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Release: Nov. 8, 1999

Conference to explore Latin American business opportunities

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Institute for International Business at the University of Iowa Henry B. Tippie College of Business is co-hosting a conference Tuesday, Nov. 30 designed to help Iowa businesses develop opportunities in and with countries to the south of the United States.

The conference, "Latin American Business Opportunities: Some Practical Matters" will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Carver Center, located at the Johnston campus of Pioneer
Hi-Bred International, 7000 NW 62nd Ave., just north of Des Moines. It will bring together professionals from Iowa with a business interest in Latin America.

Participants will represent companies that have had business experience in the region or are thinking about expanding their business into this part of the world. Both the panel discussions and the breakout sessions are designed to explore practical issues related to business in Latin America and to provide ample opportunity for individual questions.

William Albrecht, UI professor of economics and Institute director, will begin the conference with opening remarks, followed by two panel discussions. The first panel will feature Orlando Flores, of Dorsey and Whitney LLP, Dean Mohr of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. and Thomas Yih of Maytag Corporation. These attorneys represent Iowa companies in establishing and operating business units in Latin America and have extensive experience dealing with Latin American customers, businesses, and governments.

The second panel will feature business professionals with hands-on Latin American experience. Thomas Cross of Pioneer Hi-Bred, Inc., Derek Dyer of Deere and Company, Steve Heap of Vermeer Manufacturing Co., and Thomas D. Pierce of Sauer-Sundstrand will cover a wide range of topics including human resource issues, how a firm can facilitate business by fitting into local standards, needs and expectations, the pros and cons of using a local distributor, and the implementation of effective information systems.

The keynote speech by Peg Armstrong-Gustafson, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. after lunch will address some of the challenges a firm faces in modifying its own culture as it expands into foreign markets. The afternoon will be devoted to breakout sessions in which attendees can meet with the panelists in small groups for in-depth discussions of the items of the greatest interest to them. The breakout sessions as well as the breaks and luncheon will provide excellent opportunities for networking with fellow participants.

The conference is presented in partnership with the Iowa Institute for International Business and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. It is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Business and International Education Program.

The $50 registration fee includes the luncheon; registration deadline is Friday, Nov. 12. For more information, contact Albrecht at (319) 335-3125, To register, contact Beata Loch, Institute assistant director at (319) 335-1379,