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Exporting to South America


Introduction    
Exporting to Brazil Exporting to Chile Exporting to Suriname
Exporting to Argentina Exporting to Ecuador Exporting to Guyana
Exporting to Colombia Exporting to Bolivia Conclusion
Exporting to Venezuela Exporting to Uruguay World Comparison Rankings
Exporting to Peru Exporting to Paraguay  
     
     

Introduction

Global markets can offer excellent business opportunities. “By designing a product for sale worldwide, you can spread the development costs over the largest market possible,” said Bob Wersen, President of the Interpower Group of Companies.

Wersen explained that in order to sell globally, it is important to know the mains plug patterns (most countries have their own type of plug pattern), mains voltages (voltages range from 100-250VAC), mains frequencies (frequencies throughout the world are either 50Hz or 60Hz), and national regulations (most countries have electrical safety standards and safety testing agencies).

“Compliance to international regulations will also enhance the quality and reliability of your product, meet your competition head on, and create peace of mind in knowing that you sell a product that is not only safe, but one that conforms to international expectations for safety,” Wersen said.

The choice to export globally needs to be a well-researched decision. It is essential for those wanting to export to different countries to be knowledgeable in the desired country’s import/export requirements. Exporting to countries in South America can be beneficial, but due diligence and careful market research will be needed in order to enhance the opportunity for success.

The following South American countries are featured in this white paper: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Suriname, and Guyana.

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Exporting to Brazil


FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL
Actual population* Population world ranking
202,656,788/td> 6
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$2,416,000,000,000 8
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$12,100 105

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

As one of the largest countries in the world, the Federative Republic of Brazil has a definite part in the global market. Brazil has a diverse economy with numerous trade opportunities. It shares land borders with all of the countries in South America, except for Chile and Ecuador. It has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline.

Brazil is divided into five macro regions (north, northeast, south, southeast, and central-west). While the population distribution is predominantly urban, there are differences between the regions. To establish trade opportunities in Brazil, a company needs to have a local presence in the country. Developing business partnerships through numerous visits to Brazil is a key factor to a company’s success. Other market entry strategies include working with a qualified representative or distributor, conducting market research, and carrying out due diligence. There are a variety of resources to consult for assistance, including theUnited States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment

Numerous investment opportunities exist in Brazil. The Brazilian Department of Trade and Investment Promotion of the Ministry of External Relations offers information how to do business and invest in Brazil, including guide books.

When exploring export options, knowledge of business customs and discovering local connections are essential to achieving a successful business venture. Know what is expected at meetings. For example, knowing how time is viewed and what is acceptable in regards to communicating allows for better meetings and relationships. Learning about the Brazilian culture is also significant as it is distinct from the surrounding countries. Among the sources available for information are the United States Commercial Service and United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

It is essential to know the customs regulations in Brazil and to have all documents completed correctly. The Federal Revenue of Brazil is responsible for customs control.

Brazil is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. It is also a member of MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese. Have a quality interpreter at all meetings and presentations because the knowledge of English varies within the business community. Written materials should be in Portuguese (not in Spanish).

In Brazil, the voltage used is 127/220V with 60Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the Brazilian plug.

Sources:
www.export.gov/brazil
www.gov.uk
http://www.brazil.gov.br/
www.receita.fazenda.gov.br
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to Argentina


ARGENTINA
Actual population* Population world ranking
43,024,374 33
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$771,000,000,000 23
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$18,600 75

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

As one of the largest countries in South America, Argentina can be an important global market with good business opportunities. Argentina is a country with distinct cultural features that makes it unique from other Latin American countries.

Extensive market research and due diligence are necessary for a company’s success. Working with local agents or representatives can be beneficial because they can assist in determining the best ways to market a company’s product due to their knowledge of the local business climate. Another important element to consider is promotion. Other recommendations include being present at and/or displaying at local and regional trade shows. A variety of resources available to assist in learning about market entry strategies include the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Establishing personal relationships are essential as Argentines prefer to do business with people they know. Courtesy and developing trust are two essential characteristics in creating these business partnerships. Knowledge of the dress code, how to greet people, and how to begin a business discussion are all important elements. Have an introduction through an intermediary rather than calling a company directly. Be on time to meetings and have a good supply of business cards. The cards should be bilingual. For more information, among the sources to consult are the United States Commercial Service and United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Learn the country’s customs requirements. In Argentina, the Customs General Directorate is the agency which is a part of the AFIP (Federal Administration of Public Revenue) that is responsible for the import/export process.

