Baker & McKenzie Partner David Malliband led a panel discussion this afternoon at Doing Business Globally in Chicago on doing business in Latin America, featuring Firm practitioners from around the world including J. Roberto Martins* from Sao Paulo, Erik Gutierrez-Zuniga from Mexico City, and Jaime Trujillo from Bogota.
Here are key takeaways from discussions on doing business in Colombia and Mexico:
- Choose a local partner on the basis of cultural fit as well as reputation.
- Do not believe that doing business in Colombia is as easy as it seems.
- Do not underestimate local competition for deals. There are several formidable, world-class companies with deep pockets or access to acquisition financing.
- When doing business in Mexico, note that personal relationships are as important as business. Get to know your business partner.
- Expect a more relaxed and flexible attitude toward time.
- Commitments and agreements must be in writing and signed, people sometimes forget the details.
* In cooperation with Trench, Rossi e Watanabe, a Brazilian law firm.