Recently, P.S. Surana, founder of Surana & Surana International Attorneys, released the book, “Uruguay-India: on trade and links.” In the book, he states that Uruguay presents a “wonderful, little explored opportunity for Indian businessmen.” Is there any truth to this? And if so, what makes Uruguay and India so right for one another for trade opportunities?
There is certainly truth in the statement that Indian companies are looking to invest, particularly in Latin America. Many Latin American countries enjoy stable government and economic policies, as well as growing markets. Perhaps even more important is the abundance of land in many of these countries, which makes the region an ideal target for agricultural expansion.
Rengaraj Viswanathan, India's ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, explains why Latin America is so appealing: "In India, consumption is growing while the land is diminishing, but here in Latin America we don't have any such land-shortage problems." This seems perfect for Uruguay, a country in which two-thirds of its total exports are comprised by agriculture and agri-industry products, but it isn’t the only reason Uruguay specifically appeals to India.
Surprisingly, the latest Indian companies to invest in Uruguay haven’t been agricultural firms, but rather information technology firms. According to the Latin Business Chronicle, Uruguay was on top of the 2009 Latin Technology Index, making it the #1 country for technology in Latin America, and subsequently, the most appealing for foreign tech firms. Over the past year and a half, broadband connections in Uruguay have registered nearly 35% growth. Educational policies have strongly promoted digital literacy from primary education levels, creating a populace hungry for the latest digital technologies.
In conclusion, the combination of growing markets, abundant land, and synched-up industries make India and Uruguay a great match for being trade partners. Both countries are growing in the global economy, both have products and resources the other one wants, and both have relatively open and free trade laws. This looks to be a trade partnership that will be fruitful to both nations for quite some time.