Multilatinas: To go or not to go?

The Internationalization Imperative for Global Latinas
As the economic climate becomes more challenging, Latin American companies are questioning the need to go international. Executives cite several hurdles to be overcome – lack of talent, different business cultures and risk management. Are these reasons good enough to hold back? Can firms survive and thrive in today’s business world by staying domestic? 
Traditional theories tell us that companies go international looking for natural resources they lack at home, to become more efficient by being able to leverage cheaper labor costs and searching for markets to acquire size. The first two reasons are usually not compelling enough for many Latin American companies. The region is rich in natural resources and enjoys cheap labor costs and other production efficiencies.
However, Latin American multinationals have moved beyond their borders to acquire size, and the Mexican Grupo Bimbo, the world’s most important baking goods company, provides a good example. Trade agreements like the 20-year-old NAFTA between Canada, Mexico and the U.S., have offered a stable framework to facilitate the expansion into the U.S. of Mexican multinationals such as Grupo Bimbo. This has allowed them to gain in scale and become more competitive globally.
In my research into the internationalization of multilatinas, I found a number of additional motivations to move abroad. The ups and downs of the regional markets often prove to be …

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