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Paraguay president: I'll sell cigarette factory

Friday - 8/16/2013, 1:43pm  ET

Paraguay's new President Horacio Cartes waves to the crowd while attending a military parade after he took office in Asuncion, Paraguay, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. Cartes, 57, is a multimillionaire who built a family fortune by dominating industries from banking to tobacco to soft drinks to soccer. (AP Photo/Cesar Olmedo)

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) -- Paraguay's new President Horacio Cartes says he's willing to sell off his cigarette-making business that has often drawn criticism from foreign governments worried about contraband.

At a news conference on his first full day on the job, Cartes said that "if someone's paying, they can take my cigarette factory."

Cartes denies any responsibility for sales of contraband cigarettes in Brazil, saying that's a "currency trading problem" due to exchange rates.

He says Paraguay is open to foreign investors and will respect private property.


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