Monday, March 25, 2019

Paraguay’s Success Story in Chasing Prosperity (Guest Post)

Among the impressive performers in global economic standings the previous year is the South American nation of Paraguay. Its economy has been gaining ground since 2003 and has been steadily generating international interest. This is the reason why a lot of private investment companies have been concentrating their efforts here.

And speaking of global interest in Paraguay, the foreign investing community is quite active in the country. In fact, it is among the most influential sectors that have pushed the country’s prosperity index up the rankings.

This is evident in the 2018 Legatum Prosperity Index, sponsored by the Legatum Foundation, which shows Paraguay’s impressive growth in various criteria such as Economic Quality, Business Environment, Governance, Personal Freedom, Social Capital, Safety & Security, Education, Healthy, and Natural Environment.

Reports reveal that developments from 2008 to 2018 in all those categories were largely spurred by the modernization projects led by the government and supported by foreign investors. Paraguayans are proud of their nation’s performance and are optimistic about the even bigger progress their country can achieve.

A Growing Economy Makes People Happy

The economic rise of Paraguay continues to spawn more positive changes. With a hopeful population, it has become so much easier to gain their cooperation, particularly with economic reforms. The people are open and responsive. Most of them are willing to provide their support for programs designed to make prosperity accessible for every individual.

For example, with healthcare, the government has allocated a huge investment toward nationwide vaccinations and prenatal care programs. The general public has poured out support for it, especially after reports reveal that Paraguay has seen a big difference in mortality rates due to the efficiency of the delivery of healthcare programs.

Complementary studies also show that apart from the 1.5 years added to the people’s life expectancy, citizens report higher happiness levels, too, due to lesser strife in their life in general — something crucial to people’s overall well-being.

Better Educational System Lowers Poverty Rates

Worth directing attention to as well are the improvements in the nation’s educational system. Since the 1990s, new learning facilities have risen in various locations to make education, particularly higher or advanced education, more accessible. From that time, 10 new universities have opened and increased Paraguay’s academic competency.

Education undoubtedly plays a significant role in boosting the country’s workforce. Now that the environment is ideal for rearing “productive dreamers” (these are people who have a vision for the country and proper training from school to turn their dreams into reality either as professionals or entrepreneurs), there are more solid contributors to Paraguay’s emerging economy.

Further fortifying the education sector’s contribution to the economy is how more and more citizens are able to climb to a higher economic level. With higher educational attainment, it is no surprise that coinciding it are lower poverty figures.

Infrastructure Developments Attract More Investors

Progress “seen” never fails to draw in success-oriented entities. 

One of the most important variables that investors consider is the readiness of a location for further development. Paraguay has definitely been putting in the work. The government has directed a generous portion of its resources to create a good foundation for important infrastructure to rise.

Notably, since 2014, there has been continuous work to make Internet connectivity and electricity accessible in remote rural locations. Not only that, but transport networks have also allocated hefty budgets to improving roads and providing not just affordable but also comfortable means of transportation for the public. These transport links ensure citizens have access to a system that will efficiently and safely take them to different parts of the country.

Best of all, government-funded housing for citizens has grown in number and the quality of these low-cost residences has improved as well.

With the government displaying an understanding of its true priorities, foreign investors can only interpret it as a warm invitation to work together in creating more ideal conditions in Paraguay.

The Story is Far From Over

Analysts say Paraguay is moving in the right direction. The government’s reform programs paired with the interest and aid of the global community are pushing the country up the path of success.

However, a lot of work still needs to be done, and there’s still an abundance of issues slowing down the journey. Government corruption and domestic violence are still prevalent, and there are organized crime institutions affecting the results of development initiatives.

But, if Paraguay will learn to address these negative elements more effectively and fully take control, there is no doubt that it could take an even bigger leap toward prosperity and better safeguard the future of its citizens.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

So What's Up 2019?

It has been exactly a month since my last post, time really fly, we are almost at the end of the first quarter of 2019 and so far I have not done any transaction (in terms of investment) since the beginning of the year. I am happy to just keep receiving the occasional traditional kopi treats in the form of minion size of dividends. 

So what have I been busy with recently? 

This year, we plan to completely overhaul the our home (after more than 15 years) and hence been busy liaising with IDs and researching about our new decoration theme. As we expected that it will take a while for us to ding-dong with the selected ID, tentatively we are expecting to get the renovation started in the month of Apr/May 2019. Also, initial assessment seems to take about 6 to 8 weeks for the whole renovation, so, by the time we move in the "revamped" home, it will be around Jun/Jul 2019 (hopefully before the lunar 7th month :-). It also means that we need to source for some short-term accommodation during this period and it is still in progress. 

Also, been busy doing some regular movie review videos (in Mandarin) with a friend from Malaysia.  since I am a movie buff, always get more excited when talking/sharing about movies, but not so much when talk about investing/personal finance (I think I shared before that investing is not my (natural) cup of tea). 

Lastly, I am in the midst of reading a book by James E. Ryan called "Wait, What?". It's a tiny book but quite useful as it try to convince the readers that "good question is as important as good answer!". 

Some of the life essential questions covered in the book are:

"Wait, What?"
"I Wonder...?"
"Couldn't we at least...?"
"How can I help?"
"What truly matters?"

That's all from me today, hope you folks no need to wait for another month to see my next post :-)


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