Honduras – relaxed business culture
Honduras is a republic in Central America, bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The country was home to several important Mesoamerican cultures, most
notably the Maya, prior to being conquered by Spain in the 16th century. Honduras became independent in 1821 and has since been a republic but has endured much social strife and political unrest and remains one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere.
Honduras has a population of around 8 million and the capital is Tegucigalpa. The country is known for its rich natural resources, including various minerals. The economy was dominated until the mid-20th century by foreign-owned banana companies which wielded disproportionate influence in politics and controlled vast tracts of land. Still a major exporter of bananas, Honduras is also the region’s second biggest coffee producer and has developed its textiles industry as part of a regional free trade deal with the US, in an effort to decrease its dependence on agriculture. Other exports are shellfish, meat, timber, gold and other minerals.
The economy has continued to grow slowly, but 50% of the population remains below the poverty line. The country has a youthful population; 50% of Hondurans are under the age of 19. Thousands of Hondurans leave the country each year, most of them for the US. The money sent home by the overseas workers is an important source of income for many families.
Business culture is relaxed in Honduras. Although you should plan to show up early for your business meeting, you may have to wait. The strongest personalities and business people with the highest authority tend to take over the conversation during meetings and will be the ones to make final decisions in the sales process. Hondurans expect negotiations to remain friendly, however, and don’t appreciate a hard sell or pressure tactics. They place a very high value on relationship building and avoid confrontations and conflicts. While negotiations may conclude with a handshake, a formal written contract is necessary as well.
Share your Honduran business experiences
Sources: Wikipedia, work.chron.com, everydaylife.globalpost.com
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