The face of the world economy is constantly changing, a fact that everyone who wants to be successful in international trade must recognize and embrace. Nowadays, business growth almost unavoidably entails expansion beyond your own borders, and that is where the real work begins.
The concepts of economy, production and consumption are not the same everywhere. Specific traits of each culture determine how people view such things as supply and demand, pricing, and quality. What is very important to a consumer in the USA or Europe can be totally insignificant to someone in the Caribbean. But perhaps even more importantly, a poor understanding of the applicable cultural ethics and linguistic sensitivities could seriously threaten your chances of success in an unfamiliar market.
Expanding across borders means not only responding quickly to ever-changing global markets, but also adopting and embracing cultures alien to your own. Understanding and doing business in another culture is more than just speaking the language. It means gaining knowledge of the local market but also having the ability to attune to the cultural nuances.
“A poor understanding of a culture’s business ethics and linguistic sensitivities can threaten your chances of success.”
When growth is the way to go…
Sure, you could choose to focus on your existing market and possibly the neighboring ones, but time has shown that there is only so much you can do in product differentiation and finding new niches. If you are looking for real growth, expansion to new markets is pretty much the way to go. This is a challenge, but not one that is impossible to overcome. As a matter of fact, it can be an exciting and rewarding one, if you tackle it properly.
…pick a business location that gives you a cultural advantage.
In-house development or acquisition of expertise that understands all multicultural complexities comes at a high cost. So it pays off to pick a location that gives you both the advantage of favorable export conditions and a substantial pool of multicultural and multilingual experts with inherited experience.
What are some of the things to look for?
- Availability of knowledge and expertise with multicultural issues;
- Possibilities to export making use of favorable business treaties;
- Infrastructure that facilitates your start and the growth of your business.
Meet the ‘Cultural Hybrid’ with real inherited experience: Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean.
In Curaçao around forty different cultures have for centuries lived and worked together to create a hybrid culture with diversity in unity. Most of the population speaks at least three languages and understands four: Dutch, English, Spanish and the native language Papiamentu, a Portuguese-based creole that makes it easy for them to also comprehend and feel other creoles like Pidgin and Patois.
With a long tradition in trade and international service, Curaçao has created a service environment and infrastructure very well suited for dealing with multicultural complexities.
In addition to this great cultural advantage, the government of Curaçao offers attractive incentives to businesses established in the Free Economic Zones. The strong trinity of favorable economic conditions designed for international trade, proven expertise in dealing with different cultures around the globe, and Economic Zones with turnkey facilities to jumpstart your business, makes Curaçao an excellent choice for business expansion.