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LatinNews Daily - 17 July 2019

In brief: Paraguay economy "needs higher govt integrity"

* Paraguay needs a more dynamic economy and increased political stability in order to improve its economic freedom, is the conclusion of a conference organised by the US think-tank Heritage Foundation with the support of Paraguay’s central bank (BCP). According to the Heritage Foundation’s recently released Economic Freedom Index, Paraguay ranks 85th in the world for economic freedom (out of 180 countries), with a total score of 61.8 out of 100 (a 0.3-point fall compared with last year’s score). Paraguay ranks 18th out of 32 countries regionally, and second out of the four Southern Common Market (Mercosur) countries, scoring higher than both Argentina and Brazil. A low tax burden, high trade freedom, and overall fiscal health are some of Paraguay’s economic strongpoints while weak points include poor government integrity, a weak regulatory framework which provides little support for new business, and a rigid labour market submitted to outdated regulation.