For almost three years now the Uruguayan Parliament has been working on the amendment project of the Free Trade Zones regime contained in Law 15.921 of year 1987. Taking into account the efficiency of the norms in force, it intends to deepen the obtained benefits adapting the regime to the international commerce dynamics in order to attract a greater flow of international investments.
With the main objective of a better use of the Free Trade Zones, the proposed Law brings several modifications. The most notable change is that said areas would be called Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and current Exploiters would be called Developers. The change of names is due to two other essential modifications: decentralization of these areas from the capital and the creation of services theme zones.
The decentralization intends that the SEZ that develop industrial activities to be necessarily located outside the Metropolitan Area, at least 40 kilometers away from Montevideo. Additionally, all developers and users located outside the Metropolitan Area would be exonerated from paying any kind of local tax, except the Income Tax for Economic Activities (ITEA). The purpose of these changes also is so that the interior of the country can benefit from the SEZ. On the other hand, the project to create Services Theme Zones is promoted in order to install specialized parks where health, entertaining and leisure activities are centralized and that way attract foreign investments in the matter.
The SEZ intends to be the new instrument that promotes investment and in turn is beneficial for users as well as for the rest of the country. It will be the last version of the project that will reveal the compliance of said equilibrium.
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