Economy and Commerce
Paraguay is a member of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), joined also by Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Venezuela (full members), and other nations, which are considered full associates as per the Asuncion Treaty (signed March 26, 1991). The Paraguayan economy is characterized by the predominance of these sectors: agriculture, ranching, commerce, and service.
The country has shown consistent growth in recent years, attracting the attention of foreign investors and businesses. In the year 2016, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was 4% and, according to the International Monetary Fund, the projected GDP growth for 2017 is 3.7%, an above-average figure compared to the other Latin American and Caribbean nations. This increase is due principally to the annual production and exportation of 9 to 10 million tons of soy and the renewed annual record of beef exports.
The macroeconomic stability, with its 2016 inflation rate of 3.9%, high percentage of international reserves, free currency exchanges, free and unrestricted capital flow, and low tax burdens, makes Paraguay a priority destination for foreign investors and serves to encourage local investment strongly as well.
The industrial sector is growing thanks to fiscal incentives such as Law 60/90 and the Manufacturing Law. Manufacturing exports have increased from $159 million (US) in 2013 to $285 million (US) in 2015 and to $313 million (US) in 2016. Currently, 126 export industries have programs authorized under the manufacturing system.
Paraguay, which relies on national and bi-national hydroelectric power, stands at the top of the list of countries in terms of renewable and alternative energy use, in addition to the lowest levels of contaminants. The Itaipú Dam, the central hydroelectric power source shared between Paraguay and Brazil in the waters of the Paraná River, is the greatest generator of clean and renewable energy across the world.
The young and abundant workforce, free of labor conflicts, and the clean and renewable hydroelectric energy make Paraguay a nation full of economic opportunities.