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Essay on Culture and Ease of Doing Business in Asia, Latin America and Middle East

5 pages
1214 words
Wesleyan University
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The World Bank report of the year 2016 ranks Mexico as the Latin American country with the highest index of ease of doing business being number 38. Peru and Columbia follow consecutively at positions 50 and 54 (World Bank Group, 2016). This clearly means that a careful investor will consider Mexico ahead of any other country in Latin America. In the Middle East, the country in which business is easiest is the United Arab Emirates ranked 21 while in Asia, Singapore leads in terms of ease of doing business. Singapore is ranked number 2 (World Bank Group, 2018). Other than the economic indices indicated above, another important aspect that can heavily impact on the success of a business in these countries is culture. The aspect of culture that is visually different in the three regions, that is, Middle East, Asia and Latin America is religion.

In Latin America, especially Mexico, many consumers and business communities are majorly Catholics. The Christian doctrine of Catholicism dictates the socialization in Mexico, especially in the development of trust amongst each other. Hence, it easy to make a business deal in Mexico without having to get into formally written contract. Trust is the basis of interaction even in a business environment. It is imperative to understand that in Mexico, trust and respect to each other are intrinsic characteristics of consumers and business partners. Business, therefore, goes beyond the purely business oriented interaction to a personal friendship between the partners. It is not strange for a Mexican to invite a business partner for a dinner with his family. Another aspect of culture that also affects the success of business in Mexico is the culture of time management. The perception of time in Mexico is different from that other region in the sense that Mexicans are poor managers of time. This is to say that they show up late for appointments and meetings without causing turmoil between the parties.

In the Middle East, the dominant religion is Islam. Here, Islam pervades every aspect of social life. This is to mean that the Middle Easterners create business laws with reference to their Islamic religion (BARRBIZTM Trade & Investment Publications, 2011). In other words, whether you are a Jew; Hindu; or a Christian, the sharia laws will apply to your business regardless. Islam stresses on respect and generosity among the members and this extends even in business deals. Just like in Mexico, Middle Easterners also value personal interactions and trust amongst the business partners. However, they do not engage in informal business deals like the Mexicans. The business deal entails one person who is familiar introducing you to another potential business partner. This indicates how personal interaction is important in this region. Again, the business meetings resemble, in some ways, those in Mexico. The business meetings are long and accompanied by tea and snacks. However, business grows at a slower rate in the Middle East than in the West.

In Asia, the most suitable country to do business in is Singapore. This is because it is a cosmopolitan country which embraces different cultures. The religion of Hindu and Islam are at interplay due to the existence of different groups of Chinese, Indians, and Eurasians. For the sake of peace and embracing diversity, Singaporeans do not discuss religious issues in the businesses. Discussing a religion with one person may mean an insult to another. The culture of time management is one of a kind in Singapore because most of them are time conscious. They show up early for appointments and business deals. They also expect the same from their business partners.

Factors to consider for collaboration between these countries.

As discussed above, the most important factors to consider for collaboration between the two countries are the difference in religion and culture of time management. This article established that due to the difference in how the different countries treat religion and time management, a businessman should consider how tolerant or strict he should be when dealing with these factors depending on the country.

The US business model in these countries.

The US business model relies heavily on strict adherence to time and legal matters. Religion is of least concern when doing business in the United States. As such the US business model may fail to succeed in such countries as the United Arab Emirates and Mexico due to religious cultures. Specifically, due to sharia laws in the UAE, the US model may fail to meet the criteria because of disregard to religion. Moreover, the time management in Mexico and UAE are more relaxed as opposed to strict time management culture amongst the US business community. This makes it difficult to apply a US business model in these countries. Hence, it only imperative for the US business model to establish in Singapore where time management is strict and the people are indifferent to religion.

Multicultural teamwork may fail in Mexico and the Middle East because of chaos regarding time management. As the United States citizens pay much attention to time management, the Mexicans may choose to show up late for business deals making it boring for the other party. The Middle Easterners are equally reluctant to time management and this may cause a crisis in the cooperation between them and the Americans. Hence, it is hard to have a team of Mexicans, Middle Easterners, and Americans working in harmony. However, Americans can easily work with Singaporeans on the same team because they both respect the time and are indifferent to religion.

How the economic systems are classified in these countries.

The World Bank classifies the economies in terms of income and region; and by income and indebtedness. In terms of income and region, Singapore is classified as a high-income economy, UAE is also high income and Mexico is classified as Upper Middle Income Economy. Income is a function of the GNI and as such, the classification of the economy in terms of income may reflect the country's economic position in terms of GNI and per capita. Low-income economies have GNI per capita of $753 or less. The middle-income economies are at $7362,935 in terms of GNI per capita while upper-middle income economies stand at $2,9369,075 in GNI per capita. The high-income economies are at $9,076 (World Bank data, 2018).

Should I go ahead with my business plan?

Yes. This is because the economic indicators are strong enough to support the business. Specifically, the business can be successful in Mexico and Singapore. The cultural differences in these countries are factors that can be learned and adopted for the sake of business success. However, doing business in the Middle East could be more challenging due to the legal framework of the sharia laws. These laws have Islamic foundation and need a long time of learning before one internalizes them.


BARRBIZTM Trade & Investment Publications (2011). Middle East Culture & Business Etiquette. Retrieved 17 January 2018, from of economies - Doing Business - World Bank Group. (2018). Retrieved 17 January 2018, from

World Bank Data (2018). Retrieved 17 January 2018, from Bank Group. Doing Business (2016). Fact Sheet: Latin America and the Caribbean. Retrieved 17 January 2018, from

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