President-elect of Paraguay: FTA with China “is not an option” for them due to a diplomatic issue

Lacalle Pou with Santiago Peña in Montevideo.
Lacalle Pou with Santiago Peña in Montevideo.

The elected president of Paraguayan, santiago penamade a strong statement today before the local and international media, stating that your country does not consider the option of negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China due to its relations with Taiwan.

During your visit to Montevideowhere he met with the president Luis Lacalle Pou, Peña journalists asked him about Paraguay’s position regarding the possibility of establishing an FTA with the People’s Republic of China. “For Paraguay, it is not a viable option. We maintain a diplomatic relationship with the Republic of China Taiwan“said the president-elect.

However, Peña also highlighted that Paraguay does not have “any restrictions” in the commercial field with Chinasince it is its “main trading partner” and “one of the most important destinations for Paraguayan exports, especially soybeans.”

Although the president-elect, who will take office in August, did not specify whether his country would oppose a possible trade agreement with the asian giantnegotiated jointly with the other member countries of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) such as Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

Currently, China has a population of 1.412 million people.

Peña promises to be inclusive in Mercosur

On the other hand, Peña expressed during his meeting with Lacalle Pou his desire to “be a voice in the integration process,” stressing that Paraguay’s position is negotiate within the framework of Mercosur.

“Paraguay understands that it will always be more favorable to negotiate as a bloc within Mercosur. However, I understand Uruguay’s frustration, as we share the same feeling that, despite the progress, we still have a long way to go,” he indicated.

The politician from the Colorado Party, which is the ruling party, thus referred to the position of the Government of Lacalle Pou to seek the release of restrictions internal on the block and explore new markets, a position with which he claimed to agree.

“Uruguay wants Uruguayans to have access to new markets. Paraguayans also share that goal, whether inside or outside of Mercosur. Personally, I think we will be in a better position within Mercosur, a Mercosur that provides greater support to smaller countries,” Peña said.

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