Spotlight on Uruguay: South America’s Best-Kept Secret

July 27, 2020

By Jim Marascio

Uruguay may be the second-smallest country in South America, with a population of just 3.5 million, but it’s the leading software exporter per capita in the region. Lying between Argentina and Brazil, fringed by the South Atlantic Ocean, Uruguay has a stable economy, innovative start-ups and government policies that favor tech companies, including 100% tax exemptions, making it an ideal environment for incubating talent. If you’re looking to outsource software development to Latin America, it’s one of South America's best-kept secrets.

We visited Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in a whirlwind two-week trip to reassess certified partners in our Accelerance Global Network – updating their portfolio, exploring cultural similarities (and differences), and confirming their strong performance in custom software development

We touched down in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, and were immediately plunged into the lushness and warmth of Uruguay – a welcome relief from the North Carolina winter. 

The partner we’d come to visit is a well-established, highly professional operation specialising in fintech and healthcare. They’d just moved into new premises, a refurbished private home where staff work in rooms named after their original use, including a team of developers in “The Garage” out back. 

“There’s even a hot tub,” says Lea. “Both the city center and the beach are just a short walk away. It’s the perfect balance of work and play.” 

The company works with local universities to provide internships and one-on-one mentoring relationships, and we came away impressed with their focus on identifying young talent and fostering professional development within the organisation.

About 11% of all university students in Uruguay are enrolled in engineering, so it’s a fertile recruitment ground for software development companies, who also look for graduates with degrees in information technology and electronics. 

Montevideo, ranked as the top city in Latin America for quality of life, sits on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, a river that spills into the Atlantic and forms part of the boundary between Uruguay and Argentina.

The Plaza Independencia separates the old city and the new. At the west end stands the Puerta de la Ciudadela (Gateway of the Citadel), one of the few remaining parts of the wall that once surrounded a Spanish citadel, torn down in 1829. That leads into the Ciudad Vieja (Old City), with its art-deco buildings, colonial homes and steakhouses at the old port market. To the south of the plaza, hugging the coastline, La Rambla is a 14-mile waterfront promenade lined with fish stalls, piers and parks. Apparently it’s the longest sidewalk in the world!

We took Saturday off and made the most of some gorgeous weather to explore the city and take in a futbol match at the local stadium, where passionate soccer-crazy fans cheered and chanted throughout the whole game. 

That wasn’t our only taste of local culture: we also sampled the local espresso and some Tannat wine, made from Uruguay’s “national grape”. Then we jumped on a ferry – and two hours later, we were in Buenos Aires.

Outsource with Confidence with Accelerance

Accelerance travels the world to simplify your search for the best offshore companies – and we’re impressed with what Uruguay has to offer. If you’re interested in outsourcing your software development, contact Accelerance to find out more.

For the latest analysis on outsourcing opportunities throughout Latin America, check out our 2020 regional guide.

 The 2020 Guide to Software Outsourcing in Latin America

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