Cultural Information of Ecuador and Nicaragua
Ecuador is located on South America’s west coast, and its official language is Spanish. Quechua, a native language, is spoken by specific people in the country. However, when it comes to international business relations, English is usually used. Nicaragua is located in Central America, and its native language is Spanish, but the on the Caribbean side communicates in English. Over the years, the business climate of Nicaragua has been hampered by civil war, which discourages investment. Despite the negative image, the business sector of the country has grown such that it is far much better than that of most other countries in the region. The paper explores some of the factors an international business would face if it decides to invest in either Ecuador or Nicaragua.
Generally, the people of Ecuador are family-oriented, and they respect their families’ social customs and church. The state and private organizations support various cultural activities. The nation has small theatres that people from all over the country visit every year. Additionally, it has museums, which are run by the House of Culture and the Central Bank of Ecuador. The people take art very seriously, and over the years they have produced great painters such as Endara Crow and Guayasamin. Recreation facilities and sports are relatively well maintained. Ecuador has a wide range of geographic features and climatic conditions that offer a perfect avenue for sporting activities such as hiking, boating, surfing, cycling, water skiing, and mountain climbing. Furthermore, the country has many well-developed sports clubs, which hosts events such as golfing, swimming, and tennis. Lastly, it has good night clubs in Guayaquil and Quito (Price Water House Coopers, 2016). However, some of these clubs are only reserved for members.
The Economy of Ecuador is fair with most of its sectors, including energy, strategic industries, defense, and utilities, being controlled by the state. The government introduced Foreign Investment Law to benefit exciting and new foreign investors (Teran, 2018). However, the private sector has a share of the economy, and it is well recognized and ranked. However, underemployment and unemployment have been a constant problem over the years. The tourism industry has been granted some tax benefits, and the government has waived all the taxes and fees of the sector. Property transfer and municipal taxes have also been lifted.
The country has developed a well-maintained internal transport system. Nonetheless, its rail transport is not well developed; thus the state relies mostly on road transport, which is quite advanced. Communication is controlled by the government through licensing. Over the years, local calling rates have increased while international calling rates have dropped significantly. For instance, international calling rates to UK, USA, Colombia, and Spain have gone down significantly.
The quality of infrastructure in Nicaragua varies widely. The road network consists of fantastic highways in some areas and potholed roads on others. The densely populated areas such as the Pacific side have better roads compared to the Caribbean region where water transportation is common. The most important road that runs from north to south, passing through villages and towns is the Pan American highway. However, the roads in big cities like Managua usually have traffic jams. The international airport is found in Managua. Even though it is small, it has modern facilities for cargo and passengers and daily flights to the United States, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama (Styles, 2016).
The communication system in Nicaragua is modernized. Calling using landlines in a bit expensive compared to using mobile phones. People in rural areas mostly use cell phones because the landline network is not well developed. Most of the places, tourist visits have a good telephone connection (Explore Niragua, 2019). The internet coverage is limited, but one can use cyber cafes which provide cheap internet. Since 2006, the country has experienced electrical problems that have caused massive blackouts (Hamilton, Garcia-Bolivar & Hernando, 2012). Essentially, the lack of reliable electricity supply has forced many businesses to look for alternative sources of energy, especially during these blackouts. Accessing clean drinking water is difficult because what is that is available is usually overbilled. Water shortages are commonly experienced during the dry season leading to water rationing.
The labour force in Nicaragua is mainly comprised of unskilled people, primarily found in rural areas. There are a large number of people here who work as guard and maids (LaCasse, 2015). However, finding skilled workers is hard because most people in the country have a low-level education. Yet, the Pacific side of the republic has high schools and Universities, and most residents speak Caribbean English even though the official language is Spanish (Baltodano, 2017). A negative aspect of the workforce is that people do not have the proper attitude towards work, which discourages entrepreneurs from investing in the nation. However, some local companies help foreign investors to find the right employees. The country has been ranked as one of the worst in paying taxes by the World Bank. The culture of paying taxes appears to be lacking.
Both countries have strengths and weaknesses that affect foreign investments. Additionally, these nations have made substantial efforts on matters of development over the last couple of years to improve their economy. Even though Spanish is the native language in the two countries, many people can communicate in English.
Baltodano, C. (2017). Conservation and Revitalization of Garifuna Language in the Southern Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. Retrieved from https://ida.mtholyoke.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10166/4064/Gar%C3%ADfuna%20Waguia.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Explore Niragua. (2019). Communications | Nicaragua | ViaNica.com. Retrieved from https://vianica.com/nicaragua/practical-info/13-communications.html
LaCasse, A. (2015). For many Nicaraguans seeking work, Costa Rica is the choice. Retrieved from https://cronkite.asu.edu/buffett/nicaragua/for-many-nicaraguans-seeking-work-costa-rica-is-the-choice/
Price Water House Coopers. (2016). Doing business and investing in Ecuador. Retrieved from https://www.pwc.ec/es/publicaciones/assets/pdf/doing-business-ecuador-06-com-protecao.pdf
Styles, L. (2016). Nicaragua Augusto Cesar Sandino International. Retrieved from https://vianica.com/go/specials/20-doing-business-in-nicaragua.html
Teran, E. (2018). Ecuador Welcoming Foreign Investment Through New Legislation. Retrieved from https://www.bizlatinhub.com/ecuador-foreign-investment-new-legislation/