Chile: stable and prosperous!
Chile is one of the leading Latin American nations in human development, competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. Chileans are very nationalistic and are proud of their country, as well as of their literacy – the 95% rate puts them among the best educated in the world.
The official language in Chile is Spanish and business is conducted entirely in Spanish. Chilean Spanish is very different from the Spanish spoken in Spain in both pronunciation and word use. Many business people have basic knowledge of English but Spanish language skills are an advantage. If you do not have a proficient knowledge of Spanish it is wise to have an interpreter present.
Note that negotiations can be quite lengthy although the pace of negotiations will be slightly faster than in other South American countries. This is often due to the lower degree of bureaucracy.
Chileans do not hesitate to interrupt, argue or criticise if they feel it is needed. Arguments and debates are generally considered constructive ways of bringing about new ideas. Show interest in and talk about family, especially children. Do not talk about politics or human rights, especially as a foreigner, unless your host initiates the discussion.
Don’t schedule Chile for business in the months of January and February as most people go on holiday during this time.
Have you done business in Chile? Please share the Do’s and Dont’s.