The trip to Santiago, which took place from 1 to 4 December, was organized by the University of Chile's Institute of International Studies, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Officials from Paraguay spent a week visiting counterparts in Chile as part of an UNCTAD project to assist developing countries in making their economies and trade more resilient to external shocks, particularly by developing their services sectors.
The project is entitled "Addressing the impact and implications of the global financial and economic crisis on developing countries through support to services sector development". The study tour forms part of UNCTAD's ongoing Services Policy Review of Paraguay, and aims to help Paraguayan officials review options for implementing the ultimate findings and recommendations of the review.
The review offers recommendations for improving Paraguay's services in the areas of finance, telecommunications, education, and construction and related professional services. The aim is to maximize development gains from supply and trade in these services.
The tour combined theoretical knowledge with the sharing of experiences between visiting Paraguayan officials, Chilean government officials in charge of services policymaking and services negotiations, members of the private sector, academics, and representatives of ECLAC.
Participating Chilean officials included representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PROCHILE, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Economy and the telecommunications regulatory agency.