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An overview of key economic sectors in Paraguay

by | Jan 1, 2024

Paraguay is a landlocked nation in South America. Several key economic sectors in Paraguay are driving the country’s economic growth. This blog post offers an authoritative overview of the most prominent sectors in the Paraguayan economy, highlighting specific businesses and activities within each sector, along with employment levels and gross domestic product (GDP) participation percentages.

Agriculture

Activities & Businesses: Agriculture is one of the key economic sectors in Paraguay. It has a focus on soybeans, beef, and other agricultural products. Major companies in the Paraguayan agricultural sector include:

  • Cargill: A global agricultural and food company, Cargill has a substantial presence in Paraguay, particularly in the soybean sector.
  • Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC): Another major player in the global agricultural sector, LDC is involved in the production, processing, and distribution of various agricultural products in Paraguay, including soybeans.
  • ADM (Archer Daniels Midland): ADM is a global leader in agricultural processing and operates in Paraguay, primarily focusing on soybean processing.
  • Bunge: Bunge is involved in the production, processing, and trading of agricultural commodities, including soybeans, in Paraguay.
  • Itaipu Agroindustrial: A significant agricultural company in Paraguay, Itaipu Agroindustrial is involved in producing and processing various agricultural products.
  • Grupo Los Grobo: A leading agricultural company in South America, Grupo Los Grobo operates in Paraguay, focusing on producing and processing soybeans and other crops.
  • Dakota: Dakota produces and exports soybeans and other agricultural products in Paraguay.

Employment: Agriculture employs a significant portion of Paraguay’s workforce, with estimates suggesting that it accounts for approximately 25% of total employment.

Participation: Agriculture contributes around 20% to Paraguay’s GDP.

Manufacturing

Activities & Businesses: Another one of the key economic sectors in Paraguay is manufacturing. Paraguay encompasses industries such as food processing, textiles, and automotive assembly. Among the most prominent manufacturers with operations in Paraguay are:

  • Cervepar: A major brewery in Paraguay, Cervepar produces a range of popular beer brands and plays a significant role in the country’s beverage manufacturing sector.
  • Sudameris: A prominent textile company in Paraguay, Sudameris produces textiles and garments, contributing to the country’s textile manufacturing industry.
  • Concret Mix: Engaged in producing construction materials, Concret Mix is a leading company in Paraguay’s construction and manufacturing sector.
  • Frigorífico Neuland: Although it’s a cooperative with local roots, Frigorífico Neuland has gained international recognition for its beef production and meat processing operations.
  • Nissan Paraguay: As a part of the global automotive company Nissan, Nissan Paraguay is involved in automotive assembly and manufacturing in Paraguay, contributing to the country’s automotive industry.
  • Hyundai Paraguay: Similar to Nissan, Hyundai Paraguay represents the global automotive brand Hyundai and is involved in Paraguay’s automotive assembly and manufacturing operations.
  • Unilever Paraguay: A subsidiary of the global consumer goods company Unilever, Unilever Paraguay is engaged in the manufacturing and distributing various consumer products in Paraguay.
  • Kimberly-Clark Paraguay: As a part of the multinational personal care company Kimberly-Clark, the company manufactures and distributes a range of personal care and hygiene products in the country.

Employment: Manufacturing provides employment opportunities for a considerable population segment, accounting for roughly 15% of total employment.

Participation: Manufacturing contributes approximately 20% to Paraguay’s GDP.

Services

Activities & Businesses: Services is one of the key economic sectors in Paraguay. It includes various activities such as retail, telecommunications, and financial services. Among the prominent players in the Paraguayan service sector are:

  • Tigo Paraguay: A leading telecommunications company in Paraguay, Tigo provides a range of services, including mobile and internet services, and has a significant market share in the country’s telecommunications sector.
  • Banco Continental: A prominent bank in Paraguay, Banco Continental offers a comprehensive range of banking and financial services to individuals, businesses, and institutions in the country.
  • Supermercados Stock: A major retail company in Paraguay, Supermercados Stock operates a chain of supermarkets and plays a significant role in the country’s retail sector. Banco Itaú Paraguay: As a part of the global banking group Itaú, Banco Itaú Paraguay offers a wide range of banking and financial services in Paraguay.
  • BBVA Paraguay: BBVA Paraguay, a subsidiary of the multinational financial services company BBVA, provides banking and financial services to individuals and businesses in the country.
  • Scotiabank Paraguay: A part of the global banking group Scotiabank, Scotiabank Paraguay offers banking and financial services in Paraguay, contributing to the country’s financial sector.
  • Telefónica Paraguay (Movistar): As a subsidiary of the global telecommunications company Telefónica, Telefónica Paraguay, operating under the brand Movistar, provides mobile and internet services in Paraguay.
  • Nestlé Paraguay: As a part of the multinational food and beverage company Nestlé, Nestlé Paraguay is involved in the manufacturing, distributing, and selling various food and beverage products in the country.
  • Copa Airlines Paraguay: As a subsidiary of Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Paraguay operates flights within South America and plays a vital role in Paraguay’s aviation and travel sector.

Employment: The services sector is a major employer in Paraguay, with estimates indicating that it accounts for around 50% of total employment.

Participation: Services contribute the largest share, approximately 55%, to Paraguay’s GDP.

Construction

Activities & Businesses: The construction sector in Paraguay has seen growth in recent years, driven by infrastructure development and urbanization. The following companies are prominent in Paraguay’s construction sector:

  • Concret Mix: A leading construction materials company in Paraguay, Concret Mix is involved in the production and supply of concrete, cement, and other construction materials for various infrastructure and building projects.
  • Tecnoedil: Tecnoedil is a prominent construction company in Paraguay, engaged in the construction of residential, commercial, and industrial projects, including infrastructure and building construction.
  • Construcciones Civiles y Electromecánicas (CCE): CCE is a notable construction company in Paraguay, specializing in civil and electromechanical construction projects, including infrastructure, energy, and water projects.
  • Odebrecht: As a Brazilian multinational construction conglomerate, Odebrecht has operations in Paraguay and has been involved in various infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, and hydroelectric projects.
  • Acciona: A Spanish multinational company, Acciona is in Paraguay and is involved in various construction projects, including infrastructure, renewable energy, and water projects.
  • Sacyr: Another Spanish multinational company, Sacyr, has operations in Paraguay and is engaged in constructing infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, and buildings.
  • Tecnoedil Internacional: Although Tecnoedil is originally a domestic company, it has expanded its operations internationally and is involved in construction projects in various countries, including Paraguay.

Employment: Construction employs many people, contributing to approximately 10% of total employment.

Participation: Construction contributes around 10% to Paraguay’s GDP.

Conclusion

There is a diverse mix of key economic sectors in Paraguay. Each contributes to the country’s overall growth and development. While agriculture remains a vital sector, services have emerged as the largest contributor to GDP. Understanding the dynamics and key players in each sector is crucial for investors and policymakers alike as Paraguay continues to position itself as an attractive destination for business and investment.

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