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Uruguay: Services
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Services


Uruguay's service sector, comprising the major subsectors of banking, transportation, communications, and tourism, as well as the activities of the large central government, accounted for 42 percent of GDP in 1988. Transportation, storage, and communications together accounted for about 6 percent of GDP, while banking and commerce accounted for about 15 percent. Thus, half of the so-called service sector consisted of government activity.

On the one hand, the service sector was a strong point in the economy because of the well-educated work force concentrated in Montevideo. On the other hand, the instability among banks, the lack of a modernized telecommunications system, and shortcomings in the nation's transportation infrastructure held back the sector's development. In the second half of the 1980s,these issues took on increasing importance as the government began promoting the idea of Uruguay as an international service center for the Southern Cone (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay). The growing potential to export services and to integrate them across borders was considered a key element in the future development of Uruguay's outward-oriented economy.

Data as of December 1990

Last Updated: December 1990

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Uruguay was first published in 1990. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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