Unusual Business Customs From Around The World

Taxi design round cornered business cardsDoing business abroad is now an incredibly popular move for many businesses looking to expand and grow. This leads to many trips to other countries, where the customs in regards to meetings, business card exchange and general commerce are very different from in the UK. It is vital for businesspeople to understand the customs of the country they are going to, so that they can leave a great impression on their hosts and hopefully do business with them again. Neil Forrest, Managing Director of Cards Made Easy, a UK printing service providing business cards to companies all over the country, says, "In the UK, our customs are fairly laid-back and simple when it comes to conducting meetings and closing business deals. But in other countries across the world, other sets of business customs have been developed which travelling businesspeople must abide by if they want to be successful on their trips." In Russia, for example, it is completely normal for Russian hosts to turn up as late to a meeting as they like, in a move that is designed to test the patience and respect of their foreign counterparts. In China, the guests are expected to have a small gift ready when they show up for a business meeting, but the customary gift is often refused a number of times. It is important for the guest to keep offering until the present is accepted; a custom that is important to honour when visiting China. In Brazil, it is considered normal to stand very close to business associates and make a lot of physical contact while talking. This might be considered impolite in many other countries, but in Brazil it is very polite to give friendly pats on the back and be friendly, rather than formal with hosts. In the United Arab Emirates, it is considered the height of bad manners and rudeness to do anything with the left hand, including passing or accepting business cards from fellow associates. The left hand is thought to be unclean, and is used for hygiene purposes only, so it is important to shake hands and pass on documents only with the right. The vast majority of countries across the world have their own important business customs that visitors must adhere to or risk losing the respect of those they are conducting deals with. Globalisation means that foreign business trips are becoming more and more a part of everyday life in many organisations, and a little research before a business trip goes a long way and can help to make a respectful, positive impression on hosts.