In the case brought by Philip Morris, the worlds largest producer of tobacco products, against Uruguay, both parties delivered their final arguments during the last weeks of October. The South American country is now waiting for the decision of the World Bank arbitration tribunal, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which will be announced within the next six months. President Tabaré Vázquez expressed his confidence that Uruguay would win the case.
In 2010, the tobacco giant filed suit against Uruguay before the World Bank arbitration tribunal over the countrys restrictive regulations on the sale of cigarettes, and demanded compensation of at least 25 million US dollars. Uruguay, with a population of roughly 3.5 million people, is not a significant market for the tobacco transnational, but the suit was filed to set an example, aimed at preventing other countries from stepping up their anti-tobacco laws.