President ratifies commitment to PPPs as a “public good” to maintain solid economic policies

Asunción, Agencia IP.- The President of the Republic, Santiago Peña, highlighted that one of the advantages that Paraguay has built as a society is the public-private commitment, allowing it to maintain solid economic policies that translate into a “public good for the country.”

It was during his participation in the Concordia Annual Summit 2023, which took place this Monday in New York, United States. In this opportunity, Peña stated that one of Paraguay’s societal advantages is that it has built a public-private engagement. He said that dialogue made it possible to reach an agreement to maintain solid economic policies that result in something positive for our country.

“Having an independent central bank that maintains low inflation is a public good. This is not only good for bankers or people who want to work in financial inclusion. This is good for the most vulnerable”, claimed. He mentioned that said agreements were achieved through the dialogue between public and private sectors, and this was crucial for the impulse of the construction of public infrastructure back in 2013 when a law was approved for PPPs.

“So now we can see what other nations have done correctly and what they have done in the wrong way. So, we are taking the good things and implementing them in Paraguay. So, ten years ago, we launched this PPP law, the most advanced at the moment, and we have several projects now that are working very well”, he stated.

Creating different sources of financing for public infrastructures is one of Paraguay’s main challenges, considering its condition as a landlocked country with a privileged location in the heart of South America.

 “The waterway that connects five countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay, goes through the middle of Paraguay. Then, we have the land transportation that makes Paraguay the shortest way to connect the Pacific to the Atlantic. We have built a bioceanic highway that will connect the ports of São Paulo​ to the ports of Chile. And this is the shortest way. You cannot go the other way around. Those are the things that, in a way, are giving Paraguay a very good platform. We Paraguayans need to understand the country’s potential,” explained. 

Good diplomatic relations with the United States

During the Summit, Peña declared that Paraguay maintains a good relationship with the United States. “The problem that we have, all the countries in South America, is that we are so close to the US, but sometimes we are very far away. And one of the problems that Paraguay has is not a problem. There are not many problems in Paraguay”, mentioned. 

“We have a great relationship, which has been like that forever. We are a good friend, and our relationship with Taiwan is a testimony of our desire to build long-term relations”, he added.

In that line, he commented, “We are not looking only to see the balance of payment, what do I sell you, what I produce for you, no. We are looking for a long-term relationship. We have the longest dictatorship in South America, thirty-five years. We are a young democracy. We know the value of democracy, of free speech and rights. So, these are the things we want to advocate”.

Diplomatic relations with Taiwan are not in discussion

About the relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan), he alluded that Paraguay is one of the twelve countries in the world that maintain diplomatic relations with the isle and that “Under my administration, there is no reason even to discuss our relation with Taiwan. And the reason is not nostalgia, this is not the past or the history, this is the future”, highlighted.

“Where Paraguay us stand today, an economy that is advancing very fast, to moving from an economy dominated by the production of agricultural products and energy, but advancing very fast to an industrial economy. We think that the experience of Taiwan, similar to the experience of Israel or South Korea, ratifies more countries”, stated. 

He admitted that, compared to bigger countries, it is much better to think about selling raw materials to China, attending to the enormous industrial capacity that allows it to manufacture many products at very low costs. “So, if we were to think only about having relations with China, we are going to be selling only raw materials”, said the Head of State.

“And we want to do, probably the hard way but the right way that will allow Paraguay to connect with the ten billion consumers around the corner in 2050. They are looking for food, water and clean renewal energy, and all the things in which Paraguay is a rich country”, claimed Peña.