Latin America, an uncertain chance of growing
13 junio, 2014
My interview is to Jorge Heras a person which I think can give us a good view of the actual Latin America and the changes of through the years he has been living there, he has been living in Latin America for fifteen years, based on Buenos Aires, Argentine, but traveling during those years all over Latin America. He was hired in Spain to establish a British company in Latin America to launch a project in the technology area from a British firm, Achilles, this firm had been expanded through Europe in Spain, Portugal, Norway, France and Germany and they were looking for a person to establish the business in Latin America so he was the first employ from Latin America and the person in charge. Nowadays he is in charge of Latin America and Southern Europe.
After this I asked him about the way of living, the differences that he has mostly notice from living in a western country as Spain to a Latin American country as Argentine, to this he answer me that:
The differences of the income pyramid, if you are so lucky to be in the top of the pyramid your standard of living is much better than in Europe and that if you don’t have that professional position which is allowing you to live in the top when you are in the middle income level the conditions of living and the way of living is much more positive in Europe than in Latin America. This is to say that the public-social services (as the public hospitals, unemployment salaries, etc…) is much worst in Latina America than in a country as Spain, but if you can pay private insurances, in Argentine the private insurances are as good as in Western countries.
I asked him to give me the difference between a Latin America and a Western country after this he told me that in Europe we tend to believe that the efficiency of workers in Latin America is much lower or are less productive than European citizens, he said that, that wasn’t his perception even if it is a general believe he affirms is completely fake, that it depends on the people that you are talking about and also it depends in the country. He showed me how it is way different, the way the continents are organized, in Europe we all are under one currency and we have shorts distance between countries, in Latin America the distance are as big as going from Europe to Latin America and they are under different currencies and each country has different ways of behaving, there is a huge diversity, his understanding is always the people not the country but of course the country intervenes.
After this I asked him to give advantages in Latin America and as he said due to the nature of those countries there is a lot to do, for companies growing, you have much more opportunities to grow in Latin America than in a well-developed economy like in Europe in which we are almost flat in growth rates or even decreasing, in Latin America the growth is much more aggressive and the possibility to expand your business he believe is higher because he has go through that. He also gave me some disadvantages as that in Latin America there are several countries with different legislations, even they do have some kind of trade agreements the application of those trade agreements is very complex, so is complex for us Europeans that have one legislation that can be applied to any country in Europe moving to that environment where you have several different legislations and currencies, also the culture is extremely important for to remember that we are not better than Latin Americans for been Europeans we are only different, if we go there with the European mentality you will have for sure a big probability of having problems and not been successful.
After this we spoke about the economic crisis that hit Europe so hard, that not much people know that this crisis didn’t reached Latin America until 2010-2011 (three years later than in Europe) and that the deepness or the gravity of the crisis it was not even similar to the one in Europe, never the less he would say even the impact of the economic crisis has been slightly inferior in Latin America, there are several countries that are hit very hard by the economic crisis not because internal problems but because of the connections to the world, for example in Chile, this country produces copper that is bought by china but if china doesn’t need to produce because Europe doesn’t consume the copper price gets low and Chile gets in crisis the mining industry and specifically the copper price.
As the last question I asked him if there is any Latin American country that can be between the first big powers, to this he told that twenty five years ago Mexico and Brazil were going to be first big powers and they didn’t make it, and they went through 25 years and they still are very big promises but they are still not able to achieve an economic situation that makes them be between the first big powers. He answered me that the problem is that they don’t have a very solid middle class, which is one of the main characteristics of the first big powers. But he would love to see them between the first power economies but he is afraid this is going to be the never ending promise.
As conclusion Latin America has too much differences from Europe in Many topics it has to solve as the unsolid middle class and that they are not as united as in Europe. We the European citizens need to know that Latin America offers an extremely good place for companies growing and that it is a completely different way of doing business.
the inteview was really usefull for me to understand the topic I was really thankful for the interview.
By: Alberto Calomarde