Uruguay: Forum on investments dedicated to the forest industry
The 2nd European Forum on Investments in Uruguay was held recently. Its aim was to promote investment opportunities in the forest sector and related industries, through the sharing of best practices, the exchange of information on the latest technologies and the design of joint initiatives. This second edition of the Forum focused in particular on forestry, whose products (especially cellulose) has been Uruguay’s most exported item since 2018.
The initiative, organized by the Uruguayan Agency in charge of promoting investments and exports – Uruguay XXI – and by the Delegation of the European Union in Uruguay, brought together numerous European, regional and Uruguayan companies that operate in the sectors of forestry, timber and forestry bioeconomics, other industrial sectors, as well as various governmental authorities, press representatives and academics.
The forest sector and associated industries constitute one of Uruguay’s leading sectors: the exports of forest products (wood, pulp and paper) accounted for 24% of the Country’s total exports in 2018. Several presentations focused on the Country’s strengths and the investment opportunities offered by the forest sector: the Uruguayan economy has gone through 16 years of continuous growth in a row; Uruguay has a consolidated democratic system, a stable legal framework and a national code of best forestry practices that have brought about sustainable production; there are no restrictions on the entry and exit of capital, while the geographical location, the climate and soil quality are particularly favorable to the development of this sector.
Having consolidated its profile as an exporter of raw materials and semi-finished products, Uruguay is now seeking to shift the focus of its public policies on industries that bring greater added value to wood, through the production of byproducts. Among the sectors that have been identified are the construction of wooden buildings and new products obtained from cellulose such as components for cars, clothing, biodegradable containers and materials for 3D printing.