Argentina is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. It is also a member of MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

The official language in Argentina is Spanish. While many also speak English and other European languages, hire a quality interpreter for all meetings as business is usually conducted in Spanish. Written documents may need to be translated by a certified public translator.

In Argentina, the voltage used is 220V with 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the Argentina plug.

Sources:
www.export.gov/argentina
www.gov.uk
www.afip.gob.ar/english
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to Colombia


COLUMBIA
Actual population* Population world ranking
46,245,297 30
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$526,500,000,000 29
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$11,100 110

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

In recent years, Colombia has experienced economic development which has helped to create a growing economy. As a result, numerous trade and investment opportunities are available.
                                                              
Market research and due diligence are crucial elements to a company’s business success. One market entry strategy is to hire an agent, a representative, or a distributor. Many Colombians prefer to do business with companies who have local connections within the country. When determining contracts and agreements, key characteristics include formality, personal associations, and establishing trust. Knowledge of the requirements in securing that business partner is essential. Visit the country frequently and have an active part in the marketing efforts, such as trade shows and advertising promotions. There are a variety
of sources to consult for more information, including the United States Commercial Service and the
United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Colombia has five major commercial hubs within the country—Bogota, Medellin, Barranquilla, Cali, and Cartagena. Due to air transportation being available to all of these cities, it is feasible for one agent or distributor to service the whole country. These major cities also have a network of chambers of commerce that can share business information relating to their areas. The Colombian Confederation of Chambers of Commerce (Confecámaras) represents 57 sector entities.

Within the country is an international business community, but there are regional differences, so it is important to know business etiquette. Working breakfasts and lunches are common along with less formal dinner meetings. Events, such as conventions, conferences, and seminars, are becoming more popular and potentially provide excellent market opportunities. Among the resources available to consult for further assistance are the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Customs management is by the Directorate of National Taxes and Customs of Colombia. For information in regards to importing to Colombia, the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism has an explanation of the basic steps that need to be followed.

Colombia is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. It is also associated with MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

The official language of Colombia is Spanish. Even though many in the business community speak English, have a quality interpreter at the meetings. Written materials should be in Spanish.

In Colombia, the voltage used is 120V at 60Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, contact your customer in Colombia to see which plug is recommended for your products.

Sources:
www.export.gov/colombia
www.gov.uk
www.confecamaras.org.co
www.dian.gov.co
www.mincit.gov.co        
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to Venezuela


VENEZUELA
Actual population* Population world ranking
28,868,486 46
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$407,400,000,000 34
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$13,600 99

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

While there are market opportunities, there are also market challenges for companies wishing to export to the country of Venezuela.

Conducting extensive market research and due diligence are essential for a company, as it is crucial to assess the business risks involved. The political climate between Venezuela and some other countries in the world may be strained, making it more difficult to do business. The Venezuelan government has maintained strict control over the currency exchange in recent years and trade regulations may change without notice. A possible market entry strategy includes establishing a presence in Venezuela by partnering with an agent or a distributor. Trade events are another way to promote a company. To learn more about the business opportunities and challenges, there are a number of resources available, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.
                                
Research on market opportunities, global position, economic analysis, and an investment climate
report can also be found through sources such as the United States Embassy of Venezuela and
The Economist Group.

It is crucial to know the customs requirements. For assistance in learning more about customs regulations and import/export documentation, see sources such as the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Venezuela is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. It is also a member of MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

Spanish is the official language in Venezuela. All written materials need to be in Spanish. While some in the business community may speak English, Spanish is the language to use when conducting business.

In Venezuela, the voltage used is 120/208/277V at 60Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, contact your customer in Venezuela to see which plug is recommended for your products.

Sources:
www.export.gov/venezuela
www.gov.uk
www.state.gov
http://country.eiu.com/Venezuela
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to Peru


PERU
Actual population* Population world ranking
30,147,935 43
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$344,000,000,000 40
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$11,100 112

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Peru is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. Bordering between the Pacific Ocean and Brazil, Peru offers many trade opportunities.

