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Montevideo, March 2nd 2024 - 01:18 UTC

 

 

Paraguayan and Bolivian bananas return to Argentina

Saturday, November 25th 2023 - 10:46 UTC
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Massa ordered the payment of bananas to be prioritized, Fanego explained Massa ordered the payment of bananas to be prioritized, Fanego explained

Banana producers in Paraguay and Bolivia have agreed to resume shipments to Argentina after the outgoing administration of President Alberto Fernández authorized the use of foreign currency to pay for those imports.

The decision came after Argentine officials met with producers and exporters from the two countries, who had staged several protests outside the Argentine embassies in Asunción and La Paz.

“Yesterday, Thursday afternoon, we had a very good reception at the Secretariat of Trade. Today we already had a meeting with some of our clients at the Chamber of Importers and we received many promises and guarantees from the Secretariat of Commerce, which has a direct line from the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, to prioritize payments for bananas as well as other food products, and they gave us encouragement on that side,” said Matías Fanego, president of the Paraguayan Chamber of Bananas and Pineapples (Capabap).

Paraguayan producers also said they were “just waiting for the payments to come in and to normalize the situation as much as possible.”

In Bolivia, growers who had blockaded a bridge at the Yacuíba border crossing lifted the measure but said they would remain vigilant until things return to normal. “It is clear that everything they said, that this US$3 million should come out, nothing has come out; if 5% of what they proposed had come out, about US$200,000 would have come out today,” Miguel Zambrana, the largest exporter in Bolivia and representative of the Union of Banana Producers, told Asunción's El Nacional.

Beyond the banana issue, good bilateral relations between Paraguay and Argentina are expected when President-elect Javier Milei takes office on Dec. 10.

Paraguay's Economy Minister Carlos Fernández Valdovinos said Asunción was waiting for his future Argentine counterpart to be appointed to begin direct talks and work on strengthening trade relations. Fernández Valdovinos also noted that greater macroeconomic stability in Argentina would benefit Paraguay.

President Santiago Peña also emphasized that his economic views coincide with Milei's regarding the budget deficit, discretionary spending, and the interruption of monetary issuance to combat inflation.

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