Wealth & Finance International - March 2017

Wealth & Finance International 12 Strong Ties Between Germany and Uruguay Reinforced he aim of the delegation was to assess joint business op- portunities with German companies and to market business and investment opportunities for foreign investors (FDIs) in Uruguay. German companies are interested to participate in a large infrastructure investment program in Uruguay open to interna- tional investors. Uruguay´s total investment plan over the five-year pe- riod 2015-2019 exceeds € 12 billion with more than one third reserved for the energy sector, in particular for energy transmission, renewable energy and regasification projects. Uruguay already is a global leader in renewable energy penetration: 95% of its electricity demand 2016 was generated from renewable sources, including wind, hydro and bio energy. Modern storage solutions will make it independent from fossil fuels for electricity generation. Since last year, Uruguay is also the country with the highest penetra- tion of wind energy in its total energy mix, ahead of the former leaders Germany and China. More than one third of the electricity is already produced from wind turbines. Together with its large resources for hydro power and its perfect conditions for solar photovoltaic systems it will extend electricity exports to its two far larger neighbour countries Brazil and Argentina. Uruguay covers an area half the size of Germany. Despite is size and its small population of only 3.3 million people (but more cows - 4 times - and chickens) it is in many aspects a leader in South America, not only in soccer. It is a leader in infrastructure with the most-dense road and highway system, the most modern airport and two of the leading deep sea ports in South America. It currently invests more than € 2.3 billion in the maintenance and completion of its national road system and is looking for international investments in this area as well. But it is also a leader in IT with the highest internet penetration (higher than in Germany) and the largest bandwidth for its users. Uruguay already equips all of its primary scholars with a personal notebook and it provides tablet computers to its elderly people. Software is already one of the strongest export products besides agriculture products, such as meat, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, soya beans and rice, and business process outsourcing services. Also, its education and health systems are leading in the world. As a result, more than 2/3 of the young people speak or understand English and more than 1/3 also speak or understand Portuguese besides their native Spanish. The Uruguay delegation continued its trip to Europe for a state visit in Finland, a country which is among the largest foreign investors in Uruguay. The Finish pulp and paper group UPM plans a € 4 billion pulp mill investment in Uruguay. Investments like this require additional in- vestments into transport logistics such as railways, ports and highways. Uruguay considers public private partnerships (PPPs) with foreign investors to help build this additional infrastructure. Besides energy investments and investments into the public transport systems, building infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals and social housing projects form the third biggest block of the investment plan. Other infrastructure investments include the continued improvement of the telecommunica- tions network, water supply and sewage water treatment systems. President Vazquez and Ing. Tabaré Aguerre, Uruguay´s minister for agriculture opened the Uruguayan pavilion at the Fruit Logistica in Berlin while Prof. Cr. Astori, minister for finance and the economy, held meetings with large German banks and other finance institutions to gain financial support for FDIs and PPPs. Build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) structures could form the basis for such FDIs and internationally experienced firms like Weigel Corporate Finance with its local hub Weigel Haller Corporate Finance in Uruguay´s capital Montevideo have the ex- pertise and global reach to implement such structures and to systemati- cally market such investment opportunities to international investors. The local team of Weigel Haller Corporate Finance in Uruguay comprises of ten CPAs with vast experience in international financing. Its European hub led by Dr. Winfried Weigel contributes hands-on privatization expe- rience in the utilities, telecommunications and infrastructure sector. The former investment banker raised multi-billion dollars for local govern- ments and helped to finance airports, aircrafts, toll roads and toll bridges as well as telecommunications and electricity transmission systems. In Berlin and Hamburg from 8th to 10th February 2017, President Dr. Tabaré Vazquez lead a powerful political delegation of six ministers including finance and economy minister Cr. Danilo Astori and a business delegation of more than 60 top entrepreneurs from Uruguay led by the president of the German Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Montevideo, Cr. Gustavo Weigel. T 1703WF25

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