps of Uruguay
Uruguay has issued revenue stamps since 1871. Uses have included documentary taxes, consular services and tobacco and alcohol duties.Taxation in Uruguay
Taxes in Uruguay are collected by the General Taxation Directorate (Spanish: Dirección General Impositiva, DGI).
A major tax reform bill came into force on 1 July 2007 with the number 18083. Nevertheless, something important remained: Uruguay applies the source principle, with investments located and activities performed outside Uruguay remaining untouched.Uruguay Assembly
The Uruguay Assembly (Asamblea Uruguay) is a social-democratic political party in Uruguay. It is a member organisation of the ruling Broad Front. Its leader is the senator and former minister of economy of Uruguay, Danilo Astori.
Nowadays it form part of Liber Seregni Front.Uruguay and the World Bank
Uruguay and the World Bank Group (WBG) have been working together for a long time. This is because they both benefit from each other.From the WBG, Uruguay asks for the development of finance services and innovative knowledge, the use of integrated services with the participation of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the publication of Uruguayan development experiences in web sites where the WBG can serve as a platform for the dissemination of successful reformsOn the other hand, working with Uruguay is interesting for the world bank, because it is a country that is interested in increasing the productivity and insertion in the international sphere plus they are both interested in finding innovative development solution to assist the country and create positive externalitiesUruguayan Brazilians
Uruguayan Brazilian (Portuguese: Uruguaio-brasileiro, Spanish: Uruguayo-brasileño, Rioplatense Spanish: Uruguayo-brasilero) is a Brazilian person of full, partial, or predominantly Uruguayan ancestry, or a Uruguayan-born person residing in Brazil.Uruguayan peso
Uruguayan peso (Spanish: peso uruguayo) has been a name of the Uruguayan currency since Uruguay's settlement by Europeans. The present currency, the peso uruguayo (ISO 4217 code: UYU) was adopted in 1993 and is subdivided into 100 centésimos. There are no centésimo coins currently in circulation.