Paraguay – Tranquillity in the Heart of America
Paraguay is a landlocked country in central South America, bordered by Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the centre of the country from north to south. Due to its central location in South America, it is sometimes referred to as Corazón de América (“Heart of America”).
Agriculture and stockbreeding make up the main economic activities. Meatpacking, sugar processing, textile and wood-products manufacturing, and the production of steel and consumer goods are the main industries.
Paraguay has minimal road and rail systems, and river transportation is the primary means of moving goods. The Itaipú Dam on the Paraná River, completed in 1991, is one of the world’s largest, and the electricity it generates is economically vital to Paraguay as a source of export income and nearly all the nation’s electricity.
Paraguayans are traditional, conservative people who strive for tranquillity (tranquilidad). They may be late for business appointments, but visitors are expected to be punctual. Connections are more important than expertise, and personal relationships are more important than business relationships. Take time to make “small talk” with colleagues before the meeting begins.
Negotiating and decision-making will probably proceed slowly. Face-to-face communication is vital to doing business in Paraguay. Hire a local contact to represent you in the Paraguayan business community and send the same company representative to negotiate deals as a new person will need to start from scratch.
An 8:00 pm social engagement could begin at 9:00 or 9:30 pm and dinner is usually served around 10:00 pm. Lunch is the main meal of the day. Businesspeople and schoolchildren go home at noon to have lunch with their family which may be followed by an hour-long nap before everyone returns to work and school.
Machismo is strong, but women are respected and men will go out of their way to avoid confronting or offending a woman.
Share your Paraguayan business experiences
Sources Wikipedia, FactMonster, Paraguay.com
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