Uruguayan President Jose Mujica on Wednesday offered Spanish investors the opportunity to invest in his country in sectors like infrastructure, energy, construction, the food and agriculture industry and tourism.
Mujica on Wednesday is on the first day of his official visit to Spain.
Banking giant Santander offered its facilities on the outskirts of Madrid to host a meeting of Mujica and his delegation with about 100 representatives from companies with an interest in learning about the possibilities of doing business in Uruguay.
Among Uruguay's key advantages, as mentioned by Mujica, are political and economic "credibility" and its geographical position as an attractive entry site for foreign capital, situated as it is between two large neighbors, Brazil and Argentina.
With average annual growth of 5.5 percent over the past decade, Uruguay is also a "guarantor" country from the legal point of view, the president said.
On the other hand, among the negative elements is the overall infrastructure, which needs to be improved and constitutes a "bottleneck" for production.
Therefore, Mujica said he supported broadening and improving the country's ports, highways, bridges and railroads.
The advantage is that not only will his country benefit but so too will the entire region, because one must "look at things in a regional sense," said Mujica, the leader of one of the four founding member-countries of the Mercosur trade bloc.
Spain is one of the largest investors in Uruguay and has a presence there by way of firms such as Santander, BBVA bank, insurer Mapfre, Telefonica, Planeta publishers, Santillana and Zara.
In 2012, Spanish exports to Uruguay totaled 167 million euros ($215 million), an increase of 8.8 percent over 2011, whereas Uruguayan exports to Spain amounted to 113 million euros ($146 million), a drop of 35.4 percent compared to the year before. EFE