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The relations between the EU and Uruguay are governed by the Framework Co-operation Agreement concluded in 1992.

Since then the bilateral relations have intensified, including in economic terms (the EU is the biggest source of investment in Uruguay).

The follow-up of this agreement entails regular meetings of the EU-Uruguay Joint Commission, including on trade matters. This Commission meets normally every 2 years, most recently in March 2012.  The Joint Commission should therefore meet again in 2014.

As a member of Mercosur, Uruguay is also a Party to the EU-Mercosur Framework Co-operation Agreement signed in 1995, which includes provisions on trade cooperation.  Uruguay is also part in the on-going negotiations of an EU-Mercosur Association Agreement.

Trade picture

  • The EU is currently Uruguay's third trading partner after China and Brazil capturing 15% of its total trade. EU-Uruguay total bilateral trade amounted to €2.9 billion in 2012.
  • EU exports to Uruguay are dominated by manufactured products such as machinery and transport equipment (44%) and chemicals (25%) (2013 data).
  • EU imports from Uruguay are dominated by agricultural products and raw materials (86% in 2013).
  • The EU is the most important investor in Uruguay with, and €7 billion in stocks of foreign direct investment in the country in 2012. In recent years some important EU investments in the country's forestry and paper production sector have had a major impact on overall Foreign Direct Investment levels in Uruguay
  • In recent years EU exports of services to Uruguay have been growing fast, from €0.8 billion in 2010 to €1.2 billion in 2012.

EU-Uruguay: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2014-2016, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2014 1.2 1.6 0.4
2015 1.7 1.9 0.2
2016 1.7 1.6 -0.0

EU-Uruguay: Trade in services

Trade in services 2013-2015, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2013 0.4 1.1 0.7
2014 0.4 1.4 1.0
2015 0.5 0.9 0.4

EU-Uruguay: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2015, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2015 3.6 11.1 7.6

Date of retrieval: 15/02/2017

More statistics on Uruguay

EU and Uruguay

The trade relationship between the EU and Uruguay is dynamic.

The Framework Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement is managed through periodic meetings of the EU-Uruguay Joint Cooperation Committee, including one part on trade matters. Several meetings of the Joint Cooperation Committee have been hold, with the last meeting in Montevideo in June 2014.

Uruguay does no longer benefit from preferential access to the the EU market through the Generalised Scheme of Preferences [add link], as of 1 January 2014, due to its classification as high-middle income country. Uruguay will remain however a GSP eligible country.

Uruguay in Mercosur

A future EU-Mercosur Association Agreement – currently under negotiation – will provide a boost to regional trade integration among the countries of Mercosur and stimulate new opportunities for trade with the EU by removing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.

The Mercosur-EU Association Agreement will cover, among other issues, trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights (IPR) aspects including protection of geographical indications, government procurement, technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary issues.

More information on Mercosur

Trading with Uruguay