Paraguayan economy: High hopes

Sep 25, 2013

Paraguay’s new president has vowed to end the economy’s dependency on commodities. Making that happen won’t be easy

By Thierry Ogier and Nancy Areco

There is a new mood on the streets of Asunción, Paraguay’s capital, and it’s a happy one for foreign investors.

Horacio Cartes, the business magnate who was sworn in as president mid-August, has so far had little trouble convincing investors that he means business when it comes to reforming the country’s creaking economy.

But effecting change in a poor country that has long been plagued by corruption and inefficiency is likely to prove tougher than managing his 20-odd private businesses.

The administration’s priority is to diversify the economy, helping end abrupt swings in the economic cycle that come from a dependency on agricultural exports.

"The president has the firm intention to generate a greater diversification of the economy," Germán Rojas, the Paraguayan finance minister tells LatinFinance in an interview. "The required business environment is being set up to attract industrial investment."

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