The new President of Paraguay Santiago Peña says he intends to turn Paraguay into the center of Latin-American integration.
The 44-year-old economist Santiago Peña took over as the new President of Paraguay from Horacio Cartés, who is also his mentor and under whom he served as finance minister.
He urged the Paraguayans to overcome divisions to build a better nation.
He is expected to take many key decisions, in view of turning down the offer of the European Union donation in exchange for adding gender studies to school curricula he said,” his country will always negotiate without compromising its sovereignty, its territory, its values, or its culture.”
“Our foreign policy is based on respect for national interests, effective diplomacy, the promotion of trade and investment, national security, and the promotion of our values and interests,” added Peña.
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During his five-year tenure, he seeks to build a more prosperous and committed Paraguay, emphasizing the importance of sovereignty in trade agreements and pledging to improve the quality of life of citizens.
Amidst the challenges of revitalizing the economy, strengthening regional integration, and fighting corruption Pena promised business-friendly policies focused on job creation and low taxes to attract foreign investment to help the country recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and a drought that last year more than halved the soybean harvest.
His swearing-in ceremony was attended by Presidents Alberto Fernández (Argentina); Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Brazil); Luis Lacalle Pou (Uruguay); Luis Arce Catacora (Bolivia), and Gabriel Boric Font (Chile).
He noted that Paraguay was becoming the logistic center of the South American Bi-oceanic road corridor strengthening integration with neighboring countries and Pacific markets.
The President insisted this trade corridor would boost Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance, promoting greater rapprochement between the two blocs. He also said that the region faces other strategic challenges that cannot be ignored and require a regional approach.
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He faces the critical challenges of fighting corruption and poverty. In Paraguay, 25 % of the total population is hit by poverty.
“Patience and tolerance are running out in the face of the weariness of the citizens who see their leaders fighting while there is a lack of supplies in the schools, medicines in the hospitals, and security in the streets,” he added further.
As for his domestic policies, Peña pledged to engage in the modernization of educational management, identifying priorities and urgencies and allocating the necessary resources promptly.