Market research and due diligence are essential to conduct. Find a local representative to help establish sales contacts and promotional possibilities. Other options for doing business in Peru include a foreign-owned company, a branch office, or a joint venture. Seeking legal advice is suggested to help with the various tax and legal requirements within the country. A variety of resources are available to consult for further information, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade
and Investment
.

Peru has an interest in international trade. The Peru Ministerio de Comercio Exterior y Turismo (Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism) encourages investment and the promotion of trade. The ADEX - Asociación de Exportadores (Association of Exporters) in Peru consists of large, medium, and small companies. ADEX provides services to its members.

It’s important to learn what is acceptable for business etiquette. In Peru, the business dress code is conservative. It is recommended for the men to wear suits and ties and for the women to wear suits or dresses. Business cards are usually exchanged at the beginning of a meeting. Among the resources available to consult for further assistance are the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Knowledge of the customs regulations is crucial. SUNAT (Superintendencia Nacional de Administracion) is the agency responsible for Peru’s customs. Other sources for information regarding the import/export requirements include the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade
and Investment
.

Peru is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. It is also associated with MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

While many business people speak English, the business language to use is Spanish. All written materials need to be in Spanish.

In Peru, the voltage used is 220V at 60Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, contact your customer in Peru to see which plug is recommended for your products.

Sources:
www.export.gov/peru
www.gov.uk
www.adexperu.org.pe
www.mincetur.gob.pe
www.sunat.gob.pe/aduanas/version_ingles
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to Chile


CHILE
Actual population* Population world ranking
17,363,894 65
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$335,400,000,000 43
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$19,100 73

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Chile is a prosperous developing nation. It has a number of free trade agreements, including those with Europe, China, India, and North America, which allow for a variety of trade opportunities. It also has the highest level of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita among the South American countries.

One suggested market entry strategy for doing business in Chile is to find a local partner within the country. This person can assist with establishing business connections as well as helping with potential cultural and language issues. Another start-up consideration is to set up a local branch office. Market research and due diligence are strongly advised in determining business options as they are keys to a company’s success. Relationships are essential to establish. Among the resources available for further assistance, see the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

The Foreign Investment Committee of the Government of Chile offers a Foreign Investor Guide which gives key information for investing in Chile. Topics addressed include how to set up a company in Chile and what is required by labor laws and environmental regulations. The Foreign Investment Statute DL 600 is a “mechanism for the entry of capital into Chile.” Two other potential resources for information include the Cámara Nacional de Comercio, Servicios y Turismo de Chile (National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism of Chile) and the Dirección General de Relaciones Económicas Internacionales (Directorate General of International Economic Relations).

Knowing proper business etiquette within the country is crucial. Learn what the acceptable dress code is because appearances matter. Have bilingual business cards (with Spanish as one of the languages) to give to those in attendance at meetings. Resources to consult for more information include the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

It is important to know the customs regulations, including what is needed per import requirements and documentation. Customs management is through the Aduanas Chile

Chile is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. It is also associated with MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

The language of Chile is Spanish. While many may speak English, Spanish is the accepted language to use. Hire a quality interpreter. All product marketing materials should be in Spanish.

In Chile, the voltage used is 220V at 50Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, contact your customer in Chile to see which plug is recommended for your products.

Sources:
www.export.gov/chile
www.gov.uk
www.ciechile.gob.cl
www.cnc.cl
www.direcon.cl
www.aduana.cl
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to Ecuador


ECUADOR
Actual population* Population world ranking
15,654,411 68
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$157,600,000,000 62
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$10,600 116

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Even though Ecuador is one of the smaller countries in South America, it has potential trade opportunities. It borders Peru, Colombia, and the Pacific Ocean.

One market entry strategy includes partnering with an agent or a distributor to establish a presence in Ecuador. Seek legal advice from a local law firm in Ecuador in order to ensure that proper agreements are written. The business climate may change so it is crucial to conduct extensive market research and due diligence. To learn more about the business opportunities and challenges, there are a number of resources available, such as the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment. A resource for investment and business development in Ecuador is through the Ministerio Coordinador de Produccion, Empleo y Competitividad—Invierta en Ecuador/Invest in Ecuador.

