Business Travel

Doing Business

Suits are definitely still the norm for Argentinean men in the office. Local businesswomen are usually immaculately groomed, and wear either skirt or pants suits with high heels; they often wear sexier or more-revealing clothing than their North American counterparts might.

Arriving late for social occasions may be normal and acceptable among porteños, but arriving late for a business appointment is not, even though proceedings may take a while to get going. Business cards are always appreciated.

Argentinean businesspeople are mostly direct and to the point. Giving someone your word or shaking hands on something doesn't carry the same weight in Argentina as in the United States. If you want something set in stone, get it down on paper and signed.

Most local businesspeople eat lunch out, but meals are often a break from the boardroom, not an extension of it. At a typical business dinner the flow of conversation is much like it is in the United States—discussing common interests such as sports, hobbies, family, travel, and even politics are all part of the ritual of getting to know and trust an individual.

Porteño businesspeople tend to use first names in all but the most formal meetings; some professions use their jobs as titles: doctor/a is a catchall used by medical and legal professionals; ingeniero/a for engineers; and arquitecto/a for architects.

Great Reads

Sample the work of Argentina's greatest writers with Jorge Luis Borges's Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings and Julio Cortázar's Blow Up: And Other Stories. You get a decidedly lighter take on the city in Jessica Morrison's chick-lit best seller The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club. Spanish detective novelist Manuel Vázquez Montalbán set his Buenos Aires Quintet on the city streets. Nathan Englander's novel The Ministry of Special Cases centers on the disappearances of people during Argentina's last dictatorship.

Business Services

Ámbito Financiero is Argentina's leading financial daily. You can get information on business opportunities in Spanish through the Cámara Argentina de Comercio, the Argentine chamber of commerce, and in English at Fundación Invertir, which has useful information on investing in Argentina.

Stationery stores (papelerías) are easy to find in Buenos Aires—most offer photocopying and binding services. For special printing and document design, ask your hotel to recommend a gráfica (print and design company).

Regus is an international business services company with serviced office, meeting, and conference facilities in four Buenos Aires office blocks.

Contact Virtual Assistance Argentina for secretarial services. OutLoud offers reliable translation and interpretation services.

Buenos Aires' flagship convention center is enormous La Rural, which has event-organizing services.