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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 meetings of the EU-Uruguay Joint Commission, including on trade matters. This Commission met in March 2017.  The following Joint Commission should  meet again in 2021.

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 participated fully in the negotiations of an EU-Mercosur Association Agreement.

Trade picture

  • The EU is currently Uruguay's third trading partner after China and Brazil capturing 11% of its total trade. EU-Uruguay total bilateral trade amounted to €2.3 billion in 2020.
  • EU exports to Uruguay are dominated by manufactured products such as chemicals (32%), machineries (21%) transport equipment (9%) and plastics (4%). This four categories account for two thirds of the EU exports to Uruguay. (2020 data).
  • Almost half of the EU imports from Uruguay are pulp of wood, paper and paperboard (49%) while others were animal products (24%), vegetable products (8%) and wood (4%). (2020 data).
  • The EU is the most important investor in Uruguay with 35% of the FDI in the country and investment stock of approximately €21 billion (2019).. 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.
  • EU exports of services to Uruguay accounted for € 860 million in 2019 and EU imports for €487 million, with a positive balance for the EU (€363 million).

EU-Uruguay: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2018-2020, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2018 1.6 1.3 -0.3
2019 1.6 1.3 -0.3
2020 1.1 1.2 0.1

EU-Uruguay: Trade in services

Trade in services 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 0.5 0.8 0.4
2018 0.6 0.9 0.3
2019 0.5 0.9 0.4

EU-Uruguay: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2019, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2019 11.6 21.1 9.5

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

Date of retrieval: 12/04/2021

More statistics on Uruguay

EU and Uruguay

Uruguay in Mercosur

A future EU-Mercosur Association Agreement 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 covers, 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, trade and sustainable development.

More information on Mercosur

Trading with Uruguay