Research Affiliate was part of the 12th Colloquium of the Ibero-American Business Studies Group

Dr. Martín Monsalve, a researcher affiliated with the Center for China and Asia-Pacific Studies, participated as a speaker at the 12th Colloquium of the Ibero-American Business Studies and Economic History Group, organized by Colegio de la Frontera Norte (Mexico).

On behalf of the center, the business history specialist gave a presentation titled “Unwanted Immigrants: Migration and Business in Peru and Northern Chile” as part of the “Essays on Business Studies in Latin America” roundtable. Dr. Monsalve’s presentation drew on the research project “Migration and Chinese Companies in the South Pacific: a Long-Term Vision” in which he is participating alongside José Manuel Carrasco, also of the Center for China and Asia-Pacific Studies at UP, and Patricia Palma from the University of Tarapacá (Chile) as well as other researchers.

His presentation highlighted the importance of studying Palestinian and Asian migrants in order to gain a better understanding of the business dynamics of these groups and of Latin American business history in general. To this end, his research project takes into account the influence of these ethnic groups while comparing how they have been received in their host countries—such as Peru and Chile, where they were historically considered “unwanted.”

“We are interested in the study of ‘unwanted’ migration because it introduces us to a key issue that we have not dealt with in business history, which is discrimination: those businesspersons who have to face constant and great political risk. Italian entrepreneurs might not have been welcome in Lima at first, but their migration was much easier than that of a Palestinian businessman and easier still than that of a Japanese or Chinese migrant. This is a point that redefines the concept of political risk,” noted Dr. Monsalve.

The researcher also noted how Palestinian, Chinese, and Japanese businesspersons developed their own characteristics based on this very political and social persecution. “This research helps us understand the idea that much work is done on family business strategies, which is how medium-sized companies can create certain competitive advantages, in these cases, using reactive strategies such as risk aversion and the deepening of local knowledge and geographical space.”

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