Paraguay is ranked 103 out of 185 economies in Doing Business 2013, recording a decline of 3 points. This decline reflects a drop of 11 points in the Paying Taxes indicator.
According to the latest Enterprise Surveys (2010), the top 3 obstacles to firm investment in Paraguay include Practices of the Informal Sector, an Inadequately Educated Workforce, and Corruption. 75.3% of firms reported competing against unregistered or informal firms, compared to 62.3% for the region. Of the firms surveyed, 17.5% expected to pay informal payment to public officials to "get things done", which is much higher than the regional average of 10.9%.
Paraguay’s economic freedom score is 61.8, making its economy the 79th freest in the 2012 Index. Its score is 0.5 point worse than last year, reflecting modest declines in fiscal, business, and trade freedom and the control of government spending. Paraguay is ranked 15th out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is above the world average.
Source: World Bank
Visitors from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA need visas. Others only need a valid passport. Get your visa in advance, either in a neighboring country or at home. Visas may be requested and obtained in the same day at most consulates. You will need two passport photos and two copies of each of: your passport; your entry stamp to Paraguay; your ticket (proof of onward travel); and credit card or traveler’s checks (proof of sufficient funds). The cost is US$45 in cash for single entry or US$65 for multiple entry (30 to 90 days). Be sure to get your passport stamped on entering the country or you may be subject to fines upon leaving.
For information about immigration points (such as Mariscal Estagarribia en route to Bolivia), entrance or exit stamps or visa paperwork, visit the Immigration Office (021-446673, 021-492908; Ayala & Caballero; 7am-1pm Mon-Fri) in Asunción.
General Business Hours
Government offices are open 7am to 1pm or 2pm, without siesta time. Most shops are open weekdays and Saturday from 7am to noon and from 2pm or 3pm until 7pm or 8pm. Banking hours are 7:30am to noon weekdays, but casas de cambio keep longer hours. Restaurants normally open for lunch and dinner (7pm until late) with a break in the afternoon. Cafés keep varying hours and, although not early starters, will be more likely to open for breakfast, coffees and snacks.