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Ministry of Economic Affairs,R.O.C.

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2020-11-20 21:31
Department of International Cooperation

Taiwan-Paraguay Investment Webinar helps Taiwanese firms explore South American business opportunities

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Taiwan-Paraguay Investment Webinar helps Taiwanese firms explore South American business opportunities
The Taiwan-Paraguay Investment Webinar organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Paraguayan Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) was held Nov. 20 in hybrid virtual format. Nearly 100 representatives from more than 70 Taiwanese enterprises in various industries, including high-tech, food processing, and automotive parts manufacturing, took part in the event at the Humble House hotel in Taipei to listen to MIC introduce via videoconference Paraguay’s investment incentives and advantages, including its role as a gateway to the wider South American market of 430 million consumers and to the EU market of half a billion consumers through Mercosur’s free trade agreement with the European Union.

In her opening remarks at the webinar, MOEA Minister Mei-Hua Wang pointed out that economic and trade interactions between Taiwan and Paraguay have continued to grow closer in recent years, especially since their bilateral Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA) came into effect in February 2018. For instance, Paraguay has become Taiwan’s second largest source of frozen beef imports this year. Noting that Paraguay produces abundant agricultural products and has a growing automotive parts manufacturing sector, Minister Wang said there are significant complementarities between the industries of Taiwan and Paraguay which have the potential to generate synergies through greater collaboration. She expressed the hope that the webinar would give Taiwanese enterprises a greater understanding of Paraguay’s industrial competitiveness and therefore encourage more of them to invest in setting up operations in the country.

Also speaking at the opening, newly appointed Paraguayan Minister of Industry and Commerce Luis Alberto Castiglioni mentioned that Taiwan is Paraguay’s most loyal friend. He said he visited Taiwan several years ago and was deeply impressed by Taiwan’s economic and trade development. The Minister pointed out that Paraguay is located at the heart of South America and has abundant resources, expressing the hope that Taiwanese companies would gain a better understanding of Paraguay’s investment advantages through the webinar and therefore invest in establishing production bases there, which would both assist Paraguay’s industrial development and enable them to jointly tap the huge commercial opportunities in the wider South American market.

Following the opening ceremony, Director General Mario Romero of REDIEX, Paraguay’s export and investment promotion agency, gave a presentation on the various services and facilitations offered by his agency. He noted that REDIEX has signed a cooperation memorandum of understanding with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council to assist in promoting Paraguayan high-end agricultural and food products through participation in the Taipei International Food Show. He expressed the hope that Taiwanese manufacturers would tap Taiwan and Paraguay’s complementary advantages and invest in setting up operations in Paraguay.

Also giving a briefing on Paraguay’s investment advantages was Sebastian Bogado, who serves as Paraguayan commercial commissioner in Brazil. He noted that because Paraguay is a member of Mercosur, products and services manufactured in Paraguay can be exported tariff-free to the markets of other Mercosur members, including Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, as well as observer members Chile and Bolivia.

He also noted that foreign enterprises that set up shop in Paraguay’s export processing zones can enjoy various tax incentives. The EPZs, which have already attracted many international food industry companies, represent a major opportunity for Taiwanese food manufacturers to tap the wider South American market

Paraguay also allows 100%-foreign owned companies to operate in the country and has begun tax reforms to reduce corporate and personal income tax rates, and has also already lowered the value-added tax rate, to attract more foreign investment. Amid ongoing global supply chain restructuring, the Paraguay officials invited Taiwanese companies to tap Paraguay’s niche advantages by investing and setting up production bases in the country.

Many of the participating Taiwanese enterprise representatives said the webinar was very useful in expanding their understanding of the current situation regarding Paraguay’s industries, resources as well as investment incentives, adding that they look forward to more such events in the future.