Leading Edge meets Alejandro Loza de Balanzó and Alfredo Heraso Torres of the Paraguayan wing of Spanish real estate group Grupo Barcelona, to hear their vision of Paraguay as an investment ground
Leading Edge (LE): How is Paraguay gaining credibility?
Alejandro Loza: Since 2003, things started being done properly in Paraguay, and this has lasted, regardless of the governments that have been in power. It has helped improve the credibility of the country, one with little debt, although it is starting to become indebted at the moment, because there are bonds. However, despite this, we are still far from other countries, like Spain, where debt is at 100% of GDP. Here it is only 15%, and I hope we don’t make the same mistakes. As long as that debt serves us for investment, we have a promising road ahead of us.
Paraguay is the perfect country for an industrial revolution: water, electricity, inexpensive land, a young workforce, and low taxes
LE: What is the largest investment opportunity right now? How diversified is the investment offering?
Alfredo Heraso: This is a country that has always lived off agriculture and livestock farming. The year I arrived here, GDP grew by 15%, which was the second-largest growth in the world, following that of Singapore. From that moment on, Paraguay has been the perfect country for an industrial revolution. Here, there is water, electricity, inexpensive land, a young workforce, and low taxes. It’s the perfect combination.
LE: Tell us about the integration of small farms within the entire soya bean value chain.
Alejandro Loza: This has become widespread. It’s great; there are people who have 10,000 hectares of soybeans… these are things that are impossible in Spain, for example. Here, there are no taxes on soya beans. It is a country in which by just putting a 1% tax on soybeans and meat, and allocating this amount for infrastructure, education, and health care, you could drastically change the whole nation in an instant.