Paraguay leader vows to boost investment climate for Japanese firms


Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes agreed Wednesday to improve the investment climate in the South American country in an effort to attract more Japanese firms.

“Japanese companies have created jobs for our young people,” Cartes said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following summit talks in Tokyo. “We’ve also received cooperation from Japan for a wide range of development projects.”

Meanwhile, Abe pledged that Japan will provide about ¥1.8 billion in aid to Paraguay for the development of water facilities.

He also said he hoped that more Japanese companies would enter the Paraguayan market and that bilateral economic relations will continue to expand.

A total of 10 Japanese companies have established operations in Paraguay since 2011, according to Japanese government data.

Paraguay, often seen as the most pro-Japan country in South America, saw its economy grow by 13.6 percent last year.

In a joint statement issued at the end of their meeting, Abe and Cartes said they “shared the view that any unilateral attempt to claim territorial and maritime claims by force or coercion is unacceptable,” in an apparent reference to territorial disputes with China in the Asia-Pacific region.

On North Korea, Abe and Cartes said they shared concerns about Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development, and for the need to resolve the issue of past abductions of foreign nationals.