Mexico and Uruguay signed an Economic Complementation Agreement on the 29th of December 1999 and it was registered with the ALADI as ACE No. 5. This agreement entered into force on March 1, 2001. On the 5th of July 2002, Mexico and the member states of MERCOSUR Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay signed an ALADI Framework Agreement (ACE No. 54). This accord aims to create a free trade area. In August of that year Mexico and Uruguay initiated negotiations towards a free trade agreement. The Mexico-Uruguay free trade agreement was signed during the XIII Iberoamerican Summit on November 15th, 2003 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.
The Mexico-Uruguay free trade agreement was deposited with the ALADI (as ACE No 60) on June 25th, 2004. The text of the agreement was published in the Mexican Official Gazette on July 14th, 2004 and the agreement went into effect on July 15th, of 2004.
In August 2009, Felipe Calderon and Tabaré Vazquez, the respective Presents of Mexico and Uruguay at that time met in Montevideo where they signed a deal intended to further advance the Free Trade Agreement of 2004. It was said to have been worth US$500 million. Deals concerning air connections, scientific research, education, along with taxes and some cultural aspects were also signed. Felipe Calderon at that time called the deal “a milestone in our bilateral relation, which brings our people closer and further promotes trade.”
“The strategic alliance, Calderon added, “will strengthen trade, enabling us to have a closer political dialogue and even act jointly and in coordination in regional and world affairs.” The President in charge at the time, Tabare Vazquez, underlined the progress made in trade relations particularly in the framework for the bilateral free trade pact signed in 2004. It has by now expanded several times and attracted a lot of investment.
Last November, 2011, the President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, had a diplomatic visit to Mexico. He shared this observation: “We must further make progress in the liberalization of trade and achieve greater inclusion of products. There are still great business opportunities for the private sector in livestock, dairy produce, animal feed, textiles and the auto industry.”
Felipe Calderon had this to say when his counterpart from Uruguay was visiting: “As our strategic partner in Mercosur,” he said, “we must strengthen and expand our association with Uruguay. It is the only member of the block with which Mexico has a free trade agreement.”
Exhibit 1 summarizes the Trade Balance between Mexico and Uruguay. It shows that commerce between the two countries reached its maximum level just last year (2011). What really stands out is that since 2000 commerce between Mexico and Uruguay has been evolving very satisfactorily. It has been following a path of continuous growth, with the exception of the years 2002 and 2009.
Several important factors in the trade balance between Mexico and Uruguay are revealing. Take, for instance, the fact that during the 12 year time span from January 1999 to December 2011, total exports from Mexico to Uruguay were quintuplicated, rising from US$53.38 million to US$270.97 million (+407%). And at the same time imports from Uruguay to Mexico also showed an even more impressive growth of 557%.
Total commerce between the two countries and reciprocal action brought in US$548 million during 2011 trading between the two partners. Total commerce between Mexico and Uruguay has shown important improvements, especially during the period since 2005. This was when, for the fi rst time, the total commerce stats were available identifying the US$300 million. In fact, the period 1999 to 2011 represents a 437% growth rate in total commerce between the two nations. And, in 2011 there was a 24.33% increase in commerce (US$548 million) compared with (US$441 million) in 2010.
Exhibit 2 shows Uruguayan Investment in Mexico. During the period from January 2000 through June of 2010, companies with capital from Uruguay invested US$65.5 million. This amount represents 0.1% of the total invested in Mexico during that time.
Uruguayan companies active in Mexico are mostly found in the automotive, wine, food products and chemical industries.