Brazil and China: Increased Investment, But Not Increased Understanding
As these two leading emerging economies draw each other into an ever closer embrace – one of the first overseas trips by Brazil’s new president, Dilma Rousseff, was to China – few doubt that the world is witnessing the birth of one of the great commercial relationships of the future. But far from being a smooth passage, it is a relationship that will be fraught with challenges and misunderstandings along the way. It would be difficult to find two large countries in the modern world that are less familiar with each other than China and Brazil or that are more different socially, politically and culturally. Already there are growing tensions.
While the Chinese generally take time to study the cultural norms of a culture in which they intend to invest, the Brazilians have not yet made this tactical “investment.”
- Many Brazilian companies haven’t mastered the use of the Zhongjian Ren (intermediary).
- They haven’t effectively been able to leverage Guanxi in their deal-making.
- Their negotiations tactics are not reflective of Jiejian is the single most critical deal term.
- They don’t appear to realize Chiku Nailoao (a show of endurance) in every stage of the negotiations buys respect.
- They struggle with Mianzi (loss of face) issues that sometimes cause the Chinese to go to a competitor.
For Brazil, the metaphorical message is clear. China is at the helm of the global economic supertanker of the future. It is up to Brazil to decide what role it will play in the voyage and how it wants to pay for the ride. We would prefer that Brazilian companies not pay the price of lost opportunity. We therefore whole-heartedly encourage them to contact us to learn more about the global mindset that will help them to succeed in China through exploring either our BMIA Certification Program or pursuing any of our Needs Assessment opportunities that will help them to optimize their business with Chinese companies.