According to latest forecasts, today’s emerging economies (meaning those rapidly growing economies of developing nations) are likely to account for nearly 60% of world GDP by 2030. This represents the equivalent of a whopping US$15.5 trillion.
But rather than viewing this predicted shift in economic power as a negative, why not seek to take advantage of the incredible investment and sales opportunities on offer?
And there is perhaps no place more appealing to expand your business than Latin America. Over the last 10 years, many of the region’s 33 countries have begun to establish themselves as exciting, up-and-coming business hubs that are enthusiastically welcoming international companies to their shores.
Approaching Latin America
It’s important to give a word of caution: Latin America should not be viewed as one homogeneous region. It’s crucial to remember to approach the various countries in Latin America as separate entities, each with their own customs, values and style of business.
If you have your heart set on doing business in a particular Latin American country, it’s imperative that you conduct thorough research into the specific cultural, social and business etiquette of that place.
Nevertheless, it’s true that Latin American countries share many similarities, the most prominent being a linguistic one– the region is dominated by Romance languages, with Portuguese and Spanish being the most widely spoken.
So, why should you be paying attention to Latin America and why now?
1. It’s a hub for international start-ups
The colossal economic growth in Latin America has led to it establishing itself as a hub for international startups, with multimillion dollar investment stories from the U.S. hitting the international news on a daily basis.
Ever since Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator 500 Startups launched its Mexico-based program in 2011, a tech boom was sparked in the region that has continued ever since. Fintech (Financial Technologies) in particular is now one of Latin America’s hottest industries.
2. More export and sales opportunities
With an emerging middle-class of Latin American consumers, there are plenty of new e-commerce and retail opportunities for small businesses, as well as infrastructure demands to take advantage of, says Export Development Canada.
Indeed, many countries in Latin America are part of the incredible growth trend of “outperformers”, with economies growing at multiple times the global average over a sustained period of time.
Gabriela Castro-Fontoura, director of Sunny Sky Solutions, a Uruguayan consultancy that supports UK companies across the region, advises exporters to consider the market potential of each Latin American country carefully.
“If you sell agritech products for temperate climates, you need to go for countries like Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. If you sell products for tropical agriculture, you need to think of other countries. The same happens in mining and other specific industries,” she says.
3. Modern reforms = Less Bureaucracy
The World Bank Group has estimated that Latin American economies carried out approximately 25 reforms during 2018 with the aim of improving the “the ease of doing business for domestic small and medium enterprises.”
Santiago Croci Downes, Program Manager of the Doing Business Unit (a branch of the World Bank Group, is encouraged by this. “Continued and sustained progress is key to improving the domestic business climate and enabling private enterprise,” she notes.
Brazil, for example, prioritised making it easier and quicker to start a business in the country and introduced a brand new online system for company registration, licensing and employment notifications.
Countries like Argentina, Bolivia and Guatemala have also worked to streamline their business registration processes.
These reforms show that Latin America wants to do away with the red tape that has previously discouraged international trade and business, proving that the region is well and truly open for business.
How Wolfestone can help
- Need a document translated? Our account managers can advise you on the varieties of Spanish and Portuguese dialects and will help you to choose your right target audience and make sure that your translation is ready for to capitalise on the economic growth in Latin America.
- Have an overseas Skype meeting? We can provide instant, on-demand access to a native Spanish or Portuguese-speaking language interpreter with expertise in your field.
- Want to expand your online reach to Latin America? We have a strong team of website translators, with a background and experience in marketing, to ensure maximum impact and results.
Article written by Sofia Lewis, Wolfestone contributor