Before the delegates left for Costa Rica, India invited Paraguay business emissaries to take benefit of India’s economic growth and the reform oriented approach for a stronger bond of trade relations
India and Paraguay are keen to diversify trade with each other and so are the other MERCOSUR countries through expansion of existing Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
“We look forward to Paraguay as one of the active members of the grouping to push for expediting the expansion of the list of items under PTA, between the two sides,” said Vijay Thakur Singh, secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs.
According to Singh, India wants to broaden and develop the tariff lines from the present 400 to 2000.
Responding to a question, he said that the South American country is keen in various sectors including railways, infrastructure, space and renewable.
“There is little more than working on exports, there will be a top level delegation visiting Paraguay to discuss cooperation in the agro business and India’s research in agriculture which could be mutually beneficially to both sides.”
Top MEA officials said that, “India is actively considering opening embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay. A few formalities are underway and we expect that it will open soon.”
Addressing Paraguay as an important partner in the southern regions of US, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu while speaking to the business community in the South American nation pointed out that rich and diverse resources in the region offer great business opportunities for Indian businesses.
Naidu emphasized the scope to improve bilateral trade between the two nations and build relations on areas of mutual interest such as automobiles, pharma, agriculture along with food processing, machine tools, space technology and other areas for the benefit of both countries.
Addressing media, several businessmen from Paraguay were hopeful of further strengthening of the business relations and sought more engagement to seek support in fields such as technology, innovation and hydel power generation where India has expertise.
“Paraguay offers great taxation policy for Indian businessmen. We have a market that is both demanding and facilitating, Paraguay can serve as a base for Indian business enterprises to do business with our neighboring countries. There are great opportunities in Agriculture infrastructure that we want India to invest, agriculture equipment is one such sector,” Jorge E Pappalardo, ECON, said.
Paulo Duarte, a young businessman said that “The two countries have similar demographic advantage. Paraguay can contribute in food processing and have Paraguayan outlets in India. Agriculture products, machine tools in Agriculture can provide great business opportunities for both the nations”.
The two countries have witnessed a vertical climb in trade and investments in the last few years. The bilateral trade grew from $194 Million in 2014-2015 to $ 334 million USD in 2017-2018