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Claudio Ramirez, Canadian Trade Commissioner for Colombia, Discusses Trade Relations and Business Opportunities

Claudio Ramirez, Canadian Trade Commissioner for Colombia, Discusses Trade Relations and Business Opportunities

Claudio Ramirez shares his perspective on the nature of the Canada-Colombia relationship and his team's success in promoting Canada as an important partner for Colombia. Find out about the current trade relationship and business potential between Canada and Colombia from Canada's Trade Commissioner to Colombia, Claudio Ramirez. Biz Latin Hub’s Chelsea Heywood had the pleasure of connecting with Claudio to gain his insights on the bilateral trade relationship, and what Colombia can offer Canadian businesses expanding into Latin America. Claudio also shares his perspectives on the future of the relationship between these two countries and the Trade Commission's success in promoting Canada as an important partner for Colombia. 1. Could you tell us about your background with Global Affairs Canada, and what led you to take up the role as the Canadian Trade Commissioner in Colombia? I joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 2001, mere weeks after 9/11, which plunged the world into a major crisis: that of global terrorism. At that time, just like in today’s crisis (the Covid-19 pandemic), political leaders were quick to recognize that an economic recovery would require more trade between nations, not less. Back then, some 160 members of the World Trade Organization came to an agreement to launch of the Doha Round, which aimed to lower trade barriers and to reform to trade rules in order to promote economic development.  Thus, from the outset of my career in the Canadian diplomatic corps, I have always been attracted by the profound impact that doing business across borders...

Perceptions on Doing Business in Latin America: Cautious Optimism For Future Growth and Opportunities

Perceptions on Doing Business in Latin America: Cautious Optimism For Future Growth and Opportunities

In June 2020, the Biz Latin Hub team launched a survey asking for information about individuals’ perceptions about doing business in Latin America. In June 2020, the Biz Latin Hub team launched a survey asking for information about individuals’ perceptions about doing business in Latin America. We received a range of responses from 75 business owners, executives, government officials and other specialists operating in over 40 countries worldwide. 57.3% of respondents are considering expanding into the region in the future, with many expressing cautious optimism at economies' abilities to bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out what the key takeaways from our survey indicate about people’s perceptions on doing business in Latin America. Perceptions on doing business in Latin America: who took part? 75 people responded to the Doing Business in Latin America survey. Of our respondents, nearly half (48%) were business owners, operating in Latin America and across other regions of the world, including the United States, Europe, Asia, the South Pacific, and the Middle East. 29 respondents (38.6% overall) were business owners operating in Latin America. Many survey participants were operating across more than one country. Of all respondents, 66 people (88%) noted they were working or operating their business within Latin America, and 39 respondents (52%) were operating outside of the region. A third of all respondents were running or working in a company that operates in 5 or more countries, and 16% of all respondents claimed to be operating across 10 or more...

5 Tips for US Companies Doing Business in Guatemala

5 Tips for US Companies Doing Business in Guatemala

Find out benefits and opportunities for US Companies Doing Business in Guatemala. Guatemala's size and economic potential offers one of the best options for business expansion into Central America. Guatemala is the third-largest country in Central America, with just over 17 million inhabitants. Its main location for commercial activity is Guatemala City. The official currency of Guatemala is the Quetzal, and its strength offers a significant advantage when expanding into the country from abroad. It is important to have the option of diversifying investments and sources of income, and Guatemala offers key advantages to business. As a US company doing business in Guatemala, use these 5 tips to optimize your experience and achieve long term success. Around 70% of the population in the country is under 30 years old and in the last decades, the number of English speakers has increased significantly. 1. Find talented staff Guatemala is rich in cultural history and custom. The country's workforce is well-educated and open to new opportunities. The government holds a positive predisposition to collaborate with foreign businesses. In addition, it is important to take into account that a large proportion of Guatemalan nationals manage a fluent level of English. Around 70% of the population in the country is under 30 years old and in the last decades, the level of people speaking English has increased significantly. When hiring in Guatemala, rest assured in the availability of enthusiastic, qualified staff. Foreign employers who are not familiar with the local employment regulations...

