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Uruguay has ambitious plans for Port of Montevideo.

New logistics centre in the Port of Montevideo is set to become a Mercosur point of reference for import and export. 

Works on the construction of a USD 30 million logistics centre in the port of Montevideo, the only free port on the Atlantic coast of South America, resumed last week with the aim of opening a new 12,500 square-feet warehouse by March 2021.  

A second phase of the project will include a 21-storey office tower destined to serve as the headquarters for import and export companies, maritime agents, financial institutions, law firms and related advisors 

The new logistics centre is being built by Lobraus, a US logistics firm headed by the Brazilian executive Renato Ferreira. Lobraus was awarded a 30-year concession of the centre in 2016.  

A senior executive of global port operator, and one of the largest operators in South America, which has a joint venture agreement with Lobraus in Uruguay told us, “The new government wants the port of Montevideo to compete with Santos [Brazil] and Buenos Aires [Argentina]. I don’t think it is realistic but [President] Lacalle Pou has a strategy towards improving maritime routes for transportation. The opening of a ship cargo terminal on the Uruguay river in Paysandú [October 2020] shows that he thinks that the river can be used to transport goods to Brazil.”  

The new government wants the port of Montevideo to compete with Santos [Brazil] and Buenos Aires [Argentina].”   

Executive of global port operator, Uruguay 

A director of the Uruguayan Chamber of Logistics (Calog) said, “It is a huge advantage to have a free port status [in Montevideo] which has not been properly exploited by previous administrations.” He added, “This project has been halted for years; it will be a great boost for Uruguay if it is finally completed. Let’s see…”  

It is a huge advantage to have free port status [in Montevideo] which has not been properly exploited by previous administrations.”   

A director of the Chamber of Logistics, Uruguay 

The Calog director emphasised, “Lacalle Pou is the temporary chairman of Mercosur [which is in the final stages of completing a trade agreement with the EU] and this kind of [infrastructure] project should boost investor confidence. But Bolsonaro is ruining everything with his politics in the Amazon [with a number of EU countries refusing to approve the EU- Mercosur trade agreement]. As a small country, we depend on our partners and our luck is often tied to theirs even when our own policies are sensible.” 

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