Uruguay: Inclusive growth and a bet on international trade

Uruguay: Exclusive Interview with Economy Minister Danilo Astori
Danilo Astori became Uruguay’s minister of the economy in 2005, after the worst economic crisis in the country’s history. Ten years later, he returns to the post in a completely different context: Uruguay has left economic stagnation behind and has had sustained growth for the past 12 years. Exports were one of the engines of that development. Today, the falling demand for goods in its main markets – Brazil, Argentina and China – is a warning. “We have to diversify the markets and create new agreements within and outside of Mercosur,” he said in an interview with Latin Trade.
|   By Diego Stewart   |
What differences do you find in the Uruguayan economy between the first time you were minister 10 years ago and now?
The most noticeable one is the sustainability of the growth. Uruguay began its recovery after a historic economic and financial crisis in 2001-2002. The recovery began in 2003, shortly before I became minister. There have been 12 years of growth. We have no previous history of important and continuous growth for such a long period. To achieve this development, there were two basic engines: internal investment and the development of exports of goods and services. Uruguay has captured historic amounts of foreign investment that ended up peaking at 24 percent of GDP. There were years that, together with Chile, it was in first place in Latin America in capturing foreign direct investment relative to …

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