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Located in southern South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north, the Uruguay River to the west, the estuary of the Río de la Plata (literally "River of Silver", but commonly known in English as "River Plate") to the southwest, with Argentina on the other bank of both, and finally the South Atlantic Ocean to the southeast

Country Fact Sheet
Capital Montevideo
Surface 176,220 sq km
Currency Uruguay Peso
GDP Purchasing power parity - $42.72 billion
GDP/Capita (PPP) - $12,300
Language Spainsh
Religion 66% Roman Catholic, 2% Protestant, 2% Jewish

presidential representative democratic republic

Time Zone GMT -3 hours 
Telecom Code +598

Carrasco International Airport (MVD/SUMU), Aeropuerto Int´l de Cerro Largo (MLZ/SUMO), Carrasco International Airport (MVD/SUMU)

Driving On right hand side of the road, license required
Electrical 220V, 50Hz
Political Climate Stable country
Population 3477778 people

The first Europeans arrived in the area in the early 16th century. Both Spain and Portugal pursued the colonization of Uruguay, with the Spanish eventually gaining control. The future capital, Montevideo, was founded in the early 18th century and became a rival to Buenos Aires across the Río de la Plata. Montevideo, however, was thought of as a military center for the Spanish empire, while Buenos Aires was a commercial center.

In the early 19th century, independence movements sprung up across South America, including Uruguay (then known as the Banda Oriental, or "Eastern Strip", referring to the area east of the Uruguay river). Uruguayan territory was contested between the nascent states of Brazil and Argentina. Brazil annexed the area in 1821 under the name of Provincia Cisplatina, but a revolt began on August 25, 1825, after which Uruguay became an independent country with the Treaty of Montevideo in 1828.

The original population of Charrúa Indians was gradually decimated over three centuries, culminating on 11 April 1831 in a mass killing at Salsipuedes, which was led by General Fructuoso Rivera, Uruguay's first president. After that date the few remaining Charrúas were dispersed and a viable Charrúa culture was a thing of the past, although Charrúa blood still runs in the veins of many Uruguayans today as a result of extensive Charrúa-Spanish intermixing during colonial times. Four Charrúas - Senaqué, the leader Vaimaca Pirú, the warrior Tacuabé and his wife Guyunusa - were taken to Paris in 1833 to be displayed as circus attractions.

In the latter part of the 19th century, Uruguay participated in the War of the Triple Alliance against Paraguay.

Uruguay then experienced a series of elected and appointed presidents and saw conflicts with neighboring states, political and economic fluctuations and modernization, and large inflows of immigrants, mostly from Europe. The work of President José Batlle y Ordóñez made Uruguay an advanced nation with a complex welfare system; for most of the 20th century Uruguay was on par with European nations. Due to its advanced social system and its stable democracy, Uruguay came to be known as "the Switzerland of the Americas".

The Uruguayan economy relies largely on agricultural exports. The world wars brought prosperity as Uruguayan beef and grain went to feed a war-ravaged Europe. World food prices dropped precipitously following the end of WWII, which triggered years of decline for the Uruguayan economy. By the 1960's, the stable social system began to break down as the economy spiralled. The government started losing popular support as students, workers and lower-class families felt the pain of an economy unable to adapt to a post-agricultural world economy. The Tupamaros, a radical marxist-leninist group, responded to the crisis with violence, which triggered government repression that ended with the suspension of individual rights by the president, Jorge Pacheco Areco, and his successor, Juan María Bordaberry. Finally, in 1973, the army seized power, ushering in 11 years of military dictatorship in what was once one of the most stable democracies in the region. In 1984, democracy was finally restored with the election of Julio María Sanguinetti.

Local Business & Service Providers
» Balmoral Plaza Hotel
Automotive services
» Uruguay Car Hire
Business travel
» Monte Travel
Corporate incentives
Financial services
» Bandes Bank
Financial Technology
» Codere SA
Intellectual Property
» Stanton Chase
Legal and fiduciary
» Blanco & Etcheverry - Abogados
»  Arcadia
Local Radio
» 1050 SODRE
» 1180 La Voz de Artigas
» 1210 Radio RBC
» 550 Radio Colonia
» 690 Radio Sarandi
» 810 El Espectador
» 930 Radio Monte Carlo
Local Weather Forecast
» BBC Weather
» Reuters
Government Agencies
» Central Bank of Uruguay
» Government website
» Ministry of Economy and Finance
» Ministry of External Relations
» Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining
» Ministry of Tourism
» National Institute of Statistics
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