Since 2010, bilateral trade has seen continued rapid growth, increasing by 17% in 2012 to a record of €267 million. France’s trade surplus rose to €118 million, a 13% increase on the previous year (51st in the world).
French exports grew by 15.7% in 2012 (€193 million) and have doubled over the last three years. They consist mainly of vehicles and vehicle accessories (29%, value €55 million), perfumes and toiletries (26%, value €47 million), mechanical equipment and industrial machinery (16%, value €30 million). Imports (+20.5% in 2012) amounted to €74.5 million and consisted mainly of wood, paper and board (57%, value €43 million) and meat (29%, value €21.5 million). Uruguay ranks as France’s 11th largest trading partner in the Latin America/Caribbean region and our bilateral trade with Uruguay represents 1.2% of France’s total trade with the region.
France is one of Uruguay’s biggest investors. Some sixty French firms (among them L’Oréal, Danone-Salus, Accor-Sofitel, Bongrain, Faurecia) operate in Uruguay, creating a significant number of jobs; subsidiaries of the Casino supermarket group alone employ 7,000 people. In recent years, French firms have been investing heavily in the country: Total was awarded an offshore oil and gas exploration and production licence in Uruguayan waters in March 2012 (representing an investment of USD344 million), Akuo Energy is developing a 50 MW wind farm (investment of USD128 million), Accor opened the legendary Hotel-Casino Carrasco after renovation and Air France has decided to resume flights to Montevideo. Faurecia, one of the world’s leading auto equipment manufacturers, opened a plant here in 2011 and Alstom is working on the interconnection of the Brazilian and Uruguayan power grids at the Melo site.
A bilateral framework is taking shape. Some twenty bilateral agreements are already in place (mutual recognition of diplomas, judicial cooperation, exchange of tax information). A Social Security convention is due to come into force shortly and an aviation agreement is about to be signed.
Updated on 23.04.13
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