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MGMT 2801 International Business

Business culture in Mexico Since the creation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico has become a key trading partner with Canadian businesses. Although Canada shares many business customs with its bordering neighbour, the United States, Mexican culture is significantly different.
Perhaps the single biggest difference with conducting business in Mexico is the greater emphasis on developing trust in personal relationships. Both immediate and extended family are important, and people respect authority. Society and business are vertically structured in a hierarchy. Rank is important, and Mexicans are aware of how individuals, whether in family or business, fit into their structures. It is important for a Canadian business to have an employee who is a decision maker, such as an executive, who will be present when negotiating with Mexican companies.
Unlike many Canadians and Americans who prefer to keep personal details about themselves apart from business relationships, personal relationships are at the centre of most business deals in Mexico. Lunch is taken around 2:00 p.m. and lasts longer than a regular Canadian lunch—usually two hours. Unlike the custom in Canada, people stand very close to each other, and creating what would be considered an appropriate amount of personal space in Canada could be seen as unfriendly in Mexico. Tips for Doing Business in Mexico Personal relationships matter.
Take time to develop long-term relationships in business. Business decisions are made in a structured hierarchy. Be sure to deal with the correct people. Managers provide instructions to subordinates and lead by giving directions. Do not criticize people in front of others or openly in meetings. Time can be more flexible. Meetings can start and end late and agendas are not often produced nor strictly followed. Emotion is often displayed in meetings and is a sign of engagement and commitment. Although English is widely spoken, a translator who speaks Spanish may be needed. Formal educational titles such as “Doctor” or “Engineer” are commonly used. People stand much closer to each other than is done in many other cultures. Creating more personal space can be seen as unfriendly.
Appearances Matter
Dress appropriately for business meetings and social events. Lunch is taken around 2:00 p.m. and can last two hours.
Question: How should Canadians adapt their behaviour when conducting business deals in Mexico?

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