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by Nadine Ishak

AIESEC Concordia held a weekend symposium aimed at increasing business, student exchanges and long-term partnerships between Canada and Latin America.

The student-organized event consisted of two days of keynote speeches, panel discussions and workshops. Topics included cultural traditions and acceptable business practices, the impact of the technological revolution on Latin American economies, and entering specific markets.

AIESEC is an international organization of long standing that brings students together on business issues.

More than 100 Concordia and Latin American students registered for the symposium. Commercial participants from Mexico, Columbia, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Honduras spoke on panels, or represented their companies in the exhibits.

Faruk Patel is the president of Concordia's chapter, and headed the organizing committee. He was happy with the event, but called it just a beginning. "Now we have to talk about our other programs and projects," he said.

These include a student exchange program that took Monica Vegh to Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador. Vegh, who graduated last spring, created her own export mission this past summer.

Vegh's goals included finding suppliers and distributors to form business alliances, as well as transferring technology, forming joint ventures and establishing showrooms.

She said she found the AIESEC symposium "a good first step to understanding the lifestyle and cultural aspects -- but you have to go there yourself."

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