Germany (Prussia) and Uruguay have enjoyed uninterrupted bilateral relations for more than 160 years. The country is home to more than 10,000 Germans. Despite a large German school, a Protestant church community, a Goethe-Institut, an active German-Uruguayan Chamber of Industry and Commerce and various clubs, the German influence on the Uruguayan way of life is relatively minor. Political relations are good, characterised by shared values in the area of human rights and by rules-based trade. We can regularly count on Uruguay’s support within the United Nations system. The Latin America and Caribbean Initiative of the Federal Foreign Office and the EU-Mercosur agreement will inject additional impetus into bilateral relations.
Germany is Uruguay’s most important European trading partner in terms of exports, ranking sixth overall among Uruguay’s trading partners. The main German imports from Uruguay are cellulose, beef, wool and textiles, while Germany’s principal exports to Uruguay chiefly include pharmaceuticals, vehicles, car parts and chemicals. Germany is playing a key role in the conversion of Uruguay’s energy matrix to renewable energy sources. As a result of generous tax regulations in duty-free zones and for service providers active in the region, several German enterprises have invested in Uruguay. An investment promotion agreement has been in place since 1990.
In development cooperation, projects in the fields of agriculture and sustainable management play a prominent role. A particularly successful example is the long-standing cooperation in the area of forestry and on energy efficiency measures. Uruguay is becoming an increasingly attractive partner for triangular cooperation and regional projects. A dual system of vocational training adapted to Uruguay’s needs is being introduced with German assistance.
The Goethe-Institut reports a constant rise in demand for German courses. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung have long had regional offices in Montevideo which serve the whole of Latin America.