Introduction: Can Latin American Firms Compete?
Latin American companies have not fared well in international competition in recent years, compared with North American, European, and Japanese firms. A greater concern is that competitors from India, Eastern Europe, and China are gaining more rapid entrance into the ‘grandes ligas’ of global business. This introductory chapter compares Latin American companies with their rivals from elsewhere in terms of size, global reach, innovation, and other issues, identifying the weaknesses that exist in the Latin American context. It argues that Latin American firms do have a number of international competitive strengths, many based on the institutional structure of the region's economies, which must be further developed to produce a broad level of competitiveness. The remainder of the chapter briefly summarizes the findings of each of the empirical studies that make up the book, focusing on individual countries, specific companies, industry sectors, and sources of competitiveness.
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