The day began at the US Embassy listening to a presentation from the business director on the challenges US companies face in trying to manage the Argentina markets. The latest industry that companies from the United States focus on is agriculture equipment and technologies. It had been very difficult for him to assist companies in planning for what they can do here due to the constantly changing policies in Argentina and the lack of structure or direction that they are going. He is looking forward to a new person in office in two years. Despite the import/export restrictions, the Argentine government like US companies to come here because they pay well, are honest, and train employees. However with the uncertainty due to the government, more often he is encouraging IS companies to set up in Uruguay instead and all do imports to Argentina.
Afterwards, the group started the long ride to the IAE Business School for a lecture. Unfortunately for hungover me, that many a lot of time on the bus. Luckily half way in we stopped at Tortuga mall for lunch. Nicole and I grabbed Subway (thankfully the girl spoke English). At our table. Mark sat down with the
biggest lunch I had ever seen from a mall food court. It consisted of a large steak sandwich, cheese fries with egg on top, and a liter of beer. He had to draft some help finishing the fries and beer.
Eventually we made it to IAE for a lecture on how the Argentinian history has greatly impacted the economy and continues to affect the culture. Evita and Juan Peron had a great idea for changing Argentina to internalize the markets and diversify. Unfortunately the way they implemented it encouraged citizens to feel entitled and lazy - not requiring hard work to make it ahead in life. The professor Ariel, used a number of good realistic examples that helped picturing the impact. It seems the Germans get the blame for all the economic problems Argentina is currently facing. They drove immigration during World War I, economic problems in the Great Depression timeframe, and the fall of the Berlin Wall created competition.
The bus dropped us of at a wine tasting event after the lecture. It consisted of mostly Mendoza wines and some food pairings. We enjoyed five different glasses of white and red wines. Andrew and I kept track
to assist in our empanada party when we return home. Everyone contributed to our notes. In the end, we choose not to order any of those particular wines but look for Mendoza wine back home. The whole group was pretty tipsy and rowdy by the end. Someone even walked in on Nicole while she was going to the bathroom.
Andrew and I went to make new friends by joining the Lead MBA students for a hotel party. We all piled into room 104 to enjoy wine and chat. I spent a large portion of the night philosophizing with Ben. Since we were both the same personality type, we found numerous things we agreed upon and could discuss. I was even inspired to revisit classical music when I returned home. Eventually the daily activities caught up with me and I headed to bed.
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