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Paraguay: What did the World Economic Forum leave?

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As a result of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Paraguay managed to ensure the continued investment of two multinationals

Paraguay: What did the World Economic Forum leave?

Paraguay's president, Mario Abdo Benitez, was very busy during the World Economic Forum in Davos. In this edition of the event, where heads of state, executive directors of multinationals, economists and journalists meet, Benitez focused on realizing the investment of important companies in a long term.

Leer en español: Paraguay: ¿Qué dejó el Foro Económico Mundial?

Among the various events attended by the president, two can be highlighted, with Microsoft and Coca-Cola, which resulted in relevant agreements for the future of the Paraguayan economy.

According to the Finance Minister of Paraguay, Benigno López, the country closed a "relatively good" year and projects growth of 4% by 2019. Meeting or exceeding this goal depends, among other things, on interventions such as that of President Benítez in Davos, that give visibility to the investment landscape of Paraguay.

With Coca-Cola, drinking water and Stevia

After meeting with the Vice President of Global Public Policy of Coca-Cola, Michael Goltzman, Mario Abdo Benitez announced that along with the National Sanitation Service of Paraguay (SENASA), the company would increase its social investment in the country, bringing drinking water to more of 40 localities of Paraguay. During this meeting, he also confirmed that Coca-Cola showed interest in continuing to buy Paraguayan Stevia for the elaboration of its products.

Stevia, whose original name is ka'a he'e , of Guaraní origin, is used as a sweetener. Companies like Coca-Cola choose to move away from sugarcane under pressure from governments and international organizations, this plant will gain importance as a raw material globally.

Paraguay, where the plant is endemic, has bet heavily on Stevia cultivation, exporting USD 7,600,000 in the 2007-2014 period. Since then it has been proposed to surpass China as the main producer of this sweetener worldwide, achieving historic agreements such as the one reached with Japan in 2015, where the Asian country committed buying 100% of Paraguayan production at that time, from 600 to 700 tons per year.

Beyond the strengthening of Coca-Cola's social investment in Paraguay, which is undoubtedly an important achievement, the commitment made with Coca-Cola in regards to the purchase of Stevia reflects a long-term development plan that uses this crop as an important source of income for the country.

Also read: World Economic Forum 2019: Bolsonaro in the spotlight

With Microsoft, an agenda around ICT

One of the central axes of Benitez government in Paraguay is the development of the digital agenda, proposed by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (Mitic) of this country. The meeting of the president with the executive vice president of Microsoft Corporation, Peggy Johnson, responds to this need to advance in the digitalization of the country.

While the details of the meeting between the two parties are unknown, the president announced on his Twitter account that the discussion revolved around the digital agenda. This seeks to strengthen the connectivity of Paraguay to meet goals of security, education, digital economy, and institutional strengthening.

In addition to his investment agenda, Benitez did not stop taking advantage of the forum's scenario to make clear his political position regarding the situation in South America, particularly Venezuela. He announced that he would recognize the head of the National Assembly of this country, Juan Guaidó, as president of Venezuela, and that Paraguay would continue to be a provider of humanitarian aid for Venezuelan migrants.

"We would recognize Mr. (Juan) Guaidó as president because I think we have to send a clear message" announced Benítez.

 

LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Bernal

Translated from: 'Paraguay: ¿Qué dejó el Foro Económico Mundial?'

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