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Weekly Report - 21 May 2020 (WR-20-20)

URUGUAY: Lacalle Pou proclaims ‘revised’ pulp mill deal

President Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou celebrated the revision of the largest foreign investment project in Uruguay’s history this week, exceeding US$3bn. In the midst of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which is wreaking havoc on regional, and indeed global, economies, the news that the construction of a massive pulp mill by the Finnish company UPM in the central department of Durazno would definitely be going ahead, and on improved terms for Uruguay, was a fillip for Lacalle Pou: when it comes on-stream in 2022 it is expected to add two percentage points per annum to GDP growth; boost tax revenues by US$120m a year; and create in the region of 10,000 jobs. The left-wing opposition Frente Amplio (FA), which concluded the deal with UPM last July shortly before tasting electoral defeat, accused Lacalle Pou of claiming the credit for its achievement.

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