December 28th, 2011
One of the books that we were required to read over the duration of our course was called “Doing Business in the New Latin America: Key to Profits in America’s Next-Door Markets” by Thomas H. Becker. I thought it was a really fascinating book to be quite honest. Here were some of the notes that I took.
· “The economic and social transformations occurring in Latin America are tailor-made to respond to the competencies at which U.S. small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) excel.” Pg. 1
· Don’t refer to yourself as “American” because you will typically get the response back “so am I.” You should say that you are from the United States to be politically correct and not offend potential colleagues.
· The term Latin is typically just used to refer to Spanish and Portuguese speaking peoples of the Americas.
· A lot of the images of cocaine trafficking and prostitution (the stereotypes we see) were actually driven by the U.S. market
· Chileans (although typically modest) can justifiably boast of having one of the most forward-looking economic policies and management practices, as well as democratic political process, in Latin America.” Pg. 11
· Buenos Aires is the most popular and cosmopolitan city in the Americas.
· Argentina is known for red wines, a wide range of beef, and the tango.
· I thought it was interesting that residents in Chile may speak more German than Spanish. Also, crimes of violence are uncommon and corruption is rare.
· Tattoos are associated with criminals in Chile, so you may want to cover them up. I thought this was interesting because more and more people are getting tattoos every year.
· Studies show that globalization is good for countries and overall the poverty rates have been reduced over the past few years.
· A higher standard of living is obtained in countries that have free trade.
· “If every country produced all and only the products it consumed, waste would be rife. International trade exists because of production efficiencies that are synonymous with conservation.” Pg. 38
· When technology and deregulation reduce the transaction costs for a firm, the size of the firm that would be optimal and profitable also decreases.
· One of the weaknesses in Latin America is the fact that their infrastructure hasn’t grown equally with the population growth.
· It would be a good idea to open a subsidiary instead of a branch in Argentina because if you open a branch, your company is more susceptible to liabilities.
· The U.S. should continue to export medical equipment and devices and mining equipment to Chile.
· Latin Americans are known for being very ethical in business transactions.
· Many businesses in Latin America are family-oriented and run. They have been able to be successful because it is a close group of people working together. They know the business back and forth and look for long-term results. The problem is that many times, decisions can be made on an emotional level because it is hard to separate your emotions out. They also tend to be reactive versus proactive.
· Helping a Latin American partner with capital, technology and improving their management will help you be successful.
· Typically corruption is just seen within the government and its officials. There isn’t as much in the business world.
· Education in Latin America usually ends before they enter secondary school.
· China has been a huge supporter for Latin America because they are giving them a lot of the raw materials and loaning money.
· Personal integrity and trustworthiness are key features they will be looking for when conducting business. It is not important to be cut throat.
· Latin Americans also respect authority, so if you send a young executive to meet with the President of a company, they may take it offensively.
· Latin Americans tend to strive to be excellent at their one position than to look for a promotion.
· *Business school enrollments in Latin America have reached historical records—Yeah yuh!*
· They put relationships first, rules second. They are typically very group oriented as well.
· Latin Americans are known for their “silent language.” Check out their body language to see what they are really saying.
· Latin Americans won’t be rushing to finish a business transaction. What you can put off today and do tomorrow is great.
· Many business transactions will occur over a meal time and the meals can last hours upon hours.
· They use symbolic or emotional gestures and statements to appeal to their audience in advertisements.
· Send someone to conduct business who has the same title as the main person you will be talking with.
· Latin Americans are also very good at bargaining but don’t be afraid. You need to work for what you need!
· Focus on the long term
· Listen to them when they are telling a story, even if it seems to go on and on. A lot of the most important information will come at the end.
The book was very informational. Some of the facts didn’t surprise me but some of them did. I didn’t realize that Latin Americans tend to make more decisions on their emotions than necessarily the proposal. It is important to do your homework beforehand so you don’t get into a sticky situation.
To find the book go to: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Doing+Business+in+the+New+Latin+America%3A+Key+to+Profits+in+America%92s+Next-Door+Markets&x=0&y=0