Especially after the end of the dictatorship, Germany assisted Paraguay on the road to democracy, both with its investigations into the human rights violations committed during the dictatorship and with juridical reforms, which were partly based on the German model. Germany has a particularly positive image in Paraguay. The many German immigrants (around 26,000 as of 2019) continue to contribute to the country’s development, while the German Government’s engagement there in terms of development cooperation and cultural policy is appreciated.
Especially through the country’s membership of the Mercosur free trade zone, Paraguay’s relations with the European Union have steadily intensified during the last few years. Among the European Union member states, Spain and Germany are particularly important partners. Bilateral trade between Germany and Paraguay totals approximately 300 million euro annually. Germany’s main exports to Paraguay are vehicle parts, machinery and chemical products (approx. 171 million euro), while its main imports from Paraguay are raw materials, especially oil seeds and oleaginous fruits (approx. 99 million euro). German penetration of the Paraguayan market is much larger if the goods supplied by German subsidiaries in Brazil, Argentina and the United States to Paraguay are also taken into account.
Paraguay is one of the poorest countries in South America and has marked socio-economic inequalities, even though poverty has almost been halved in the years since 2003. However, this trend these positive developments have slowed since 2012 and to this day between 20 and 25% of the population are considered poor. The main focuses of Germany’s development cooperation with Paraguay remain rural development and the sustainable management of resources. These are complemented by measures in the field of vocational training. Verstärkt finden Dreiecksprojekte mit anderen Ländern der Region zugunsten Paraguays statt.
Through its wide range of language courses and cultural events, the Instituto Cultural Paraguayo-Alemán – Goethe-Zentrum in Asunción makes an acknowledged contribution to cultural life in the capital. In recent years, the German Government has increased its funding for cultural preservation projects in Paraguay.
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