The Ambassador of Paraguay His Excellency Mr. Fleming Raul Duarte had visited the CCCI on 26th of November. He was also accompanied by Honorary Consul of Paraguay Mr. M. Bala Subramanian. In connection to this, the Chamber organized an interactive session with the Ambassador to understand and explore the business opportunities between India and Paraguay. Spices, Tea, Seafood and IT were some of the fields of interest. The session was held between 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm and was attended by CEOs and representatives from various organizations across various industries. The session commenced with a welcome speech by Mr. V. Venugopal, President of the Cochin Chamber. He mentioned in his speech that His Excellency Fleming Raul Duarte’s expertise in Economics reminded him of India’s former Prime Minister of India, Mr. Manmohan Singh who is one of the most renowned economists in the country. Before his talk, the Ambassador of Paraguay took the audience through a PowerPoint presentation which outlined the country’s vision for its people, its business and economic perspectives, domestic and foreign policies and growth rate. Following the presentation, Mr. Fleming explained in detail about the opportunities awaiting foreign investors in Paraguay during his speech. He said Paraguay is open to accommodating foreign nationals as the country is home to many immigrants from Italy, Korea, and Japan. Some of the objectives of the country were poverty reduction and Social Development, Economic and Industrial Growth and also promoting Infrastructure. He added that the country can become a hub of transport services with easy flight connectivity to significant destinations like the capital of Brazil and other destinations in Argentina.
He pointed out that Paraguay is expected to be the country with the highest growth rate with a recorded GDP growth rate of 4.2% in 2017. He also added that the country is rated very low in Foreign Direct Investments. Coming to trade and logistics, he said that most of the country’s export and import operations use rivers as means of transport and accounts for around 55.6% as it is the cheapest mode of transport for Paraguay and its neighboring nations like Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. The main export destinations of Paraguay are Poland, Mexico, China, Brazil, Argentina and also India. The Ambassador also threw light on the huge potential of his country in the field of Agriculture and listed out that Grains, Meat Leather Straw Fodder, Animal Feeds, conventional and non-conventional vegetable, and Animal oils being the products that are produced on a massive scale. Potential sectors of investment in Paraguay were identified as the Food Industry, Automobile, Logistics, Real Estate, Leather and Footwear, and Agriculture. Moreover, nature tourism that comprises adventure tourism like rappelling, diving quarries, biking, and boating being a few attractions considered a big draw for the people who visit Paraguay. With a very fertile land and similar climatic conditions to our state of Kerala, His Excellency Mr. Fleming Raul encouraged farmers from our country to explore opportunities in agriculture in Paraguay. In this context, he mentioned that Indian companies like Amul and Mahindra have expressed their interest in investing in Paraguay. He said that Paraguay was looking to benefit from India’s expertise in the fields of IT, Medicine and Pharmaceuticals. The session was open to questions from the audience at the end of his speech during which topics like labor cost and general tourism in Paraguay were discussed.
President of the Chamber presented The Ambassador Of Paraguay and the Honorary Consul Of Paraguay with mementos.
The session came to a close with a Vote of Thanks delivered by Mr. SP Kamath, Executive Committee Member of the Chamber.