Five Business Etiquette Tips You Should Know For Doing Business In Asia

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15/02/2009 – Five Business Etiquette Tips You Should Know For Doing Business In Asia

Working internationally can be confusing for those new to working in a foreign environment.  As people expand their boundaries making social faux-pas when trying to win over potential foreign clients can mean the difference between a ‘new deal’ and a wasted long international flight.

With this in mind, below are five essential business etiquette tips for doing business in four major Asian nations

1: When doing business in Japan, or with business people from Japan you should always keep your business card handy.  Business cards are almost always exchanged at the point of introduction.   When you are handed a business card you should accept the business card with both hands, look at the card thoroughly, then handle it with care when putting it away.   Taking a business card without looking at the card, and mishandling the card can be viewed at insulting.

2: When handling business in Singapore reign yourself in, and caution on the side of being modest.  In business situations being overly confident is not considered to be impressive.

3: When attending a business dinner in China do not refuse a glass of Baiju. Baiju, a preferred alcoholic drink, is generally served at most business dinners in China. Keep in mind that all you must do is sip the drink; if you finish your glass your glass will be refilled, and it is acceptable to leave it partially empty.

4: Should you be engaged in business in Thailand never pass anything over someone’s head.  In Thai culture the head is considered sacred, and passing something over the head can be viewed as an insult.

5: When making a point during business in China does not use only your forefinger to gesture. Making a proper gesture requires using your whole hand when making a point.

Remember to always try and research etiquette for any foreign place you may be headed off to on business or pleasure.

Happy Flying!


  1. Further to the Japan business card thing, try to have a card case as putting cards loose in your pocket or into your wallet is looked down upon too, oh and only gangsters have black business cards (or so I’m told)…

  2. Paul,

    Having a card case or card wallet is a good idea for doing business in both Japan and China.

    I have never heard about gangsters having black business cards. That certainly is an interesting tidbit!

    Happy Flying!


  3. excellent points altogether, you simply won a logo new reader. What could you recommend about your post that you just made a few days in the past? Any positive?

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