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Business Meeting Gifts

Posted by hpd_2712 on Mar 30, 2012 - 12:45 AM  (2498 Reads)

Understanding the culture in a country or region in which you are doing business is a critical skill for the international business person. Without this knowledge, a successful outcome to the business venture can be in jeopardy.

Business Meeting Gifts - Part 1

 by Kimberley Roberts

Preparing for a business meeting requires a working knowledge of the information to be discussed or presented, careful attention to all details on the printed material to be distributed, and perhaps a gift. This gift is a social gesture that may be expected in some countries, and could be considered a bribe in others. Knowing the gift guidelines for the country you’ll be visiting will help make your meeting a success.#

Some multi-national companies and some governments have very strict policies regarding their employees accepting gifts. To avoid creating a problem, it’s imperative you learn the policies for the companies you do business with.

Countries like Malaysia and Paraguay, concerned with corruption, frown upon any gift that could be construed as a bribe. In Malaysia you wouldn’t give a gift until you had established a relationship with the person. In Singapore, government employees are not allowed to accept gifts, and the United States limits the acceptable dollar value to $25.

However, in some countries like Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines, exchanging gifts is strongly rooted in tradition. Part of the tradition is the gracious style used to present and receive them. It’s important to plan time and focus on the process.

It’s very important in Asia and the Middle East to only use your right hand, or both hands, to offer or accept a gift. In Japan and Hong Kong, use both hands.

In Singapore a recipient may “graciously refuse three times” before accepting your gift. But in Chile, gifts are accepted and opened immediately. And in Indonesia, small gifts are given on a frequent basis.

Always be cognizant of religious laws when selecting gifts. For instance, pork is prohibited in the Jewish and Muslim religions, so you wouldn’t select a gift made from pigskin. As in India, don’t offer a gift made from cowhide. Another prohibition for the Muslim faith is alcohol.

A standard to keep in mind for any gift you select is quality. Choose quality items that are not ostentatious. If you have gifts with your company logo, it’s better if the logo is discreet. And don’t give company logo gifts in Greece, Spain and Portugal