Although, there is an enormous difference in the scale of their two economies, the United States and Portugal share significant similarities. Portugal’s economy is growing at a steady rate, but has a long way to go to get out of its recession. In the article, The Federation of International Trade Association says, “Since 2009, Portugal has been suffering from the worst economic crisis since the fall of the dictatorship in 1974. This deep recession was caused by the collapse of foreign demand and the restrictive financial conditions that have affected all the sectors of the economy, such as exports and investments in particular.
In the United States, the economy is still ranked one of the highest in the world. In the U. S. Economic outlook article, it states that the “economy features a highly-developed and technological-advanced services sector, which amounts for about 80% of its output. The country has access to abundant natural resources and a sophisticated physical infrastructure. ” The president in Portugal and of the United States is the head of the State. In Portugal the president can be elected for a maximum of two five year terms and is the Commander-in-chief of the Army.
In the article, The Federation of International Trade Association mentions, “Portuguese legislative power is unicameral. The parliament, called the Assembly of the Republic, has 230 seats. The members are elected by universal suffrage for a four year term and the executive branch of government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of parliament often expressed by a vote of confidence. The Prime Minister cannot dissolve the Assembly, but the President can do so and call for an early election if he so wishes. ” There are two parties in Portugal, the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party.
There are also smaller parties such as the popular party – Christian democrats, Portuguese communist party – left-wing party, and the left-wing block – association of the parties left of the communist party. The president of the United States is elected for a four year term and can serve two terms for a maximum of eight years in office. In Wikipedia, “The executive branch is headed by the President and is independent of both the legislature and the judiciary. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The judicial branch (or judiciary), composed of the Supreme Court and lower federal courts, exercises judicial power (or judiciary). The judiciary’s function is to interpret the United States Constitution and federal laws and regulations. This includes resolving disputes between the executive and legislative branches. The federal government’s layout is explained in the Constitution. Two political parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, have dominated American politics since the American Civil War, although there are also smaller parties like the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and the Constitution Party.
In the article, Business corruption in Portugal states, “corruption and abuse of power are most prevalent at the municipal level, particularly in the areas of urban planning and public procurement. The Portuguese criminal code makes it illegal to give or accept a bribe, and there is a law that establishes the terms of liability of corruption offences in international trade and private activities. ” Portuguese people feel that their judicial system is corrupted and that there is bribery and abuse of power within the court system.
In the article, Business corruption in the USA states, “investors in the US, and companies do not consider corruption a major obstacle to their business operations. The US offers a competitive market and abundant business opportunities. ” The US government enforces the law on extortion, bribery and abuse of office. In the article from Hartman, he states that “the U. S. stock market is tied to the euro in two important ways: European stocks and international mutual funds, are an investment option for U. S. investors that compete with U. S. stocks, and U. S. companies do business with European consumers, who earn and spend their money in euro-driven economy. ”
When the euro is strong it means that there is more buying for the European consumers. This also increases exports to Europe from the United States. Cultural and Social Etiquette According to Baldwin, Portuguese people are more religious than the Americans. He claims that the weekly church attendance is lower in the United States than it is in Portugal. He also claims that Americans pray more on a daily basis rather than on a weekly basis.
Americans feel as though that our country is the best of all nations but according to Baldwin, the Portuguese are the most patriotic. In the article, Culture and social etiquette in Portugal, Boykova mentions that the Portuguese culture is influenced by the Catholic Church. Boykova says “Family loyalty comes before other social relationships, even business. ” When Portuguese are at a social gathering or in a business setting they make sure to have eye contact and shake others hands when they meet them and again once they leave the social or business meeting.
In a business setting, they tend to want their personal space to speak with another business person but with good friends and family they show public affection. In the article, Cultural and Social Life, mentions that Portuguese people are reserved and patient and family is important part of their lives. They are not known for their punctuality for meetings but tend to call if they are running late. They tend to call people by their titles to respect their education and age. They take hour long lunches and it acceptable for them to have a drink with all of their meals even during work hours.
