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Conclusion

The Latin world is a challenging region in which to do business, but it offers many rewards. First-movers had time to adjust to different conditions and changing regulations. Newcomers to the region will not have that luxury. The cycles of economic upturns and downturns have intensified. Multiple drivers affect Latin markets in many different ways and different time frames. The essence of strategy in the new Latin markets is to identify the windows of opportunity and timing of entry. Early movers have built different business architectures based on their geographic and business scope. National champions have emerged to contest the challenge of integrators and specialists. In this struggle, success will be decided in the two largest markets of Brazil and Mexico. These two countries offer different platforms for success, and some firms may have to choose the focus of their Latin American success. For global firms, Brazil and Mexico are essential components of their global value chain. The future of the region may not be decided in the marketplace but in the political arena. The pressure to minimize the vulnerability of the region to global shocks and the market driven economies is increasing. This certainly creates an additional source of uncertainty for investors. In the long term, the Latin markets leverage global strategies and create powerful networks in a vast region of common cultural and historical experiences.

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