by: Grow VC Group
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By TradeUp Guest Author Albert Costilo, Founder and CEO of Global Business Fluency.

Why should US companies consider expanding to Latin America?

The short answer is that it’s a huge opportunity for growth and profit. As per the US Department of Commerce more than one-half of the US’s Free Trade Agreements—also known as FTAs—are with the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. We’re talking about countries like Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru. The International Monetary Fund forecasts a growth rate of 4.5 percent for these countries in 2014. These nations share a common language and similar business cultures. They have rapidly growing middle classes with a taste for US products and services. Each of the FTA countries have made commitments to open markets with the US. So far this year, US trade with Latin America is up 5.7 percent from 2013. The real question is “what are we all waiting for?”

What do US companies entering in this part of the world need to know well in advance of entering to be successful?

Business in Latin America revolves around people before transactions. It is important to make a time investments getting to know strategic industry and business leaders in addition to business partners and customers.
Trust, or confianza, is critical and this is gained through building relationships. Confianza acts as a cement that reinforces the relationship between a US supplier to a Latin American customer and business partner.

How time is perceived creates the biggest divides for American companies doing business in the region. Time in Latin America is cyclical and unpredictable. Punctuality is not valued as it is in the US. Plan ahead for delays. Patience and not showing frustration is key when things run off schedule as they will despite the best of intentions.

Social status, power, and money play a big role in doing business. It is important to be open minded, learn how to capitalize on the nuances of hierarchical business environments.

What are the biggest mistakes a US companies make when entering Latin America?

Read the whole article on TradeUp Blog.

Latin America (source: Wikipedia).


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Grow VC Group The Grow VC Group is the world leading, global pioneer of securities crowd funding, peer to peer marketplaces, new investment models and global business development. Established in 2009, the Group has developed new investment models on six continents and continues to innovate the global market.

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