The growth of regional free trade agreements such as Mercosur in Latin America has been a big opportunity for Atlanta-based AT&T Tridom because it has made it relatively easy to move quickly from one country to another, said Eileen McNamara-Raisch, president and CEO of the company, at a briefing on Jan. 29.

But Carlos Diaz, president of Latin America for Turner International, who also spoke at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce’s annual international economic briefing held at the JW Marriott Hotel at Lenox, cautioned against treating the area as one big regional market.

The region is linked together by a common language and history, said Ms. McNamara-Raisch, and products and services translate relatively easily across borders.  Mr. Diaz agreed with her that Latin America is “homogenous to a point.”

Yet differences in language and dialect and in local customs require companies to adjust their products slightly for each country, he said, adding that although businesses would lose economies of scale with this strategy they would be better able to cater to the needs of their customers.

AT&T Tridom is a provider of satellite-based communications services used in transmitting credit card and ATM information, and began its Latin American operations in 1990.

Turner offers cable programming throughout Latin America and will begin offering it’s CNN channel in Spanish to about 4 million subscribers in the region on March 17.