To help enhance the company’s success, knowledge of the business culture is essential. Know the proper dress code, typical meeting venues, what is acceptable in regards to a meeting and how to properly address people, e.g. using a title before a name. Maintaining personal connections are also key. There are various resources that can assist with learning about business etiquette, including the United States Commercial Serviceand the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Know the import requirements and what kind of documentation is needed. The Servicio Nacional de Aduana del Ecuador (National Customs Service of Ecuador) is responsible for customs in that country.

Ecuador is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. It is also associated with MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

Spanish is the official language for Ecuador, but there are a number of indigenous languages spoken as well. Even though English is spoken by some, have an interpreter to enhance communication.

In Ecuador, the voltage used is 110V at 60Hz. The most frequently specified plug patterns are the
NEMA 5-15, NEMA 6-15 and NEMA 1-15 plugs.

Sources:
www.export.gov/ecuador
www.gov.uk
www.aduana.gob.ec
https://www.produccion.gob.ec/
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to Bolivia


BOLIVIA
Actual population* Population world ranking
10,631,486 82
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$59,110,000,000 92
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$5,500 155

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

The Plurinational State of Bolivia is located in the middle of South America. A landlocked country, it shares its borders with Chile, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

When considering business opportunities in Bolivia, conduct extensive market research and due diligence. Market strategies include finding a local representative to assist in establishing contacts and participating in one of Bolivia’s regional trade events. Two of them include the Exhibition Fair of Santa Cruz, FEXPOCRUZ, and the International Fair Foundation of Cochabamba Bolivia, FEICOBOL. The trade events are opportunities to establish business connections. To learn more about the business prospects and challenges, there are various resources to consult, such as the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment. Another source is Bolivia’s National Chamber of Commerce – the Cámara Nacional de Comercio de Bolivia.
                                           
Learn acceptable business etiquette. For example, the exchange of business cards usually happens at the beginning of meetings and dress attire is typically considered conservative. Hosting a meal and giving gifts with the company logo on them are common. Discover what potential customers prefer. Many of the “traditional Bolivian customers” favor browsing in shops versus ordering from a catalog. Many like to have a store that provides after-sales service. For more information, there are a number of resources to consult, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Know the customs requirements. The Aduana Nacional de Bolivia (National Customs of Bolivia) has responsibility for customs in that country.

Bolivia is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. It is also a member of MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

Bolivia has over 35 official languages. While some business people may speak English, have Spanish-language interpreters when conducting business. All written materials should be in Spanish.

In Bolivia, the voltage used is 230V at 50Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, contact your customer in Bolivia to see which plug is recommended for your products.

Sources:
www.export.gov/mrktresearch
www.gov.uk
www.cnc.bo
www.fexpocruz.com
www.feicobol.com.bo
www.aduana.gob.bo
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to Uruguay


URUGUAY
Actual population* Population world ranking
3,332,972 135
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$56,270,000,000 94
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$16,600 80

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Officially the República Oriental del Uruguay, this country borders Brazil, Argentina, and the Atlantic
Ocean. Even though it is one of the smaller nations in South America, it has numerous economic opportunities available.

Market research and due diligence are essential when determining market entry strategies. Visit the country, carefully choose an agent or distributor, and be diligent in establishing business relationships. Be aware that many businesses are traditional storefronts and customer service is considered a key business element. Hiring an agent living in the region allows the company to keep current with the local trade environment. Consult an attorney to assist with setting up the business. A variety of resources are available to help learn more about the market entry strategies. Among them are the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

The investment environment in Uruguay is mostly positive. The Cámara Nacional de Comercio y Servicios del Uruguay (National Chamber of Commerce and Services of Uruguay) offers information on importing and exporting. The Uruguay Investment and Export Promotion Agency gives information on investment opportunities and incentives for foreign investors.

Know acceptable business etiquette within the country. Note that the dress code and the approach to business are considered conservative. Make appointments in advance and be on time. Business breakfasts and lunches are common, as are dinners for closing an agreement. Resources to consult for more information include the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade
and Investment
.

