Paraguay’s landlocked location in the heart of South America, and at the confluence of the Paraguay and Parana Rivers, places the country at an advantageous position along many of the continent’s principal trade routes. The Paraguay and Parana Rivers jointly form a 3,302-kilometer waterway system connecting Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It is a major transportation route between the continent’s interior and the Atlantic Ocean through the Rio de la Plata, and carries nearly 80 percent of Paraguay’s trade. At present, the movement of goods on the waterway includes manufactured products, grains, oilseeds, oils and by-products, ore, minerals, steel, and petroleum. However, Paraguay needs significant infrastructure investments to improve its portion of the waterway and better leverage its strategic location.
Sub-Sector Best Prospects
River engineering projects would create multiple opportunities for U.S. firms. There could be significant potential for engineering and project management services, dredges, river gauges and flood monitoring equipment, navigation aids, and construction equipment and materials.
As crop production increases, private river ports are multiplying rapidly. This is especially noticeable in the area of Villeta, 30 km south of Asuncion. Its strategic location, along with Paraguay’s low cost of labor, is transforming this city into a booming industrial center with several river ports recently constructed. This sort of increased need for port infrastructure creates a potential opportunity for U.S. exporters.
The Government of Paraguay considers the improvement of the country’s waterway infrastructure a top priority. Improvement projects along the Paraguay-Parana waterway could include multiple sub-projects, such as deepening river beds, dredging, constructing ports, improving navigability and safety, and increasing capacity in terms of vessels, maintenance and services. These tenders are advertised on the Ministry of Public Work’s website and the government’s public contracting office (DNCP) website. In addition, unsolicited bids for river infrastructure projects under Paraguay’s Public-Private Partnership model are welcome by the Ministry of Public works.
Paraguayan Ministry of Public Works
National Directorate for Public Contracts