Nearshore Review 2019: Uruguay continues to stand out in the region
December 24, 2019
Another great year for Uruguay and the Nearshore industry
We’re quickly approaching the end of 2019, and with it, the end of the decade.
A lot has happened this year in the Nearshore region, as Latin America continues to establish itself as a top destination for software development outsourcing services.
And according to most international rankings, there is one country in Latin America that leads the pack. Despite its small size and population, Uruguay has made the news throughout 2019 by being distinguished in a wide range of key areas.
That’s why in today’s article we’re reviewing Uruguay’s regional performance in 2019, and we are also looking at some of the key events that took place this year in our country.
Uruguay’s performance within the software industry
Let's get our review started by asking: How did Uruguay perform in 2019 within the software development industry?
Truth be told, there isn’t just one single indicator or metric that can give us the answer to this question.
But let’s consider some key facts to get a better picture of Uruguay’s performance capabilities:
10 of the top 30 custom software developers in LATAM have offices in Uruguay
According to Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and review site, a third of all companies ranked in the top 30 for custom software development services in Latin America have offices in Uruguay.
This fact becomes all the more significant when we factor in that Uruguay has a population of less than 3.5 million.
Uruguay hit record technology export numbers
According to CUTI, the country’s IT Chamber, Uruguay's technology sector reached record export numbers in 2018 with a growth of 13%, which represents a 6% increase when compared to the data for 2017.
Given this great growth potential, the industry's goal for the next five years is for the sector to represent 5% of the country's GDP, currently standing at 2.6%.
Google plans to set up its second LATAM Data Center in Uruguay
After a long negotiation process with our country’s government, search engine giant Google has reportedly chosen Uruguay to set up its second mega data center in Latin America.
These are some of the key reasons for Google choosing Uruguay to host its fourteenth data center to date:
Submarine fiber optic cable: installed in 2017 with support by Google itself, the cable connects Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil to the United States.
Transition to fiber optic in Uruguay, in addition to which Uruguay continues to have the largest Internet and Mobile penetration and download speed in the LATAM region.
Antel Data Center: created in 2016, this government data center makes it possible to provide a range of specific technology services to companies abroad.
The expanding IT community in Uruguay
2019 also proved to be a significant year for the Uruguayan IT community, which joined forces to maximize international exposure.
From Uruguay to the world: CUTI Business Forum
There were a huge number of events and conferences that were held this year, but without a doubt, the first edition of the CUTI Business Forum made the biggest impact.
The Uruguayan IT Chamber (CUTI) organized the first edition of this event, which brought together the leading companies in the industry and had an outstanding line-up of local and foreign keynote speakers.
The event took place on November 5th and was a key opportunity to exchange insights and pave the way for the industry’s continued growth.
A thriving local tech scene
Aside from the more formal industry events, there was also a great variety of tech conferences where industry professionals got to exchange insights.
One such event was the JIS conference, where one of our team members, Darío, gave a keynote on the topic of Agile teams.
International recognition for Uruguay in 2019
Uruguay has been featured in the top positions for a great number of international rankings and indexes in 2019.
Let’s break down the most relevant distinctions that our country has received:
Most stable Latin American country
The 2019 Fragile States Index by The Fund for Peace ranked Uruguay as the most stable Latin American country.
Uruguay was also ranked as the second most stable country in the Americas, behind Canada.
The Fragile States index aims to assess states' vulnerability to conflict or collapse based on cohesion, economic, political, social, and cross-cutting indicators.
Best country to invest in
Uruguay is also at the top of the list in The World Bank’s report on the 'Best Countries to Invest In' for 2019.
Business decision-makers praised the South American nation for its favorable tax environment, dynamism, and economic stability. Among other Latin American countries, Uruguay’s favorable business environment, a stable legal system, and democracy are likely to continue attracting investors.
The 'Best Countries to Invest In' ranking draws from the results of a global perception-based survey and ranks countries based on the highest scores among nearly 7,000 business decision-makers on a compilation of eight equally weighted country attributes.
Global Business Rule of Law: #1 in Latin America and the Caribbean
Uruguay ranks 1st in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 2019 Global Business Rule of Law Dashboard developed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Coalition for the Rule of Law in Global Markets.
The index takes a unique look into rule of law factors that support a stable environment for business and foreign investment by assessing transparency, predictability, stability, accountability, and due process.
Top democracy in Latin America
Uruguay is included as part of the only twenty "full democracies" in the world according to The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU).
With an overall score of 8.38, Uruguay ranks 1st in Latin America and the Caribbean and 15th worldwide.
The index rates 167 countries by 60 indicators across five broad categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture, and civil liberties.
Lowest Corruption Levels in Latin America
The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index developed by Transparency International, which is the leading global indicator of public sector corruption, ranks Uruguay 1st in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople by using a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
Best Quality of Living in South America
Uruguay’s capital Montevideo ranks highest in South America in the 2019 Quality of Living City Ranking developed by Mercer.
The report, which includes 489 cities worldwide, considers factors such as climate, disease and sanitation standards, ease of communications, physical remoteness, the local political and social environment, political violence, and crime.
Highest per capita income in Latin America
Our country also claims the highest per capita income in Latin America.
Uruguay recorded a per capita income of US$15,650, according to The World Bank data for 2018.
World Press Freedom Index - #2 in Latin America
The 2019 World Press Freedom Index developed by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranks Uruguay 2nd in Latin America and 19th worldwide.
The index measures the level of media freedom in 180 countries by factoring in levels of pluralism, media independence, the environment for the media and self-censorship, the legal framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.
Bringing it all together
All this happened this year in Uruguay, thanks to the joint efforts of the tech community, the industry representatives, and the government.
The outlook for the future of Uruguay in the nearshore industry looks really promising, and we look forward to the work ahead.
If you'd like to learn how a Uruguayan software firm works for the rest of the world, feel free to get in touch and meet our team of experts.