Key facts: Paraguay

by World Grain Staff
Share This:

Capital: Asuncion

Population: 6.7 million.

Ethnic groups: mestizo (mixed Spanish and Amerindian) 95%, other 5%

Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, Mennonite and other Protestant 10%

Location: Landlocked between Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia

Government: Constitutional republic. Chief of state: President Nicanor Duarte Frutos (since Aug. 15, 2003)

Economy: Paraguay has a market economy marked by a large informal sector. This sector features both re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries as well as the activities of thousands of micro-enterprises and urban street vendors. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain. A large percentage of the population derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. On a per capita basis, real income has stagnated at 1980 levels. Most observers attribute Paraguay’s poor economic performance to political uncertainty, corruption, lack of progress on structural reform, substantial internal and external debt, and deficient infrastructure. Aided by a firmer exchange rate and perhaps a greater confidence in the economic policy of the Duarte Frutos administration, the economy rebounded between 2003 and 2006, posting modest growth each year.

GDP per capita: U.S.$4,700 (PPP); inflation 9.4%; unemployment 12.5% (2006 est.)

Currency: Guarani (PYG); U.S.$1 equals PYG5,043.70

Exports: U.S.$1.7 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.). Soybeans, feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, electricity, wood, leather

Imports: U.S.$4.5 billion. Road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery

Major crops/agricultural products: Cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, maize, wheat, tobacco, cassava (tapioca), fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, eggs, milk

Grain and oilseed crops: Soybeans, maize, wheat

Agriculture: 22.4% of GDP and 40% of the labor force

Internet: Code .py, 13,178 hosts and 200,000 users (2005)