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Economy of Paraguay

Paraguay has a market economy highly dependent on agriculture products. In recent years, the economy has grown as a result of increased agricultural exports, especially soybeans. Paraguay has the economic advantages of a young population and vast hydroelectric power but has few mineral resources, and political instability has undercut some of the economic advantages present. The government welcomes foreign investment. Paraguay was the most agricultural economy of South America, and that sector influenced the performance of virtually every other sector of the economy. The over dependence on agricultural economy and low tax collections deteriorated the already wide gap wealth distribution. The extreme poverty increased from 16% to 20% during 2001 to 2012, even the economy growth. By 2013, it has a human development index of 0.669 which is even lower than Bolivia.

Although Paraguay faced significant obstacles to future economic development, it displayed extraordinary potential. Paraguay contained little oil and no precious metals or sea coasts, but the country was self-sufficient in many areas and was endowed with fertile land, dense forests, and swift rivers. The process of opening up the eastern border region to economic activity and continued agricultural expansion was expected to effect rapid changes in once-isolated Paraguay. Likewise, the development of a series of hydroelectric plants along the Río Paraná linked Paraguay to its neighbours and provided it access to cherished energy resources and badly needed export revenues. Finally, road construction united different departments of Paraguay and provided the country its first access to the Atlantic Ocean via Brazil. These processes of infrastructure development, hydroelectric expansion, agricultural colonization, and a cash crop explosion allowed Paraguay by the late 1980s to begin to tap its potential.

Sectors

The most important component of the Paraguayan economy is the farming sector, which contributed 27% to GDP in 2006. The participation of commerce was 20.2%, and that of other services, including government, 38.4%. Industry's part (including mining and construction) was about 20%.Paraguay's economy (GDP) grew 5,8% in 2008, fastest growing sector being agriculture with 10,5% growth. Agriculture accounts for about 20 percent of Paraguay's annual gross domestic product (25 percent in 2004) and virtually all of the country's export earnings.

Mining and minerals

Unlike many South American countries, Paraguay has few mineral resources and very little history of mining success. Foreign companies have explored Paraguay in recent years, searching for overlooked mineral deposits. Small extraction projects exist, seeking lime, clay, and the raw materials necessary to make cement, but the country's iron and steel manufacturers must import raw materials from neighboring countries.

Industry and manufacturing

The industrial sector produces about 25 percent of Paraguay's gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about 31 percent of the labor force. Output grew by 2.9 percent in 2004, after five years of declining production. Traditionally an agricultural economy, Paraguay is showing some signs of long-term industrial growth. The pharmaceutical industry is quickly supplanting foreign suppliers in meeting the country's drug needs. Paraguayan companies now meet 70 percent of domestic consumption and also have begun exporting drugs. Strong growth also is evident in the production of edible oils, garments, organic sugar, meat processing, and steel. Nevertheless, capital for further investment in the industrial sector of the economy is scarce.

Energy

Paraguay relies almost solely on hydroelectric power to meet its energy needs. Paraguay has no oil reserves; it relies on imported oil to meet its limited need for oil-produced energy. The Paraguayan government owns Petróleos Paraguayos, which is responsible for all distribution of oil products. The state accepts bids from international oil companies, selecting a few companies annually to meet the country's demand. Presently, Paraguay does not produce or consume natural gas, but consumes LPG imported mainly from Argentina.

Services

The services sector made up nearly 50 percent of Paraguay's gross domestic product in 2004 and employed about 19 percent of Paraguay's working population. The importation of goods, especially from Argentina and Brazil, for sale and illegal re-exportation creates service industry jobs. The services sector had a moderate growth rate of 0.9 percent from 1990 to 2003.

Tourism

Paraguay has a small tourism industry. Total tourism receipts declined annually from 2000 through 2002. In 2003 Paraguay's hotel occupancy rate was 38 percent. It increased by 15 percent in 2004. Small gains in tourism have come from business rather than leisure travellers. For many years, Paraguay served as a central market for trafficable, duty-free goods. However, crackdowns by the governments of Brazil and Argentina have stemmed the flow of shoppers travelling to Paraguay looking for trafficable items.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Paraguay"

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