The Vice Minister of Commerce, Pedro Mancuello, stated that the European Union has been charging tariffs on products made in Paraguay that were exported to that market since January 1. The measure was taken because Paraguay exceeded the US $2,000 per capita income of its inhabitants. "Paraguay reached the level of development some time ago and the European Union can no longer charge us the previous tariffs, because they were almost zero tariff for many products," he said.
"They warned us in advance and now we have to pay the normal tariffs that they establish for the countries that export processed products to the EU," he said.
When asked how this measure would affect the local industry, he said that it would mainly impact the ethanol, soybean oil, meat products industries, and the Frutika fruit processor.
He also said that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) was asking local industries to find ways to diversify markets, that is to say, to offer the same products other destinations and to diversify their production.
He mentioned the case of Frutika, who was no longer just exporting fruits, but also processed juice. "That's the kind of bets we need to improve things," he said.