Economy of Ciudad del Este

CDE was, according to Forbes, the third commercial city in the world between 1990 and 2002. The city is the headquarters of the company that operates the nearby Itaipu Dam. The city's economy (and Paraguay's economy as well) relies heavily on the mood of the Brazilian economy, as 95% of Paraguay's share of the energy generated by the Itaipu Dam is sold to Brazil (for US$300 million), and that every day many Brazilians cross the border to buy less expensive products (US$1.2 billion, mostly electronics). Smuggling is a major occupation in the city, with some estimates putting the value of this black market at five times the national economy. Although some people and countries state that there are terrorist organizations in the area, no evidence of this has been found