ASUNCION – Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes was on hand Saturday for the inauguration of Expo Feria 2017, the largest annual livestock fair in this South American nation that is the world’s sixth-largest beef exporter.
Held in the Asuncion suburb of Mariano Roque Alonso, the event brings together some 2,000 head of livestock, more than a dozen breeders associations and around a thousand exhibitors.
Accompanying Cartes to the opening were the ministers of Industry and Trade, Gustavo Leite, and Agriculture, Juan Carlos Baruja.
Leite told reporters that Paraguay’s livestock industry has grown 30 percent since the current administration took office in 2013.
A million people are expected to visit Expo Feria 2017 between now and July 23.
Nearly $300 million in deals were concluded during the 2016 edition of the fair, according to organizers.
Paraguay has set a goal of becoming the No. 5 global beef exporter by 2020, relying on a strategy of finding new markets.
During a visit earlier this week to Taiwan, Cartes signed a pact that will give 54 categories of Paraguayan beef products tariff-free entry to the Asian island nation.