The President of the Republic, Luis Lacalle Pou, appeared this Monday at the conference organized by the Canning House organization, in the financial center of London, where he highlighted Uruguay as a “reliable gateway” for those countries that approach search for agreements.
The president once again stressed his intention to “open up to the world” and negotiate outside the Mercosur bloc to reach eventual Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). He said that it is a necessity for the country, for which they will summon the rest of the partners, despite the fact that their spirits are not the same.
“Uruguay is making great efforts to open up to the world. We are part of Mercosur, our partners (Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay) are big and they are not really here to do it quickly; we are in much more of a hurry. Our citizens are very good people and we see it every time they go out into the world, where they always get good results. We believe the country can do the same,” he said.
Regarding the possibility of reaching an FTA with the United Kingdom, he explained: “We are going to go to our partners, but today they do not want to do it. They do not want to do it so quickly and we do need to do it quickly. We have talked with Turkey, China and we look forward to starting these talks with the UK. Whoever wants to start these talks with Uruguay will have an open dialogue.”
To demonstrate the “confidence” and “hope” that, in his opinion, the country demonstrates within South America, Lacalle focused on two concepts: confidence and hope. First, he noted that Uruguay has “one of the strongest democracies in the world,” with a “very good” separation of powers, “very strong” political parties, and respected institutions.
“All these issues precede me and come long before my Presidency and I am sure they will continue when my term ends. (…) Uruguayans think and live this way, not because the government says so, but because the Uruguayans are like that,” he said.
Second, he indicated that it is a “stable” and “peaceful” place to live and invest and that he was able to overcome the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic under the strategy of “responsible freedom”, later adding that it also gives ” hope” as it is a “gateway” for logistics in Mercosur and the southern cone.
“We are doing things that aim, from the national policy, the initiatives and the facilities that we are creating, so that people can invest and come to live in our country. We have tax exemptions for investment, we established the requirements so that it can be obtained residence and in a year and a half we have received more than 14,000 people, mainly from Argentina, who have come to live in our country,” said the president, before continuing to highlight Uruguay as a “strong center” for large industries .
“We have excellent job creation and we are exporting jobs,” he added.
Next, the president pointed out that the government has committed itself to working on environmental issues: “We combine production and care for the environment and we believe that we do it very well. We have a very strong commitment to caring for the environment.”
“We are very interested in the environment, not only because of our commitment, which we have expressed publicly, but because we believe in its care, even before obtaining the Presidency. Uruguay shares with the United Kingdom the commitment to protect and preserve nature , climate change mitigation. When we talk about green finance, we believe that we walk shoulder to shoulder with you,” he stressed.