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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Brazil & Southern Cone - 13 May 2019

In brief: Paraguay

* Paraguay’s President Mario Abdo Benítez has met with his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro in Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil), on the border between the two countries, to lay the first stone for the construction of a new bridge which will connect Foz do Iguaçu with Presidente Franco in Paraguay. The construction of a second bridge linking the two countries, which has been under discussion for over 30 years, was agreed upon last year. The bridge, to be built over 36 months at an estimated cost of US$83.9m, will be funded by the Brazilian side of the bi-national hydroelectric company Itaipú Binacional. The Paraguayan government expects to invest a further US$150m into complementary work to expand infrastructure on its side of the border. Paraguay has highlighted the importance of this second bridge for the economy of its border area, expecting it to generate a total of 1,000 direct and indirect jobs for the population of Presidente Franco.