Is Latin America the market that will boost your sales and profits? Will you find “El Dorado” by bringing your company to Latin America?
Companies are eager to discover if Latin America will be a sustainable and profitable market that will improve their bottom line. Some of these organizations dive into the region headfirst, some follow references and others use the same marketing and sales strategies they use in their native markets. Often, they neglect to do research beforehand or become familiar with the local conditions and opportunities.
With an interesting mix of economical performance indicators and a huge potential consumer base, often representing the mix of their individual flavors, sounds and cultures, Latin America is an interesting market to explore. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is projecting a GDP growth of 1.3% in 2014 for the Latin America & the Caribbean region. Forecasts for 2015, also by the IMF, calls for a recovery and 2.2% growth rate. Growing economies such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia have projected growth rates above 4%; other areas such as Mexico and some Central American countries have more modest forecast growth in the 2 to 3.5% range; while others such as Peru and Chile lose 2 points from last year. Panama is expected to be the best performer with 6.6% growth, while Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela are expected to show no growth or even lose more than 2 points.
Mexico City and Sao Paulo, with populations of more than 20 million (fourth and fifth biggest cities in the world), Buenos Aires with a little more than 15 million, Rio de Janeiro with almost 13 million, and Lima and Bogota with almost 10 million people, create a huge urban market with great demand for packaging and converted materials. All these cities are among the 35 biggest cities in the world. A very vibrant and interesting potential market!
However, this market also involves challenging demands and requirements. “Expanding Your Business Opportunities in Latin America: Realities & Challenges” is the title of an insightful and revealing keynote address that I will be presenting to lead off the February 11 Conference Sessions at ICE USA 2015 in Orlando, Florida.
This presentation does not pretend to have all the answers to guarantee success; however, it will offer guidelines and try to create awareness about the topics that may become relevant when trying to penetrate the Latin American market. This presentation and assessment will be provided from the perspective of someone with over 20 years of experience with the capital equipment and converting industries and strong connection in Latin America.
Following the Keynote Presentation, I will also be providing complimentary one-on-one consultation sessions in the Ask The Experts Pavilion on the Show floor from 10:20 am to 1:00 pm. ICE USA attendees can book an appointment in advance on the ICE USA website.
ICE USA’s Guest Blogger is German Laverde. German has over 30 years of experience connected with business in Latin America. His experience includes positions as Technical Manager at Exiplast and Plastilene in his native country of Colombia. In the USA, he worked for almost 14 years with Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering, holding a variety of positions. He also worked for PTI as VP/Director of Sales – Latin America and for Cloeren Incorporated as Director of Sales – Latin America. German has chaired the Flexible Packaging Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers and is currently a member of SPI’s NPE Operations Committee. He has published papers and presented at ANTEC, TAPPI, AMI and numerous other conferences worldwide.