That’s how Josh Spero describes Uruguay for readers of Spear’s Wealth Management Survey. In the current Tax & Trust section, Spero offers one of the most sophisticated and accurate depictions of the “Switzerland of South America” and “Argentina’s kid brother.”
The narrative begins with a description of Uruguay and Switzerland’s shared advantages for foreign investors: Banking secrecy laws? Check. Favorable tax regime? Check. But the present-day similarities end there considering that Switzerland is knee-deep in recession while Uruguay emerged relatively unscathed having already beefed up its banking system and capital ratios almost a decade ago.
Proof of confidence is evident in the country’s direct foreign investment numbers: From $397 million in 2004 to $2.2 billion in 2008 with Spain, Argentina and the United States accounting for the bulk of the funds flowing in. “Part of what has been driving this foreign investment,” Spero says, “is Uruguay’s seductive taxation rules, both for individuals and corporations.”
And after spending time in the capital city of Montevideo, the financial reporter is left with one undeniable takeaway: “There are opportunities for entrepreneurs everywhere you turn in Uruguay.” Spero lists commercial real estate development, telecoms and land for “property, pleasure and space” as three of the most attractive investment opportunities.
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