Paraguay-Taiwan commercial relations deepen as ties come under election pressure

Paraguayan President Abdo Benitez reaffirmed Taiwan’s importance as a partner and emphasized Tapei’s continued healthcare, education, and economic support during a visit to Taipei. The visit comes shortly before an election that pits pro and anti-Taiwanese parties against each other in one of the 14 remaining countries with formal diplomatic relations with the self-ruling island. 

Paraguay’s Taiwan ties have been under growing pressure from Beijing and the country’s own agricultural industry, which sees the relationship as an obstacle to accessing Chinese markets. Benítez’s delegation celebrated the arrival of the first pork shipment to Taiwan after President Tsai Ing-wen’s government increased exports to try and keep Asunción as an ally.

While Paraguayan producers are reportedly excited about access to a market that pays a premium compared to other markets, it is unlikely that Taiwan can match the volume of exports that mainland China could.

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