Relations between Germany and Paraguay are friendly and the people of Paraguay have a very positive image of Germany. Many Paraguayans whose families immigrated generations ago are aware of their German roots. Today there is a steady flow of immigrants, with around 26,000 Germans currently living in the country. Germany is also seen as a valued partner due to its development work and the cultural role it plays in Paraguay. When the Stroessner dictatorship (1954-89) ended, Germany stood by the country on its road to democracy. This involved investigations into the human rights violations committed during the dictatorship, as well as the implementation of judicial reforms partly based on the German model.
Paraguay belongs to the MERCOSUR free trade area. As a result, Paraguay’s relations with the European Union have intensified in recent years. Among the EU member states, Spain and Germany are particularly important partners. Bilateral trade with Germany totalled 183 million euro in 2020. Germany’s main exports to Paraguay are cars, car parts, machinery and chemical products, while imports are dominated by food and raw materials. The large‑scale deliveries undertaken by branches of German businesses in Brazil also play a major role.
Paraguay has been experiencing an economic upturn since 2003 and managed to almost halve poverty in this period. Nevertheless, it remains one of the poorest countries in South America and has marked socio-economic inequalities. The COVID-19 pandemic hampered the country’s upward economic trend, but experts are forecasting economic growth to the tune of 5% in 2021.
In the next few years, German bilateral development cooperation with Paraguay will draw to a close as Germany focuses its assistance more sharply. This means more importance will attach to Germany’s engagement in EU development cooperation, as well as in triangular cooperation, regional projects and the secondment of integrated experts.
In Asunción, there is a German-Paraguayan cultural institute (Instituto Cultural Paraguayo-Alemán (Goethe-Zentrum)) that makes a major contribution to the capital’s cultural scene offering many different language courses and a wide range of cultural events. Cultural preservation projects supported by Federal Government funding likewise play an important role.