Business Etiquette in Abu Dhabi – “The Dance of Negotiation”

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With the ever increasing trend of globalization, navigating the different aspects of cultures the world over is ever becoming a prominent issue and skill. This is as true as ever when it comes down to the world of business where even the slightest cultural mistake could jeopardize a deal.

In this regard Abu Dhabi comes as no exception to the rule and business persons travelling to the city should be well versed in the cultural norms and practices. Though the city appears to be well westernized it still features a strong layer of Arabian culture and tradition that cannot be ignored.

One of the key things that negotiators should remember is to always broadcast politeness and good manners in all their dealings. This is an extremely important part of the Arabic culture and when having a business meeting one should not hurry the matter. Hospitality is vital and most discussions will be had over a meal. Take your time, sip the tea and enjoy your host’s hospitality before eventually moving to the subject on hand.  This is vital because of the importance of relationships in negotiations and business dealings in Abu Dhabi. Do not get offended by interruptions such as phone calls, the atmosphere in Abu Dhabi is always relaxed and informal to a certain degree.

Another important point to remember is that though many of the corporations are structured like those in the rest of the world, top level executives are usually family based. So it is vital to find out who the ultimate decision maker is when trying to negotiate or finalize a deal.  In unusual fashion, your word is your bond meaning that if you promised something even verbally you are expected to keep your word even if there is no written agreement.

These are just some of the important parts to keep in mind when negotiating business deals in Abu Dhabi and your success depends on it. When travelling on business, the corporate traveller will find a range of hotels in Abu Dhabi to choose from. The Kingsgate Hotel Abu Dhabi provides an accommodation option with a range of facilities for the business traveller.

Author: Pushpitha Wijesinghe

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1192401_29.html

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Italian Business Culture on Italy

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If you are going to open a company abroad, you should be aware that learning culture, etiquette and protocol is a must for the success of your business.

If Italy is the country where you want to settle down, the best thing to do is to understand the Italian market, how it works, how to relate with customers and so on.

Italians generally prefer doing business with someone they know or have been introduced to. Italy is a law-trust society and Italians are suspicious of people we don’t know, especially in the business arena. Word of mouth and a friend’s recommendation are very important. You can use your existing contacts and networks as an introduction before attempting to set up a meeting.

Remember not to try to schedule meeting on August. This is a kind of sacred month for Italian people, since it is dedicated to holiday and relax and everything concerned to work has to be postponed to September.
Once you managed to schedule a business meeting remember that Italians so mind the image and the appearance. Trust widely depends on your image and attitude. So, dress to impress, choose tasteful and stylish clothing. For example Italian men use to wear dark suit, sophisticate ties and expensive watches. Italian women chose elegant outfits and sober accessorizes.

Keep in mind that the right image and formality are key elements in the Italian business culture.
In Italian business culture, relationships matters. You will get use on shaking hands upon arriving and departing. On the other hand you should avoid moving away or keeping your distance because it can be perceived as unfriendly. Since Italians are often guided by their emotions, establishing a business relationship based on trust is essential for the success of your Italian business.

Another aspect you should consider if you are going to set up a business in Italy is the time keeping. Italians are lively and sociable people and we think that finishing a conversation with a colleague is much more important than breaking it off to be punctual for a business meeting. But if for Italians to be late it’s the normality, they expect foreign business people to be on time. By arriving promptly you show your consideration and courtesy, that we have seen is very important for Italian people.

Before opening a company in Italy is therefore important to understand the cultural differences and the customs of this country in addition to its law and the legal requirements necessary to set up a business in Italy. You can fine lots of useful information a tips on Italy Law Blog, an independent blog run by a pro bono association called T & Partners, which goal is to provide free information about Italy regarding economical, strategical and legal topics.

Find all the information you need about Italian business culture at http://italylawblog.eu

Article Author: Daniela F.

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1790020_15.html

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Chinese Business Culture for the Western Businessmen

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Chinese Business Culture and Etiquette

The Chinese business practice is vastly different from the Western method that most of us may be used to. Of course, with the Chinese economy opening up, China’s joining of WTO and the Olympics in 2008, many Chinese business practice are now beginning to align with more conventional methods.

However, China will always have their own unique business culture and etiquette, given their unique history and background.

“I was recently involved in a business meeting that went sour and threatened to scuttle a good deal. What happened was that the Chinese party recieving the American purchaser was late in reaching his hotel. The American was furious as he had a tight schedule and that they were late and threatened to withdraw his purchase.

The Chinese party was late because they were given a vague address of a lake-side hotel. You see, what happened was that the American gave his hotel as Lakeside hotel. Unfortunately, there were numerous hotels along the lake but the Chinese were too shy to enquire which lakeside hotel earlier because they were afraid the American would ‘lose face’ for having given a vague address. Instead, they spent the morning hopping from one lakeside hotel to another looking for this American gentleman.”

