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Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Although it is a landlocked country, Paraguay is open to international trade, which represents more than 92.5% of the country’s GDP (WTO, 2012-2014 average). The Government’s economic policy aims to increase international trade in order to boost the economy and to develop competitive sectors, through low and uniform tariff protections. After being excluded from Mercosur due to President Lulo’s impeachment in 2012, Paraguay re-joined the group in 2013 after President Horacio Cartes was elected. In an attempt to diversify its economic partners, the country has also sought permanent membership to the Pacific Alliance trade bloc.

Customs duties are relatively low, but import tariffs remain a substantial source of income for the State. Although the country has few non-tariff trade barriers, the average MFN applied tariff rate remains higher for agricultural products than for non-agricultural goods. Restrictions on access to credit and high interest rates, as well as the high cost of transportation and telecommunication services, are major obstacles to the expansion of trade in the country.

While it has remained in surplus, Paraguay’s trade balance has decreased steadily since 2006, mainly due to the sharp rise in the price of oil (before the price plummeted in 2014). The more recent drop in the price of oil has caused the situation to reverse; however, the country remains heavily dependent on capital goods imports. Despite an increase in exports of beef and higher-added-value products, the depression in agricultural prices has led to a drop in export earnings, especially from soy products (25% of exports).

Paraguay is the world’s third largest exporter of hydraulic electricity (hydraulic) and the fourth largest soy exporter. The country mainly imports hydrocarbons and capital goods.

Brazil, Russia, Chile, Argentina and the Netherlands are the main destination for Paraguay’s exports, while Brazil, China, Argentina, the United States and Germany are the main import partners.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20112012201320142015
Imports of Goods (million USD) 12,36611,55512,14212,16910,291
Exports of Goods (million USD) 7,7637,2839,4569,6368,361
Imports of Services (million USD) 8649061,0481,0851,071
Exports of Services (million USD) 650667772824794
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 10-475-4
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6-7184-1
Trade Balance (million USD) 7775011,583928521
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 10399948884
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5049454342
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5350504543

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - 2016.

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
Brazil 35.4%
Argentina 10.7%
Russia 7.6%
Chile 6.1%
Italy 3.5%
Turkey 2.5%
Uruguay 2.5%
Germany 2.3%
India 2.3%
Spain 2.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
China 27.1%
Brazil 24.2%
Argentina 14.7%
United States 7.2%
Japan 2.5%
Germany 2.3%
South Korea 2.1%
India 1.5%
Chile 1.4%
Mexico 1.4%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data


Main Products

8.5 bn USD of products exported in 2016
Electrical energy 25.1%
Soya beans, whether or not broken 21.4%
Oil-cake and other solid residues, whether or not ground or in the form of pellets, resulting from the extraction of soya-bean oil 10.0%
Meat of bovine animals, frozen 6.9%
Meat of bovine animals, fresh or chilled 6.1%
Soya-bean oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 5.4%
Maize or corn 4.0%
Rice 2.3%
Insulated incl. enamelled or anodised wire, cable incl. coaxial cable and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fibre cables, made-up of individually sheathed fibres, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with connectors 1.8%
Wheat and meslin 1.7%
9.8 bn USD of products imported in 2016
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 11.2%
Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other video camera recorders; digital cameras 5.5%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.3%
Insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides, anti-sprouting products and plant-growth regulators, disinfectants and similar products, put up for retail sale or as preparations or articles, e.g. sulphur-treated bands, wicks and candles, and fly-papers 2.9%
Mineral or chemical fertilizers containing two or three of the fertilizing elements nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; other fertilizers (excl. pure animal or vegetable fertilizers or mineral or chemical nitrogenous, phosphatic or potassic fertilizers); animal, vegetable, mineral or chemical fertilizers in tablets or similar forms or in packages of a gross weight of <= 10 kg 2.6%
Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 2.5%
Television receivers, whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus; video monitors and video projectors 2.0%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 1.9%
Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, incl. line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof 1.9%
New pneumatic tyres, of rubber 1.8%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data


Main Services

1.8 bn USD of services exported in 2014
Government services
Insurance services
Communications services
Financial services
Other business services
2.2 bn USD of services imported in 2014
Financial services
Insurance services
Government services
Royalties and license fees
Other business services
Communications services
Computer and information services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Last Available Data


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Main International Economic Cooperation
Member of Mercado Comun del Sur (MERCOSUR)

Member of Latin American Integration Association

Member of Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)

The country have signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).

Useful Resources
Department of Customs (Spanish)
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The Directorate of Industrial Property.


Learn more about How to Export to Paraguay on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: June 2017