Paraguay, a landlocked country northeast of Argentina and southwest of Brazil, has been enjoying an economic growth rate of about 13 percent this year, making it the fastest growing country in the Americas. Agriculture, the largest sector of the economy, has spurred Paraguay's development with a strong harvest of export commodities, particularly soybeans. The country has a very competitive tax structure with one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Latin America, a Value-Added Tax (VAT) of only 10 percent and an operating "maquila" regime which was implemented in 2000 to boost industrial exports.
While Paraguay is seeing remarkable growth, it also continues to face market challenges due to complexities in conducting business, corruption, a large "informal economy," an inefficient judicial system and lax protection of intellectual property rights. But in April 2013, Paraguay elected a new president, Horatio Cartes, who is expected to govern as a business-friendly conservative.
With its rapid economic growth and strong agricultural base, Paraguay is developing as a country of interest for agribusinesses and investors from all parts of the world. Increased interest naturally drives an increased need to travel and due diligence in determining whether — and when — a visa may be required. Visitors from many countries must apply for visas prior to traveling to Paraguay for tourism or business; however, citizens of most countries in Central and South America, the European Union, Mexico, Japan and some other countries may engage in visa-free travel. A list of countries allowing visa-free travel is available on the Paraguay government website.
Citizens of six countries — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and the United States — are required to obtain a visa for tourism or business travel to Paraguay. However, they are now given the option of applying for a visa at a Paraguayan consulate before departure or obtaining it "on arrival" when they fly into the Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in Asuncion, Paraguay. The visa-on-arrival is available only to citizens of the six listed countries and can only be granted to passengers who fly into the Silvio Pettirossi airport. It will be valid for a maximum duration of 90 days. Individuals applying for visas at consulates may obtain multiple entry visas valid for stays of up to 90 days.