One of the (many) wonderful things about Latin America today is how interest in the region extends far beyond its borders. So much so that Edelman has been able to provide important insights about the region via our 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer at LatAm specific events in Miami and New York.
At our New York event (video below), in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Americas, Richard Edelman, Mary O’Grady and Cristina Aby-Azar (The Wall Street Journal), Cate Ambrose (LAVCA) and Michael McGuinness (Shearman & Sterling), discussed issues ranging from the need for LatAm business to lead on broader societal issues to a continued rise in private equity capital in Brazil and Mexico.
Nowhere does business have the trust advantage over government more than in Latin America – the gap is the largest in the global survey. In addition to chart-topping concerns of government corruption, the survey highlights the differences between emerging and developed markets. Notable comparisons include the trend for China and Mexico to move in alignment; both countries are among the world’s most trusting in business and NGOs, and both are the only countries showing increases in their level of trust in banks since 2008.
Trust in companies based in Latin America is low compared to the rest of the world. Companies based in the region are far more trusted within the region and, interestingly, the developed world trusts companies based in Brazil more than those based in China or India.
Today, we see the need for a much more diffuse, shared authority structure. For example, one way for Latin American companies to build trust is through social media: 85 percent of respondents in Mexico and 74 percent in Brazil say it is important for a company to actively use social media to build trust.
What worked in the Latin America of the past won’t necessarily work for the region in the future. And the world beyond those borders is watching… more than ever.
Gail Becker is chair of Canada, Latin America and U.S. Western Region.