In Los Angeles, Minister Omar Paganini spoke with senior executives from Netflix and Amazon, looking for these companies to increase their audiovisual productions in Uruguay. Thanks to the benefits of the Uruguay Audiovisual Program, a great commitment by the national government, and the country’s health status during the pandemic, audiovisual production tripled in 2021 compared to 2019 to 84 million dollars of exports that spilled over into various sectors of activity.
The Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining, Omar Paganini, is part of the Uruguayan delegation participating in the Summit of the Americas taking place in Los Angeles, United States. In this framework, Paganini simultaneously maintained “excellent meetings”as defined, with high-level executives from Netflix and Amazon, among other contacts that it will maintain with agents from the audiovisual sector and the Hollywood industry, with the aim of deepening the investments of these companies in the production of content in Uruguay and in the generation of specialized jobs.
In 2021, Uruguay tripled its exports of audiovisual production services with a record 84 million dollars compared to the 27 million the previous year, which were destined for platforms such as HBO, Sony, Star+ and Disney, in addition to Netflix and Amazon, among others. . “It is the objective of the Government to continue betting on the development of the sector”Paganini said.
To achieve this, the Uruguay Audiovisual Program (PUA) will continue to be consolidated, which promotes the growth of this industry through a cash rebate system, that is, tax reimbursement for companies that film in our country.
During the pandemic, the Government strengthened this program, which bore fruit, since Uruguay was one of the few countries in the world that remained open for audiovisual productions during 2020 and 2021. Thanks to the incentives offered by the PUA Due to a series of existing conditions in the country, the most important international platforms chose Uruguay to produce, which allowed the generation of highly specialized and high-income jobs, in addition to contributing to the reconversion of several sectors affected by the pandemic. In parallel, the development of national productions was also continued and promoted.
At the beginning of the government, the PUA received a contribution of 4 million dollars per year. The fund was increased, first, to 7 million, and then, given the success obtained, it was strengthened with another 5 million dollars, until reaching 12 million dollars executed in 2021.
Just as the sector’s exports tripled, the number of filming weeks multiplied by six compared to 2019. While that year 167 days were reached, in 2020 —in the midst of an international pandemic— the figure rose to 280. By 2021, the figure quadrupled compared to the previous year, with more than 1000 days.
The relevance of the audiovisual sector is based on the fact that it allows the creation of highly qualified and high-income employment, valuing the Uruguayan creative and production industry, which has a base of professionals, technicians and specialized personnel. In addition, it spills over into indirect services that were strongly affected during the pandemic, such as hotels, transfers, catering, rental of locations and logistics services. For this reason, this activity constituted a reconversion factor for various sectors of activity linked to tourism while the border closure lasted.
Thus, each dollar invested in the PUA was multiplied by between six and ten times thanks to the private investment counterpart, while each dollar of reimbursement was multiplied by between five and nine times in the creation of local added value, according to the analysis. of some productions developed within the framework of the program. In addition, the cash rebate model showed that each dollar returned by the project generated a higher value in taxes generated by local activities.
Another relevant factor revealed by the PUA was the capacity for inter-institutional coordination and execution between public and private entities, with complementarity between the roles of each actor in the program. The success of the program was based on the pre-existing technical and infrastructure capacities in the country, which includes a developed and mature audiovisual chain. In addition, the country has companies that provide production and post-production services, with state-of-the-art equipment that is constantly being updated, as is the case in the world’s main markets.
Also noteworthy is the infrastructure in telecommunications, data storage and transmission developed specifically for the sector, based on a fiber optic network that covers 90% of the country and provides conditions of security and speed in data exchange.
Within the framework of the PUA, an agreement was also reached in 2021 with the New York Film Academy, with the collaboration of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which made it possible to subsidize training in television and film production courses for Uruguayan professionals. MIEM