5 Reasons to get an Entity Health Check in Chile

5 Reasons to get an Entity Health Check in Chile

Find out why and when it is a good idea to get an entity health check in Chile. Manage your business risks and protect yourself from potential non-compliance issues by understanding your company’s corporate ‘health’ in the eyes of the government. Chile has well-established and solid legal and compliance frameworks designed to encourage and protect business people in the country.  To foreign executives, corporate compliance in Chile can be difficult to navigate - especially if there is a language barrier with local institutions.  It is a key instrument to ensure your company and the companies you are perhaps interested in acquiring/investing, are fully compliant with local regulations. As with other countries, an entity health check in Chile - also known as a corporate health or corporate compliance check - is one or more audits or due diligence reviews carried out on a legal entity. What is an entity health check in Chile? As with other countries, an entity health check in Chile - also known as a corporate health or corporate compliance check - is one or more audits or due diligence reviews carried out on a legal entity. These reviews aim to understand if that entity is and has been fully compliant with local corporate regulations. These reviews cover various aspects of a company’s activities, including the legal, accountancy, tax, human resources, licenses (administrative or others) operations. What things are covered in an entity health check? Entity health checks in Chile can vary quite a lot in terms of the extension, depth and aspects being audited. In most...

How to Register a Trademark in Belize

How to Register a Trademark in Belize

Registering a trademark in Belize brings many advantages to a business, as it protects the distinctive signs their consumers recognize them by. Belize has established as one of the largest economies in Central America with a stable currency and pro-investment governmental policies. For companies that expand their business operations to Belize, registering a trademark is essential in order to remain competitive and build a unique brand in Belize’s market.A registered trademark in Belize grants you full protection, control and exclusive rights to your intellectual property. The article outlines significant steps to register a trademark in Belize.  Where to register a trademark in Belize The applicant can either choose the online or the in-person procedure. The Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO) is the National Intellectual Property Registry for Belize. This office is in charge of the intellectual property legislation and the promotion of such in Belize. Through the BELIPO, the applicant can submit the application to register a trademark in Belize and hence, obtain a trademark registration certificate. Trademarks in Belize According to the Trade Marks Act (Cap. 257), a trademark is a unique graphic sign distinguishing a company's goods and services. This signs may consist of words, personal names, designs, images, numbers or the shape of the goods and/or their packaging. This definition of a trademark also includes following: Collective mark: Is used to distinguish the goods or services of members of an association from the goods or services of...

Potential for Stronger Colombia-China Trade Relations

Potential for Stronger Colombia-China Trade Relations

In recent years, market observers have recognized a high potential for stronger Colombia-China trade relations. As many know, China is the second-largest economy in the world. Colombia is the fourth-largest economy in whole Latin America. A pairing like this offers strong potential trade channels for exporters and importers operating in Colombia.In the last decade, all of Latin America’s economies have grown more accustomed to receiving Chinese investment and commercial attention. China is the biggest trading partner for Brazil, Chile and Peru. As part of that, Brazil received US$66 billion in Chinese investment, Peru US$25 billion and Chile US$9 billion. Chinese trade with Latin America jumped to US$225 billion in 2016 from US$12 billion in 2000, according to Jason Marczak, Director at the Atlantic Council. We outline the potential for a stronger context for Colombia-China trade relations and opportunities for multinationals to enter the market. Overview: current Colombia-China trade relations With Colombia-China trade relations strengthening in recent years, China has become Colombia's second-largest trading partner. Colombia is now China's fifth-largest trading partner in Latin America. In 2018, Colombian imports from China reached US$4.06 billion. Top 10 imports from China in 2018 include (table adapted from TradingEconomics): Colombia imports from China in 2018ValueMineral fuels, oils, distillation products$3.48 billionIron and steel$297.79 millionCopper$171.67 millionCoffee, tea, mate and spices$16.66 millionOres slag and ash$15.46 millionRaw hides and skins (other...

What are the Labor Laws in Chile?

What are the Labor Laws in Chile?

Understand the labor laws in Chile in order to make hires and manage employees in full compliance with local regulations. Chile is a long and narrow country caught between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It is characterized by its strong, transparent and stable economy with good growth prospects for the future. Labor laws in Chile, alongside the country's entire legal framework, provides important guarantees for foreign investors looking to enter the diverseand liquid domestic markets. In addition, Chile has a mature financial market which is quite receptive and dynamic. We outline the most significant aspect of labor laws in Chile for businesses to be aware of when hiring staff. Legislation outlining labor laws in Chile Labor laws in Chile come primordially and originally from the Chilean Labor Codex or Código del Trabajo (DFL 1). Labor laws in Chile are outlined in the framework that regulates labor relationships and bonds between employers and employees. In most common law jurisdictions, labor law is a term which usually finds its application in regard to the rights and duties/responsibilities of unionized employees within a company. Labor laws in Chile come primordially and originally from the Chilean Labor Codex or Código del Trabajo (DFL 1). This codex states on its preliminary articles that it will regulate labor and work relationships between employers and employees. Each of the 5 books in the Codex regulates a specific topic: The individual labor or employment contract and trainingProtection for employeesUnionsCollective negotiationsLabor jurisdiction....

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