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Paraguay achieved its independence from Spain in 1811. In the disastrous War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70) - between Paraguay and Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay - Paraguay lost two-thirds of its adult males and much of its territory. The country stagnated economically for the next half century. Following the Chaco War of 1932-35 with Bolivia, Paraguay gained a large part of the Chaco lowland region. The 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo STROESSNER ended in 1989, and, despite a marked increase in political infighting in recent years, Paraguay has held relatively free and regular presidential elections since the country's return to democracy.


Central South America, northeast of Argentina, southwest of Brazil

Natural Resources

hydropower, timber, iron ore, manganese, limestone

Population - distribution

most of the population resides in the eastern half of the country; to the west lies the Gran Chaco (a semi-arid lowland plain), which accounts for 60% of the land territory, but only 2% of the overall population

Spanish (official), Guarani (official)
ASUNCION (capital) 2.356 million (2015)
Conventional long form
Republic of Paraguay
Conventional short form
Local long form
Republica del Paraguay
Local short form
presidential republic
Geographic coordinates
25 16 S, 57 40 W
Time difference
UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends last Sunday in March
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Landlocked Paraguay has a market economy distinguished by a large informal sector, featuring re-export of imported consumer goods to neighboring countries, as well as the activities of thousands of microenterprises and urban street vendors. A large percentage of the population, especially in rural areas, derives its living from agricultural activity, often on a subsistence basis. Because of the importance of the informal sector, accurate economic measures are difficult to obtain.
External debt stocks
US$ 16,161,991,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -461,989,486
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 10,815,678,944
Exports of goods and services
US$ 11,550,692,104
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 315,265,500
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 776,896,592
cotton, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, wheat, tobacco, cassava (manioc, tapioca), fruits, vegetables; beef, pork, eggs, milk; timber
sugar processing, cement, textiles, beverages, wood products, steel, base metals, electric power
soybeans, livestock feed, cotton, meat, edible oils, wood, leather, gold
Brazil 31.7%, Russia 9.1%, Chile 7.1%, Argentina 7% (2015)
road vehicles, consumer goods, tobacco, petroleum products, electrical machinery, tractors, chemicals, vehicle parts
Brazil 25.4%, China 23.7%, Argentina 14.8%, US 7.9% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A very uncertain political and economic outlook and a business environment with many troublesome weaknesses can have a significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is high.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is difficult. Corporate financial information is often unavailable and when available often unreliable. Debt collection is unpredictable. The institutional framework has many troublesome weaknesses. Intercompany transactions run major risks in the difficult environments rated C.
  • Agricultural sector (soya and beef)
  • Abundant hydroelectric resources
  • Prudent economic policies
  • Deficient infrastructures (waterways, roads, electrical supply lines)
  • Dependence on the agricultural sector
  • Weak governance (corruption and cronyism)
  • Large informal sector (40%)

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