ASUNCION – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed on Sunday several cooperation agreements for economic and social development with Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benitez on his first official visit to Paraguay.
Abe and Abdo Benitez held a private 20-minute meeting, which was later joined by other members of both parties to advance these agreements, focusing on a non-reimbursable grant of $4.46 million from the Japanese government for the implementation of an economic and social development program.
In addition, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has provided $24 million to purchase a dredger ship for the Paraguay River.
After the meeting, the two leaders read a declaration in which they expressed their mutual gratitude for the visit and for the rapprochement of relations which began almost a century ago.
Abe said during his speech that in recent years there has been an increase in trade and investment relations between both countries and he hopes this will continue.
The Japanese Prime Minister was also in favor of advancing a bilateral investment protection treaty.
Abdo Benitez insisted on his interest to renew those historical ties that unite Paraguay and Japan, which were celebrated on Sunday with the signing of the agreements, which “are part of a long history of Japan’s cooperation with Paraguay.”
He also highlighted Paraguay’s competitive advantage as an attraction for Japanese investors who want to settle in both the country and the region.
The Paraguayan president said that he hopes Paraguay and Japan will continue to increase their trade relations. He also highlighted the work of Japanese immigrants in Paraguay who contributed to the development of the country, a comment to which Abe responded gratefully.
The Japanese prime minister also recalled that next year both countries will celebrate 100 years of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.