Like most Latin American countries, the same business etiquette in Argentina applies to it´s neighbors. Things like time flexibility, and developing close relationships before doing business can be applied across many Latin American countries. However, there are unique traits that make Argentina different from other Latin American countries which is due to its highly influenced European history. Unlike the rest of Latin America, 85% of Argentina’s population comes from Italy, Austria, France, Germany and Great Britain amongst other EU countries. As a result, much of their culture and manners resemble the culture of varying parts of Europe. Keeping business etiquette in mind, Argentina is an up-and-coming country, with many business and investment opportunities available for both locals and foreigners.
Argentinian Business Etiquette
Here are a few rules to keep in mind in order to execute proper business etiquette in Argentina and to ensure successful negotiations and business partnerships.
1. Before sitting down to negotiate, be prepared to engage in small talk. Subjects can include soccer, the opera, family and current events. To start off on the right foot, avoid mentioning the Perón years and the Falkland Islands.
2. Although Argentinians are tough negotiators, establishing good relationships beforehand can ease the negotiation process. Don’t be afraid to go out for lunch/dinner and attend family events to gain their trust and respect.
3. Argentina can be hierarchical and bureaucratic. It is important to have a good local contact to help you navigate the landscape and make the right connections.
4. When doing business, keep in mind that everything is negotiable. Be sure to remember that nothing is final until the contract is signed.
5. Lunch/dinner with business partners should serve as a way to socialize in order to improve your business relations. No actual business is held over the table.
6. Table manners are very important. Hands should always be kept on the table, not on your lap. If you order a bottle of wine, avoid pouring it yourself.
7. Argentinians are very fashion orientated and thus it is important to dress well. Women shouldn’t be scared to break away from the traditional dress suits and are expected to dress with style. Argentine men readily give out compliments and a woman should not take offense.