10 International Business Customs You Must Remember When Traveling
English is often considered to be the international language of business. but, as business grows more global, it’s becoming more important than ever for executives and employees to respect other cultures’ business customs.
When traveling to other countries to do business, research is key. In some countries, actions that Americans take for granted, like looking a superior in the eye, can be considered rude. While in America business meetings are all about business, in many nations it’s disrespectful not to inquire about one’s health and family before talking about business matters.
In China, you must give a business card with two hands, according to AsianBusinessCards.com.
In Finland, long periods of silence in meetings are common, according to eDiplomat.
It is considered rude to stand with your hands in your pockets in Russia, according to Business Meets Business.
In Japan, it is polite to bring a small gift to any business meeting and present it to the senior member of the team, according to WorldBusinessCulture.com.
In Brazil, the okay signal is considered rude, according to Business Meets Business.
It is considered rude not to accept tea or coffee if it is offered in Egypt, even if you do not drink it, according to Vayama.
In meetings and social functions, it is customary to shake hands with the person to one’s right first and go around to the left, according to Fulbright.
Travel is inefficient in Uganda, so it is not uncommon for someone to show up an hour late to a meeting, according to Eyecon.
In Mexico it is much more common to conduct business over lunch than dinner, according to Cyborlink.
The elderly are highly revered in South Korea, so it is polite to greet any older people first and spend a few moments chatting with them, according to Executive Planet.