Brazil offered Paraguay the rotating chair of Mercosur as of next December, as part of an overall understanding to have the landlocked country return to the block, while accepting the incorporation of Venezuela as a full member of the group. Paraguay rejects Venezuela’s membership alleging it was done against the will of its Senate and in breach of national and international law and of the Mercosur charter.
Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire formally opened on Wednesday the British Embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay which will be headed by Ambassador Jeremy Hobbs. Accompanied by Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga, he hailed the opening a symbol of the UK’s continued engagement in Latin America.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff received her peer from Paraguay, Horacio Cartes with full head of state honours but at the same time reminded him that Paraguay is a full member of Mercosur and “bilateral relations are in the context of multilateral relations with all countries of the hemisphere”.
The British embassy in Paraguay which was remained closed since 2005 will be reopened this week according to Paraguayan foreign minister Eladio Loizaga. The news was confirmed following a meeting of the Paraguayan official with Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Paraguay’s GDP expanded 13.3% in the second quarter of this year boosted by agriculture and beef exports, according to the latest release from the Central bank. Agriculture has proved the most dynamic sector with 6.2% growth helping Paraguay to have the fastest growing economy this year in Latam following on a 0.9% retraction last year, because of an extended drought.
Paraguay president Horacio Cartes arrived Monday morning to Brazil for a round of talks with President Dilma Rousseff which includes political, economic, energy, trade and security issues, plus the full return of Paraguay to Mercosur, an intricate matter dating back to events of June 2012.
Representatives from Paraguay and Venezuela are scheduled to re-take bilateral and Mercosur related discussions on the sides of the UN General Assembly this week in New York, according to Deputy foreign minister Manuel María Cáceres
Paraguay’s Industrial Union, UIP, reacted strongly to President Horacio Cartes claims that the private sector was responsible for much that is wrong in government, and suggested an ‘intelligence work’ in the civil service to catch the ‘scoundrels and corrupt’.
President Horacio Cartes said that during 2014 links between Paraguay and Mercosur will be fully re-established and by then all the skirmishes motivated by the access of Venezuela as full member of the group, “will be overcome”. However Cartes also mentioned that Paraguay, with support from Chile has a strategic access to the Pacific basin.
Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes begins on Monday a two-day visit to Chile where he is scheduled to meet his peer Sebastián Piñera and hold a round of talks with business people inviting them to invest in Paraguay. At the end of the month Cartes will be flying to Brasilia to meet President Dilma Rousseff.