A naturally occurring sweetener low in carbohydrates and sugar has long been used by Paraguayans. But for years, the stevia plant has been a banned substance in Europe and the United States. Following 2008's FDA approval, at the end of this year the European Commission is expected to declare stevia harmless to health, opening Paraguay's doors to a host of new foreign investment opportunities.
Ferrere Abogados' office in Paraguay has assisted the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in granting a one-year US$25 million loan facility to Paraguayan agronomic services company Agrofértil.
Paraguay's Banco Continental has secured a US$35 million loan to provide financing to small and medium sized companies (SMEs) that are experiencing difficulties in accessing credit.