THE RISKS OF DOING BUSINESS IN LATIN AMERICA
– SAMPLE FACULTY-DIRECTED PROGRAM OVERVIEW –
Doing business in “emerging” markets requires a specific understanding of local and regional contexts. These contexts are generally considered riskier than those of more “developed” markets, due to political, economic, social, legal and cultural factors. Depending on the perspective of the observer – and his or her creativity and business acumen – these factors may be considered hazards or sources of opportunity, thus giving the notion of “risk” a double meaning. Argentina is on the brink of becoming an emerging market as defined by the investment banking community and is on the verge of formally applying to become an OECD member (as of April 2018). The conditions for foreign investors have changed considerably over the past two years of a pro-market government. However, the recent default on public debt and the political crisis in 2001 are still on the minds of the business community and the most recent – May 2018 – debt (liquidity?) crisis is a case in point. This is the moment to analyze the status quo and possible trajectories for Argentina and understand what risks investors continue to face in this emerging market. That requires an analysis of the local and regional economic, political, social and cultural context in which entrepreneurs and established businesses evolve, be they foreigners or locals.
Through a combination of academic field study, guest lectures from industry and political leaders, and a comparative field study excursion to Uruguay, this education abroad program will offer students a balanced-understanding between the business perspective and the policy-maker perspective. While businesses have to analyze, weigh and navigate risks of all kinds, public policy makers are often key in preemptively reducing potential risks and attracting investment. Smart business leaders recognize good business environments and smart country leaders know that.
PROGRAM LEARNING OBJECTIVES
- To critically differentiate between different levels and types of risks in Argentina, its neighboring countries and emerging markets in general
- To recognize specific risks related to emerging market settings and apply risk analysis to specific countries, regions and industries
- To understand business strategies to reduce risks (or benefit from them) in the case of Argentina
- To understand past and future state and regulatory actions to mitigate business risks in Argentina and Uruguay and attract foreign investment
- To critically evaluate the theories related to risk assessment and question the very notion of risk as a social category
ACADEMIC COURSE OFFERING(S)
With the support of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Latin America, the visiting faculty member will teach 1-2 academic courses for home institution credit. Potential course title suggestions may include the following:
- The Risk of Doing Business in Emerging Markets: The Case of Argentina
- The Risk of Doing Business in Argentina and Uruguay: A Comparative Analysis
- Emerging Markets and The Southern Cone: A Macroeconomic and Policy-Maker Perspective
OPTIONAL LANGUAGE COURSE OFFERINGS
The Institute can provide credit-bearing, Spanish language instruction. Up to nine (9) proficiency levels of Spanish can be offered, for up to 1-credit hour per week (20 contact hours of 55 minutes each). If needed, academic credit may be awarded through the Escuela Superior de Economía y Administración de Empresas (ESEADE).
- Although taught in English, students in this program are recommended to have at least one year of college-level Spanish.
CO-CURRICULAR LEARNING PROGRAMMING
- Academic Field Study. Before leaving their home country, students are asked to record two brief interviews with businessmen on the risks their businesses face. Upon arrival in Argentina, students are then asked to repeat the interviews with local businessmen. The sets of data will be shared among students and can be used in class discussion or serve as the base for research papers.
- Academic Field Trips. The program will include a visit to the Central Bank Museum in Buenos Aires and the Debt museum at the Universidad de Buenos Aires to better understand themonetary history of Argentinaand a 1 or 2 day visit to Montevideo, where students will meet government agencies promoting investment in Uruguay and talk to stakeholders in project-finance initiatives.
- Guest Lectures. The program will include 2-3 invited guest speakers representing local industry and political leaders. Guests may include local entrepreneurs, experts in project finance, distinguished local researchers/practitioners and senior staff from the multilateral lending agencies.
- Student Accommodation & Meals. Students can be housed either in hotels or selected host-families. Students selecting host families will be provided with a private bedroom. Although laundry services are not included, linen and towels are changed once a week. Students are served breakfast and dinner six days per week. No meals are provided for those staying in local hotels.
- On-Going Orientation. Students will receive structured and on-going orientation support to improve their intercultural adjustment and cultural learning throughout the program. An initial introduction upon arrival will be followed by a series of cultural workshops and activities designed to facilitate cultural learning.
- Cultural Activities. Students will be invited to participate in a series of cultural activities throughout the program. Activities may include visits to important cultural institutions and specific neighborhoods, and social activities such as local concerts, dance events, asadogrill evenings, wine tasting, etc. Some activities may be oriented toward more advanced speakers of Spanish.
- Classrooms facilities will be made available at the Institute. All classrooms are air-conditioned and offer whiteboards, Internet access, a PC and overhead projectors. Differently-sized classrooms accommodate either 8, 15 or 25 students. Larger groups may be accommodated nearby at ESEADE University. If needed, the visiting faculty member will be given access to a private office. Students will have access to library and study-room facilities, although English language offerings are limited.
- Program Support. The Institute will appoint a local program coordinator to assist with the smooth operation and facilitation of the program. The institute has a 24-7 hotline for health and safety support, available in English and Spanish.