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Cultural differences across borders in business

To be successful when conducting business between Canada and Brazil, it is important to understand the culture. “There are business opportunities everywhere,“ says Andris Nudelman, Chairman of the Canadian Council for the Americas, as long as aspiring entrepreneurs take the proper measures to get to know their environment and the people.
Nudelman suggests that the first step for newcomers who want to start a business in Canada is to develop a network of contacts. He says there are numerous resources available to start getting to know others, such as Small Business BC and other business associations.
Similarly, Felipe Ramos, Executive Chef and Partner at Rio Brazilian Steakhouse, says that in both Canada and Brazil, getting to know people is the most important thing.A Ramos also suggests that it’s all right for newcomers to take a lower position than they’re used to when they arrive in Canada.
When Ramos arrived in Vancouver, he had already been a chef for several years, but took a job as a cook for one year and slowly built
up his network.
However, Nudelman cautions that Canadians are completely focused on business, contrary to Brazilians, where personal relationships are a big part of business culture and can make or break a deal.
Another cultural difference that Nudelman has observed is that Brazilians hardly say “no“ when going into a business meeting, but it’s not the case in Canada. He says some Brazilians might find this uncomfortable, but he considers it to be a productive attitude.
On the other hand, Nudelman notes that there are also many similarities between both countries because of the large, mutual presence of multinational corporations.
“They are managed in a more Western style that’s very similar to the Canadian way of doing business,“ he says.
Ramos says having both countries so
intertwined is helpful for both economies to advance. “It’s a benefit to Canada because we’re training the workforce, and it’s a benefit to Brazil because it’s exporting our culture,“
he says.
After building a solid business network, Nudelman suggests reviewing the business environment and consumption habits
of Canadians.
“You have to do a very comprehensive analysis of the business, of the environment, competition¦ all this information is available,“ he says.
“The results will depend on how hard you’re going to work,“ he believes.

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