Uruguay - officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay - is a country located in the eastern part of the southern cone of South America. It limits to the northeast with Brazil, to the west with Argentina, and has coasts and important natural harbors, and a temperate climate.
It has an area of 176.215 km2. being the second smallest state in South America in terms of territory.
Its population of approx. 3,5 million inhabitants is of European origin –mainly Spanish and Italian, enjoying the highest urban population density (83%) and the highest literacy rate (97.3%) in South America.
Uruguay is a republican democracy with a presidential government system, that has been deeply rooted in the Uruguayan people since its independence from the Spanish Crown in 1825, and according to a recent ranking published by The Economist, Uruguay is the only fully democratic country in South America
The capital and largest city of the country is Montevideo, with 1.4 million inhabitants, although together with the metropolitan area it reaches 1.8 million inhabitants
Spanish is the official language and the Roman Catholic is the main religion, although the Church is separated from the State.
The Uruguayan economy is characterized by an export-oriented agricultural sector and a well-educated work force, along with high levels of social spending, an average annual growth of GDP of 4.1% between 2003-2018, and a country risk rating: Investment Grade “BBB”.
The stability of its economic and financial policies, and its privileged location in southern South America have turned Uruguay into an attractive international financial center for investments and offshore activities.
Uruguay is an agro-exporting country, so the agribusiness: agriculture (rice, wheat, corn, sunflower, flax, soybeans, sugar beet, sugar cane) and livestock (cattle raising and sheep breeding) are within the most important economic activities in the country.
In recent years the forest industry has grown in importance, with the production of sawn wood and cellulose pulp, and with a total area of 1.850 thousand hectares of forests.
Another of the main economic items in the country is tourism, mainly characterized for attracting visitors from neighboring countries as well as from Europe and the United States, and accounting for around 9.4% of the country's GDP.
Currently Uruguay's major tourist attraction is Punta del Este, internationally recognized as one of the top seaside resorts in South America and the most unique in the region.
Rural and historical tourism is also well developed, mainly Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest towns in Uruguay (1680) and renowned for its historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The services sector (banking, financial, logistics, transport, communications) also stands out, as well as the booming information technology industry, in particular the development of software and ICT/Information & Communication Technologies, a non-traditional economic sector that has registered sustained growth in recent decades.
The Free Zones sector in Uruguay offers companies tax and customs benefits, representing an effective tool for companies to manage their business initiatives, avoiding unnecessary and lengthy bureaucratic administrative processes and, of course, providing attractive tax benefits.