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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 2017.  The Joint Commission should therefore meet again in 2019.

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 €3.06 billion in 2017.
  • EU exports to Uruguay are dominated by manufactured products such as chemicals (30%), machinery and mechanical appliances (21%), foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (8%), transport equipment (6%), plastics (3%), optical and photography instruments (3%) and textiles (2%) (2017 data).
  • EU imports from Uruguay are dominated by crude materials and agricultural products: pulp of wood, paper and paperboard (43%), animal products (25%), vegetable products (8%), raw hides and skins (5%), wood (5%), textiles (4%), and foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (3%) (2017 data).
  • The EU is the most important investor in Uruguay with 0.2 billion outflows and €11.6 billion in stocks of foreign direct investment in the country in 2016. 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, reaching €0.9 billion in 2016.

EU-Uruguay: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 1.4 1.4 -0.1
2018 1.6 1.3 -0.3
2019 1.6 1.3 -0.3

EU-Uruguay: Trade in services

Trade in services 2016-2018, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2016 0.5 0.9 0.4
2017 0.5 0.8 0.4
2018 0.6 0.9 0.3

EU-Uruguay: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2018, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2018 11.3 12.3 0.9

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 22/04/2020

More statistics on Uruguay

EU and Uruguay

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