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Monthly Snapshots - June 2021: Uruguay Edition

Vaccination program: Uruguay prepares for "the final battle".

Uruguay was one of the first countries in Latin America to initiate its vaccination plan. Uruguay now has more than 50% of its population vaccinated against COVID-19.

Uruguay will vaccinate minors between the ages of 12 and 18 against COVID-19 with the Pfizer drug, following its approval by the Vaccination Commission of the Ministry of Public Health, President Luis Lacalle Pou reported.

The Uruguayan Government signed "a reserve of more than 500,000 doses of (the Chinese vaccine) Sinovac" to increase its distribution. "There we are going to have all the vaccines for everyone in what could be called the final battle", declared the Uruguayan president.

Uruguay, the only South American country among the "Green Leaders".

The Green Future Index is a study conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in association with Citrix, Morgan Stanley and Salesforce. Its objective is to analyze the commitment and progress of countries in reducing carbon emissions, developing clean energy and innovations in the green field, as well as the degree of implementation of their climate policies.

Uruguay has developed a National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change to promote and measure progress in areas such as green infrastructure, buildings, public spaces and soil preservation.

Many economists have pointed out the difficulties of maintaining the traditional capitalist system while making the switch to a sustainable global model that reduces (rather than increases) consumption. However, the optimists focus more on the competitive advantage that will be gained by economies that can make the transition, stating Going Green will be synonymous with competitiveness.

Google announces the longest submarine cable of its kind in the world and extends it to Punta del Este.

The technology giant Google announced this Wednesday (06-09-2021) the launch of a submarine cable called Firmia, which it promises will be the "longest in the world capable of operating with a single source of energy at one end.". The construction at the hands of the US company will extend from the East Coast of the USA to Punta del Este (Uruguay).

The cable "will transport traffic quickly and securely between North America and South America" and provide users with "fast, low-latency access to Google products such as Search, Gmail and YouTube, and Google Cloud services".

For the Uruguayan government, Google's announcement is a signal that reinforces the conditions offered by the country to become a regional hub for the development of new technological infrastructure capabilities aimed at the digital market.

Startup: Uruguay now has its first billionaires after a 54% increase in share price of unicorn dLocal's stock market debut.

Following their appearance on Wall Street, digital payment processor founders Andres Bzurozki and Sergio Fogel now own a combined fortune of US $3.69 billion.

Founded in 2016, the payment processor digital dLocal recently became the first unicorn in Uruguay after the private capital firms General Atlatic and Addition invested US $200 million in the business in September 2020. A two-month round of financing valued the company at $ 5 billion.

This could put more South American startups in view of foreign investors.

Uruguay receives investment in the Forestry Industry

US and Uruguayan investors acquire 100% of the Frutifor Lumber Company sawmill in Tacuarembó.

Through the acquisition of 100% of Frutifor Lumber Company, a sawmill located in Tacuarembó, businessmen Mark Crandall from the United States and Matías Abergo (Enkel Group) from Uruguay, confirmed the landing of Arboreal. This transformational project for the Uruguayan wood industry will immediately increase the sawmill's drying capacity, doubling the production and therefore exports of processed wood as of the third quarter of 2021.

The investment will transform the production capacity of wood in Uruguay and will position the country in the world market for cross laminated wood (CLT) considering that the installation of the largest and most advanced plant of the product will be in South America. The assembly is scheduled for early 2022. It is estimated that the investment, which will exceed USD 20 million during 2021-2022, will generate approximately 45 new jobs in Tacuarembó directly and more than 100 indirectly.

Investors plan to carry out massive training in wood construction techniques, both at an architectural level and in the construction process, so that professionals in the areas of architecture, engineering and construction acquire the necessary knowledge and best practices.

According to the Minister of Industry, Ing. Omar Paganini, "this investment is important not only because of its amount and the employment generated, but also because of its impact on the industrial chain of pine wood, a resource that Uruguay has in abundance and quality”.

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