Knowledge of custom requirements is important. The Uruguay Dirección Nacional de Aduanas (the National Directorate of Customs) is responsible for customs regulations.

Uruguay is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. It is also a member of MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

The official language for the country is Spanish. While many in the business community may speak English, have a quality interpreter at meetings.

In Uruguay, the voltage used is 220V at 50Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, contact your customer in Uruguay to see which plug is recommended for your products.

Sources:
www.export.gov/uruguay
www.gov.uk
www.cncs.com.uy
www.uruguayxxi.gub.uy
www.aduanas.gub.uy
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to Paraguay


PARAGUAY
Actual population* Population world ranking
6,703,860 105
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$45,900,000,000 100
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$6,800 143

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Even though Paraguay is landlocked, numerous river ports within the country allow access to some of the primary trade routes. Located in the middle of South America, it borders the countries of Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia.

Economic opportunities are available along with market challenges. Market research and due diligence are two key factors when considering exporting to Paraguay. An interested company should use a local agent or distributor along with hiring the services of a local attorney to assist in learning the business environment. Visit the country in person regularly to ascertain the local market. Customer support is also essential to enhance the success of the company. A variety of resources are available to help with market entry strategies, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade
and Investment
.

Another resource is REDIEX–Red de Inversiones y Exportaciones (Paraguay Investment and Export Network). It has a guide and other investment information on its website. The Centro de Importadores del Paraguay (Importers of Paraguay Center) has a website which gives information, including services and benefits available.

Knowledge of business etiquette will increase a company’s opportunity for success. Be on time for appointments. Learn the correct way to address a person and what the acceptable business attire is. For assistance in this area, resources to consult include the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

The Paraguay Dirección Nacional de Aduanas (the National Directorate of Customs) is responsible for customs regulations. It is crucial to know what is needed per the Paraguayan import requirements.

Paraguay is a member of the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization. It is also a member of MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

Spanish and Guarani are the two official languages. While Spanish is the principal business language, there are many in the business community who also know Portuguese, English, and/or German.

In Paraguay, the voltage used is 220V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the Continental Europe plug.

Sources:
www.export.gov/paraguay
www.gov.uk
www.rediex.gov.py
www.cip.org.py
www.aduana.gov.py
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to the Republic of Suriname


THE REPUBLIC OF SURINAME
Actual population* Population world ranking
573,311 171
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$7,120,000,000 161
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$12,900 101

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Located in northern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the countries of Guyana, French Guiana, and Brazil, the Republic of Suriname offers marketing opportunities and challenges.

Market research and due diligence are two major factors to consider when exporting to Suriname. While the mining industry is a key economic component, there are additional areas to explore. One strongly recommended market entry strategy is to hire a reputable agent or distributor along with the services of a local attorney. Research what the regulations are for registering a company. A variety of sources are available to assist with the market research. The Suriname Chamber of Commerce and Industry has information on business services. Suriname’s Ministry of Trade and Industry promotes domestic and foreign trade, including importing and exporting policies. The Embassy of the United States Paramaribo Suriname and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment are also exporting resources.

To increase a company’s prospect for success, learn the business customs followed in the country. While business dinners are common, lunches are not as common and breakfasts are rare. Determine what is considered acceptable business attire. Know that many Surinamers prefer to establish a comfortable working relationship before getting into specific business details. When making travel plans and business appointments, be aware that there may be transportation challenges when traveling. Resources to consult for further assistance include the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade
and Investment
.

It’s important to know the import/export regulations as the Suriname Customs Office requires
specific documentation.

Suriname is a member of the World Trade Organization. It is also associated with MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

The official language in Suriname is Dutch, but many in the business community also speak English. Other languages that are spoken include Sranang Tongo, Caribbean Hindustani, and Javanese. Suriname is the only independent nation in the North and South American regions where Dutch is the major language.

In Suriname, the voltage used is 127/220V at 60Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, contact your customer in Suriname to see which plug is recommended for
your products.