They generally have lunch between noon and 4 and have dinner around 8:30 until 11 and sometimes later. In the article, Information System Ethical Attitudes: A Cultural Comparison of the United States, Spain, and Portugal, conducted surveys in each of these countries to recognize the cultural impact. This article compares Hofstede’s power distance, individualism, masculinity and uncertainty avoidance between the USA, Spain and Portugal. It also mentions how “we are becoming a global economy”.
In the article, Portuguese business culture, Portuguese people respect people in authority positions and of older people. They have great respect for their superiors and tend not to question anyone in an authority position. In the business world, they don’t adhere to deadlines and are typically late for meetings. Portuguese people do not like confrontations, they prefer an honest answer and for people get to the point in their conversations. In order to meet with Portuguese people in a business meeting, they prefer to be greeted with a gentle or firm handshake with a smile on their faces.
Sometimes if you meet a businesswoman they could greet you not only with a handshake but with a kiss on both cheeks is not considered uncommon. According to Smith, people in the United States tend to always be in a rush but in Portugal it is more laid back. In Portugal, people tend to take their time with their food. People in Portugal tend to say hi to anyone either being at a bus stop, an elevator or on the street. Americans tend to just keep going without acknowledging one another.
She also explains how it a norm for the Portuguese to excuse themselves when they are going to hang up the phone or leave the meeting. Americans just tend to say good bye or just get up and leave. According to Hooker, states that eye contact is perceived as honesty. When businessperson hands you a business card, that person should take a moment to look at it before putting it in your pocket. In the United States it considered normal to start off a conversation as a joke but in other countries this is considered inappropriate. Summary and Conclusion
In conclusion, although there are social, cultural and economic differences to overcome before doing business in Portugal, economic, social and cultural attitudes collectively can work with the Unites States atmosphere for a few reasons. Although, there is an enormous difference in the scale of their two economies, the United States and Portugal share significant similarities. The European stock and international mutual funds are an investment option for U. S. investors. When the euro is strong it means that there is more buying for the European consumers.
This will also increase exports to Europe from the United States. The United States offers a competitive market and abundant business opportunities, therefore they do not consider corruption to be a major obstacle to their business operations. Although, Portugal’s economy is growing at a steady rate, but has a long way to get out of its recession. This is an important factor to consider when doing business in another country. In the United States, the economy is still ranked one of the highest in the world.
As Americans understand how to properly greet a businessperson of Portugal with polite, and gracious handshake accompanied with eye contact, the relationship amongst the two cultures becomes a personal relationship. Greetings become more personable, men will generally greet one another with a hug and a handshake and a woman may kiss another businessperson on the cheek twice starting with the right. It is also appropriate to call someone by “senhor or senhora” followed by their first name. This is a more formal way to introduce one another with a Mr. or Mrs. tle before their first name. This will acknowledge that the other person is an authoritative position and the Portuguese feel strongly about people’s age and their education. In the United States, most business people tend to shake hands and call the person by their first name regardless of age or education. Some Americans may feel awkward with the kiss on each side of the cheek, but once it’s accustomed, many don’t think about it. Business meetings in Portugal are scheduled by appointments, they are mandatory and should be made one to two weeks in advance.
A few days before the meeting it is necessary to reconfirm the meeting in advance and if you are five minutes late it is considered to be on time. Although, if you are going to be late for a meeting, it is accustomed that one needs to call and let them know you are running late. Americans are on a tight schedule and may find the tardiness to start a meeting a bit frustrating. When Portuguese are in a meeting, they do not remove their jackets or sit down before anyone until everyone is ready to be seated and take their jackets off.
A partnership between these two countries can succeed through effective leadership, cross-cultural communication and mutual respect. Companies that have international projects, can provide a source of experience and innovative thinking to enhance the competitive position of their companies, and resolve potential communication barriers. The Portuguese is known for their work ethics, and family oriented people and have strong values and beliefs and they will become a great partnership with the United States.