Doing Business in Chile: Outline

1.  Orientation: Small-Town Life at Earth End
    •    Chile is world’s longest country and has a wide variety of climate and terrain
    •    It has a small, geographically-isolated population
    •    Chileans are primarily of European descent
    •    Bear in mind opposite season and Santiago’s poor air quality

2.  History: Colonialist to Communists; Dictators to Entrepreneurs
    •    Weak Spanish rule led to a tradition fo independent thought
    •    Independence in the 1800s was followed by instability and military conflict
    •    The 20th century saw a redistribution fo wealth and power, culminating in the election of a socialist government
    •    The economy prospered while humans rights suffered under Pinochet during the 1970s and 80s.
2. Economy: Rising Star of South America
    •    It a model economy with strong growth and stability
    •    Key industries include copper mining, agriculture, wines, and sea food
    •    Chile is a leader in free market policies, both domestically and in foreign trade
    •    Its dependence on exports make trade policy a sensitive subject

4.  Etiquette: Politeness, please
    •    Business in Chile id forma; dress well and mind your manners
    •    Be patient if meetings start late or business is delayed
    •    Be familiar with proper greetings
    •    Be aware of the proper use of names
    •    Note that bribery and certain hand gestures are offensive

5.  Business Relationships: Guard Your Reputation
    •    It is vital to protect your reputation in this tightly knit business community
    •    Third party introductions are usually the best way to make initial contacts
    •    Building relationships in Chile will take time and frequent visits
    •    Be personable, warm, and honest with your Chilean partners
    •    Casual conversation, dinging, and givts are good way to build relationships

6.  Communicating: More than Words
    •    Knowledge of Spanish will boost your effectiveness
    •    Communication is diplomatic and based on context as well as content
    •    Chileans place great importance on their families and on nation-building
    •    Women should be patient with differences in this relatively progressive culture

7.  Negotiating: Honest and Straight-forward
    •    Chileans are less prone to bargaining than their Latin neighbors
    •    Decisions are made at the top, so it is essential to reach the decision maker
    •    Make a sales pitch with enthusiasm but avoid the hard sell
    •    Be honest and open and be sure to honor verbal agreements

8.  Management: Lonely at the Top
    •    Chile has one of the best trained work forces in Latin America
    •    Creating a family-like bond can motivate employees and build loyalty
    •    Management is top -down with authority concentrated at high levels
    •    Delegating and feedback regards sensitivity to price and fear of failure