Sources:
www.export.gov/mrktresearch
www.gov.uk/government/priority/improving-business-with-guyana-and-suriname
www.surinamechamber.com
http://suriname.usembassy.gov/doing-business-local.html
http://gov.sr/sr/ministerie-van-hi/over-handel-en-industrie.aspx
www.wto.org
www.mercosur.int

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Exporting to Guyana


GUYANA
Actual population* Population world ranking
735,554 165
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$6,593,000,000 163
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$8,500 129

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Geographically situated as an access point to the Caribbean and South America, Guyana is a country with promising trade markets. While there are challenges in this still-developing country, there are potential business opportunities.

Many of Guyana’s opportunities for investment and business development are emerging. The Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) is a key contact for investors and exporters. Location, affordable labor, and openness to investment are among the positives for doing business in this country. Guyana has various investment areas organized into different sectors, such as agriculture/agroprocessing, forestry, tourism, IT, energy, and manufacturing. This office can assist with potential trade options and offers the Guyana’s Investment Guide. It has information for both local and foreign investors and exporters.

Another possible resource is the Georgetown (Guyana) Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Its mission is to help the business community in Guyana and to promote trade and investment opportunities. Among its services, the Chamber offers Business Guyana, An Investor’s Guide to Doing Business in Guyana.

While there are many business opportunities in Guyana, know that there are also business challenges that need to be recognized. Market research and due diligence are essential to conduct. The U.S. Department of State has prepared an Investment Climate Statement – Guyana for review. Another source for information is the United Kingdom Trade and Investment. It helps companies interested in exporting.

Guyana is a member of the World Trade Organization, the World Customs Organization, and CARICOM (Caribbean Community). It is also associated with MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market.

While several different dialects and languages are spoken in this country, Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America.

In Guyana, the voltage used is 120/240V at 50–60Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, contact your customer in Guyana to see which plug is recommended for your products.

Sources:
http://goinvest.gov.gy
http://gcci.gy/our-mission-vision-core-values
http://georgetown.usembassy.gov/doing-business-local.html
www.gov.uk
www.wto.org
www.wcoomd.org
www.caricom.org
www.mercosur.int

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Conclusion


Doing business in a global market is possible and offers excellent business opportunities, but those wanting to export to different countries, such as those in South America, need to conduct careful market research and due diligence. It is important to be knowledgeable in the desired country’s import/export requirements and business customs that are followed.

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*Source:  www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html

Country comparison—Population: Population compares estimates from the US Bureau of Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics, registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past and on assumptions about future trends. (July 2014 est.)

Country comparison—GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): GDP (purchasing power parity [PPP]) compares the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A nation’s GDP at PPP exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States. (2013 est.)

Country comparison—GDP – per capita (PPP):GDP – per capita (PPP) compares GDP on a purchasing parity basis divided by population as of 1 July for the same year. (2013 est.)

A comparison of all of the South American countries mentioned in this paper

World comparison rankings by population, actual GDP, and actual GDP (per capita)

COUNTRY POPULATION RANKING ACTUAL POPULATION
Brazil 6 202,656,788
Colombia 30 46,245,297
Argentina 33 43,024,374
Peru 43 30,147,935
Venezuela 46 28,868,486
Chile 65 17,363,894
Ecuador 68 15,654,411
Bolivia 82 10,631,486
Paraguay 105 6,703,860
Uruguay 135 3,332,972
Guyana 165 735,554
Suriname 171 573,311

 

COUNTRY GDP RANKING ACTUAL GDP (PPP)
Brazil 8 $2,416,000,000,000
Argentina 23 $771,000,000,000
Colombia 29 $526,500,000,000
Venezuela 34 $407,400,000,000
Peru 40 $344,000,000,000
Chile 43 $335,400,000,000
Ecuador 62 $157,600,000,000
Bolivia 62 $59,110,000,000
Uruguay 94 $56,270,000,000
Paraguay 100 $45,900,000,000
Suriname 161 $7,120,000,000
Guyana 163 $6,593,000,000

 

COUNTRY GDP (PER CAPITA) RANKING ACTUAL GDP (PER CAPITA)
Chile 73 $19,100
Argentina 75 $18,600
Uruguay 80 $16,600
Venezuela 99 $13,600
Suriname 101 $12,900
Brazil 105 $12,100
Colombia 110 $11,100
Peru 112 $11,100
Ecuador 116 $10,600
Guyana 129 $8,500
Paraguay 143 $6,800
Bolivia 155 $5,500

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