🇺🇾 Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay. Montevideo is situated on the southern coast of the country, on the north-eastern bank of the Río de la Plata. Montevideo is the seat of the administrative headquarters of Mercosur and ALADI, Latin America's leading trade blocs, a position that entailed comparisons to the role of Brussels in Europe.
The 2019 Mercer's report on quality of life, rated Montevideo first in Latin America, a rank the city has consistently held since 2005. As of 2010, Montevideo was the 19th largest city economy in the continent and 9th highest income earner among major cities. In 2020, it has a projected GDP of $49.7 billion, with a per capita of $28,385.
In 2018, it was classified as a beta global city ranking eighth in Latin America and 84th in the world. Montevideo hosted every match during the first FIFA World Cup, in 1930. Described as a "vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life", and "a thriving tech centre and entrepreneurial culture", Montevideo ranked eighth in Latin America on the 2013 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.
In 2014, it was also regarded as the fifth most gay-friendly metropolis in the world and the first in Latin America. It is the hub of commerce and higher education in Uruguay as well as its chief port. The city is also the financial hub of Uruguay and the cultural anchor of a large metropolitan area.
Economy and infrastructure As the capital of Uruguay, Montevideo is the economic and political centre of the country. Most of the largest and wealthiest businesses in Uruguay have their headquarters in the city. Since the 1990s the city has undergone rapid economic development and modernisation, including two of Uruguay's most important buildings—the World Trade Center Montevideo, and Telecommunications Tower, the headquarters of Uruguay's government-owned telecommunications company ANTEL, increasing the city's integration into the global marketplace.
The Port of Montevideo, in the northern part of Ciudad Vieja, is one of the major ports of South America and plays a very important role in the city's economy. The port has been growing rapidly and consistently at an average annual rate of 14 percent due to an increase in foreign trade. The city has received a US$20 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to modernise the port, increase its size and efficiency, and enable lower maritime and river transportation costs.
The most important state-owned companies headquartered in Montevideo are: AFE (railways), ANCAP (Energy), Administracion Nacional de Puertos (Ports), ANTEL (telecommunications), BHU (savings and loan), BROU (bank), BSE (insurance), OSE (water & sewage), UTE (electricity). These companies operate under public law, using a legal entity defined in the Uruguayan Constitution called Ente Autonomo ("autonomous entity"). The government also owns part of other companies operating under private law, such as those owned wholly or partially by the CND (National Development Corporation). Banking has traditionally been one of the strongest service export sectors in Uruguay: the country was once dubbed "the Switzerland of America", mainly for its banking sector and stability, although that stability has been threatened in the 21st century by the recent global economic climate. The largest bank in Uruguay is Banco Republica (BROU), based in Montevideo. Almost 20 private banks, most of them branches of international banks, operate in the country (Banco Santander, BBVA, ABN AMRO, Citibank, among others). There are also a myriad of brokers and financial-services bureaus, among them Ficus Capital, Galfin Sociedad de Bolsa, Europa Sociedad de Bolsa, Darío Cukier, GBU, Hordeñana & Asociados Sociedad de Bolsa, etc.
Tourist Industy Tourism accounts for much of Uruguay's economy. Tourism in Montevideo is centered in the Ciudad Vieja area, which includes the city's oldest buildings, several museums, art galleries, and nightclubs, with Sarandí Street and the Mercado del Puerto being the most frequented venues of the old city. On the edge of Ciudad Vieja, Plaza Independencia is surrounded by many sights, including the Solís Theatre and the Palacio Salvo; the plaza also constitutes one end of 18 de Julio Avenue, the city's most important tourist destination outside of Ciudad Vieja. Apart from being a shopping street, the avenue is noted for its Art Deco buildings, three important public squares, the Gaucho Museum, the Palacio Municipal and many other sights. The avenue leads to the Obelisk of Montevideo; beyond that is Parque Batlle, which along with the Parque Prado is another important tourist destination. Along the coast, the Fortaleza del Cerro, the Rambla (the coastal avenue), 13 kilometers (8.1 mi) of sandy beaches, and Punta Gorda attract many tourists, as do the Barrio Sur and Palermo barrios.
Most tourists to the city come from Argentina, Brazil and Europe, with the number of visitors from elsewhere in Latin America and from the United States growing every year, thanks to an increasing number of international airline arrivals at Carrasco International Airport as well as cruises and ferries that arrive into the port of Montevideo.
Retail Montevideo is the heartland of retailing in Uruguay. The city has become the principal centre of business and real estate, including many expensive buildings and modern towers for residences and offices, surrounded by extensive green spaces. In 1985, the first shopping centre in Rio de la Plata, Montevideo Shopping was built. In 1994, with building of three more shopping complexes such as the Shopping Tres Cruces, Portones Shopping, and Punta Carretas Shopping, the business map of the city changed dramatically. The creation of shopping complexes brought a major change in the habits of the people of Montevideo. Global firms such as McDonald's and Burger King etc. are firmly established in Montevideo. In 2013 Nuevocentro Shopping, a shopping mall located in the Jacinto Vera neighbourhood, was inaugurated.
Apart from the big shopping complexes, the main retailing venues of the city are: most of 18 de Julio Avenue in the Centro and Cordón barrios, a length of Agraciada Avenue in the Paso de Molino area of Belvedere, a length of Arenal Grande St.
Montevideo is rated Beta by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions to the world economy.
Montevideo is rated D+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. D+ cities are strong regional hub cities. Montevideo was ranked #265 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Montevideo has a population of over 1,338,000 people. Montevideo also forms part of the wider Montevideo metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,800,000 people.
Twin Towns – Sister Cities Montevideo is twinned with: • Arica, Chile • Asunción, Paraguay • Barcelona, Spain • Berisso, Argentina • Bluefields, Nicaragua • Brasília, Brazil • Cádiz, Spain • Cali, Colombia • Ceuta, Spain • Cochabamba, Bolivia • Córdoba, Argentina • Coroico, Bolivia • Cumaná, Venezuela • Curitiba, Brazil • El Aaiun, Western Sahara • Esmeraldas, Ecuador • Hurlingham, Argentina • La Plata, Argentina • Libertador, Venezuela • Lisbon, Portugal • Mar del Plata, Argentina • Marsico Nuovo, Basilicata, Italy • Melilla, Spain • Mississauga, Ontario, Canada • Paris, France • Port-au-Prince, Haiti • Qingdao, Shandong, China • Quebec City, Canada • Rosario, Argentina • Saint Petersburg, Russia • Santa Cruz, Bolivia • São Paulo, Brazil • Satriano di Lucania, Basilicata, Italy • Shenzhen, Guangdong, China • Talamanca, Costa Rica • Tambo de Mora, Peru • Tianjin, China • Tito, Basilicata, Italy • Tumaco, Colombia • Ulsan, South Korea • Wrocław, Poland • Wuhu, Anhui, China.
Union Montevideo is part of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities.