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Business in Ecuador
Transcript of Business in Ecuador
Americans are expected to be puntual.
Expect Ecuadorians to be at least 15-20 minutes late.
Make appointments at least 2 weeks in advance.
Don't schedule appointments before 10 AM, since most Ecuadorians get at work after 9. Business Practices Negotiating
Ecuadorians are more relaxed and informal than Americans.
Be sure to have a local with you, for it will be difficult to conduct business without them.
When dealing with the government in Ecuador it would be better to speak in Spanish or have an interpreter.
Bring business cards with a Spanish on one side.
Don't change people in your negotiation team, Ecuadorians like to feel like their negotiating with people, not the corporation.
Avoid politics, especially their relation with Peru.
Don't like foreign attitudes of superiority, and don't compare your country with theirs.
Be informed of local culture. Business Entertainment
Lunch is the main meal of the day, and is popular for business meetings.
Let the host make the toast.
Don't suggest an ending time for social gatherings.
It is usual for alcohol to be ordered before a meal.
Ecuadorians are generally friendly, don't reject an invitation to their house, it is a big honor.
If a woman wishes to pay for a meal, make sure it's already arranged. Men will generally try to pay for the check. Greetings
Standard greeting is the handshake.
Also handshake when departing.
Among close friends women kiss each other on the cheek; men embrace.
Generally they only kiss elders on the cheek when greeting. Protocol Titles/Forms of Address
Do not address with first name unless you're invited to.
Use an Ecuadorian's professional title. Gestures
They stand closer together.
They do not use head motions for yes and no.
Impolite to yawn in public and point at others.
Nervous movements (i.e. thumb fiddling, tapping) should be avoided.
In restaurants when summoning a waiter/waitress Ecuadorians hold their hands above their head and clap. Gifts
Bring flowers, pastries and chocolates when invited to a home.
Avoid lilies and marigolds because they're used at funerals.
Fine wines and liquor are greatly appreciated.
Select name branded gifts, appearing cheap is insulting.
Bring gifts for children also. Dress
Coastal resort areas are more casual; shorts are worn, but rarely bikinis.
Some men wear guayabera (formal shirt).
Women wear sleeveless dresses.
Suit, dress, or designer pant suit are appropriate for work.
Inland is important to have conservative business attire. Men should wear jackets (even when hot; dark suits preferred). Strongly resents Peru for an invasion.
Interior - conservative. People on the coast are the opposite.
Various border disputes with Colombia and Peru.
Dependence from Spain in 1822.
Speak Spanish but use English for business.
Still border mines from past wars. History/Country Characteristics Cognitive Styles
Accepts any topic, but will not switch position/opinion of their side.
More likely to accept what is morally right. Cultural Orientation Negotiating
Do not give mainly quantitative information.
Not so formal as in America.
Sensitive to superiority.
Their feelings are more likely to determine what they think is truth. Value Systems
They value people more than they value the business itself.
They have a high-power distance society, so people play their roles depending on where they stand. You have to be careful about being too impersonal. Where as being impersonal in America is expected, in Ecuador it can appear as insulting. Like you're uninterested with the people and business and you have no interest in building relationships. This is a collectivistic society, relationships are top priority. What conflicts may arise when conducting business within Ecuador if you're unaware of their culture? Don't be offended when Ecuadorians arrive late, they do no see it as late. So that will cause conflict if you bring it up. But as an American, you are expected to be punctual. They are a polychronic society, be ready for many delays and small talk. Be patient with their style. Citation for our sources!
Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands. Terri Morrison and Weyne A. Pages 140-147. 9-10-12.
www.kwintessential.com. Ecuador, 2012. Web. 9-10-12.