Nicaragua – relax and do business
Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, and borders Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. The population of Nicaragua, approximately 6 million, is multi-ethnic and speaks many native languages but the main language is Spanish.
On the Pacific side are two large fresh water lakes; surrounding these lakes are fertile lowland plains, with soil enriched by ash rom nearbyy volcanoes. One particular volcano dominates the capital city, Managua, skyline: Momotombo is an active volcano and its gases have been harnessed by a geothermal power station which generates one-fifth of Nicaragua’s electricity.
The biological diversity, warm tropical climate, and active volcanoes make Nicaragua an increasingly popular tourist destination. The growth in tourism has positively affected the agricultural, commercial, and finance industries, as well as the construction industry.
Primarily an agricultural country, Nicaragua grows coffee, cotton, bananas, sugarcane, and cassava. Restrictions are being placed on lumbering due to increased environmental concerns about destruction of the rain forests. But lumbering continues and a single hardwood tree may be worth thousands of dollars.
The national government has tried to promote gender equality. All public departments now have targets to ensure a 50:50 ratio of male and female employees. The strength of women in Nicaragua can be seen in the influence they have in the country’s society and politics, most notably the election in 1990 of Violeta Chamorro, the first elected female head of state elected in the Americas.
Nicaragua has an informal business culture. Schedule plenty of time at the end of the meeting – rushing off to another appointment is viewed as discourteous. Present your business card when you are introduced since foreign names are more easily understood if they are written down.
Eye contact is encouraged. Being physically relaxed and capable of respectful body contact is a must for the successful business person in Nicaragua. Difficulty with this is readily detected and instils a sense of wariness and doubt.
Share your Nicaraguan business experiences
Sources: Wikipedia, bbc.co.uk, onken.com
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