Paraguayan authorities insisted this week before the US Embassy that there were no sanitary impediments for the northern country to welcome beef shipments from the South American nation, only red tape was hindering progress in that regard.
President Mario Abdo Benítez and other officials conveyed to US Ambassador Marc Ostfield the urgency to add meat cuts to the current bilateral trade during a meeting Tuesday in Mburuvicha Róga. Also attending the event were Ministers Julio Arriola (Foreign Affairs) and Óscar Llamosas (Finance) as well as José Carlos Martin, head of the National Service of Animal Quality and Health (Senacsa), and Cabinet Chief Hernán Huttemann.
The hosting delegation also recalled that Paraguay has already passed the sanitation and innocuousness tests. Now the process is in the hands of the United States, which has to carry out a public hearing, which takes approximately 60 days to issue a verdict, Arriola explained. Behind this approval are also markets such as Canada, Japan, and South Korea.
The Paraguayan government stressed the importance of speeding up the procedures so that meat exports to the world's second-largest buyer behind China may start at the earliest time possible.
Huttemann recalled that within the first year of opening, the country could send some 25,000 tons of meat and obtain an income of around US$ 100 million. Ostfield replied with moderate optimism.
The US Ambassador visited Ciudad del Este Wednesday to learn first-hand about cooperation programs and interact with allied organizations of his country. Ostfield spoke with local authorities at the Customs House about efforts to combat corruption and local and regional security challenges, according to the US Embassy in Asunción.
The United States is one of Paraguay's main trading partners and we see this country as an important partner in regional affairs; I also want to see cooperation and some programs against corruption and impunity in conversations with local authorities, Ostfield also told reporters.
The Ambassador was to stay one more day in Ciudad del Este to visit the local National Police headquarters and the Tripartite Command, among other sites of strategic interest in a city bordering both Argentina and Brazil.