Business Practices in Argentina
- The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
The Argentines have a real business culture.
Because of the perpetual economic disturbances which rock Argentina, they often have a short or medium term view of business. Returns on investment must be immediate.
Loans being inexistent or granted at very high rates of interest, local businessmen invest their own funds. So they do not have the same latitude as in Europe or the United States.
As they are always looking for new openings or new opportunities, they are often very available and welcome foreign businessmen easily.
- First Contact
- Take an appointment at least two weeks ahead of time and do not hesitate to confirm again 3 days before. Avoid January and February which are periods when people often take their holidays.
Shake hands with the person you are meeting and greet her/him by name putting Mrs or Mr before it.
Ladies, do not take offence if the person you are meeting comes to kiss you on the cheek. It is very common in Argentina.
- How to Present Yourself
As far as possible, try to slip a few words of Spanish into the conversation at the beginning of the meeting. You will very soon be invited to use another language but your contact will be pleased to see that you have at least made an effort!
Begin by introducing yourself, then give your first name and the name of your company. Generally, surnames are not used very much and people quickly call each other by their first name and use the familiar "tu" form of address.
- Business Relations
- The Argentines are usually very friendly and like to know that people feel good in their country. Do not hesitate to compliment the wine, meat, etc. Expect to talk about football, or to have to answer questions like: "Why did you choose Argentina?", "Have you been made welcome?", "Do you like the country?". Argentinian are most proud of their country. It is relatively easy to develop strong and durable links with them.
- In business, exchanging gifts is rare.
- Business Communication
Be patient as negotiations can take a long time and you may have to wait for decisions to be made.
Avoid confrontations or pressure tactics, but do not hesitate to debate and defend your point of view. A very precise written contract will make the agreement official.
- Dress Code
It is difficult to be specific as it really depends on the type of activity. Apart from finance and investment bank sectors where suit and tie are expected, there is no dress code and the person you are meeting will not be shocked to see you arrive in trousers and a shirt, especially in summer when the climate can be stifling.
Discreet and stylish, rather conservative for the first meeting, then adapted according to the appointment. Men wear classic, dark suits and women wear plain suits.
- Visiting Cards
- They are exchanged at the beginning of the first meeting. It is usual to read the information on the card to ensure there is no doubt.
- For Further Information
Iberglobal, export assistance in Argentina, (in Spanish)
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