A simple cultural difference threatened to scuttle a perfectly good working relationship. To avoid similar cultural disasters, here are some tips on how you can conduct a more successful business in China.

The Initial Approach

Chinese business are mostly referrals; essentially a business relationship is struck based on another businessassociate recommendation. The best prices and deals often comes from a strong recommendation.

However, it is common today for cold calls and direct contacts, given the availability of the internet and the competitive nature of Chinese businesses. You may source from the internet, trade fairs, catalogues and brochures, advertisements and approach the Chinese companies directly through a call or email.

Alternatively, if you are seeking to invest in a factory in China, you can approach a investment committee or a business advisory directly. They will be able to advise you on your best location based on your industry, raw material and manpower needs. Please contact us directly if you have such a need and we’ll be glad to advise accordingly.

Relationship

Chinese business relationship inevitably becomes a social relationship after a while. Unlike Western business relationship which remains professional and perhaps, aloof, even after a long time, Chinese business relationship becomes a social one.

The more you share your personal life, including family, hobbies, political views, aspirations, the closer you are in your business relationship. Sometimes, a lot of time is spent discussing matters outside of business, but then a lot of time, the other party is also making up his mind about your deal based on how much he sees your personal relationship with him.

Seniority

Seniority is very important to the Chinese especially if you are dealing with a State owned or government body. Instead of addressing the other party as Mr or Mrs so and so, it is always appropriate to address the other party by his designation ie Chairman So and So, Director So and So or Manager So and So.

When giving out namecards or brochures, make sure you start with the most senior person before moving down the line. When giving out a namecard or recieving one, ensure that you are stretching out with both hands with the card. Remember to face the card you are giving out in a manner such that the recieving party gets it facing him correctly.

Giving Face

Giving face (aka giving due respect) is a very important concept in China. You must give the appropriate respect according to rank and seniority. For example, if you are buying gifts for an initial contact, make sure you buy better gifts for the senior managers instead of buying similar gifts across the board.

Similarly, sitting positions in a meeting room or a dining table is accorded accordingly to rank, importance and seniority. It is good to seek advice before embarking on your first meeting with Chinese business contacts to avoid making the wrong move.

Gifts and Presents

Unlike earlier days when China was very poor, gifts, especially of Western origin was especially appreciated. Today, China produces and imports almost anything imaginable and gifts are no longer a novelty.

However, gifts are always appreciated and especially in the smaller cities or towns, will continue to play an important part in your business relationship. Do note that if you are indeed giving gifts, make sure the senior people get a better gift or at least gifts perceived to have a higher value than their junior staff.

Similarly, expect to recieve gifts from the Chinese, especially Chinese art products. It is polite not to refuse, especially if it is not of too high a monetary value.

Lunch/Dinner

There is no business talk in China without at least one trip to a restaurant. Sometimes, a trip is made to the restaurant even before any business discussion take place! Inevitably, the restaurant will always be a grand one and you are likely to be hosted in a private room.

There is an elaborate seating arrangement for a Chinese business meal. There are fixed seating positions for the host and the guest and then they are seated again according to seniority. This is a very important aspect of a formal dinner and it is important that you follow the rules accordingly. However, it seems that the Northern Chinese are very particular to this formal seating arrangement while the Southern Chinese has loosen the formalities somewhat.

You may like to find out more from this interesting China  Book

Drinking with the Chinese

The Chinese are big drinkers especially in Northern and Western China. It does not matter if it is lunch or dinner; as long as a meal is being hosted, there will be alcohol.

Chinese wine is the favourite, followed by red wine and beer. Chinese wine is more like fuel than liquor, having a alcohol concentration as high as 60%! No matter how good a drinker you may think of yourself, never, ever challenge a Chinese into a drinking contest. They will win, hands down!

It is often seen as rude not to drink with the Chinese in a formal dinner. To maintain your sanity, either claim to be a non alcoholic or plead medical grounds as an excuse. This will let you off the hook with little or minimal drinks. Better yet, bring a partner who can drink on your behalf!
After Dinner Entertainment

Formal business dinner normally drags for quite sometime as there will be much social talk, some karoake, and drinking contests. Most of the time, everyone is too drunk to indulge in further entertainment after a dinner. In addition, if you are just new to this partnership, you are unlikely to be invited to further after dinner entertainment.

However, once you are familiar with them, you may be invited to a Karaoke, or a Night Club, or a Suana. Do note that if they are the host for the night, all bills will be picked up by them for the night, including all entertainment. It is impolite to fight for the bill or worst, split the bills.

Similarly, if you are the host for the night, you are expected to pick up all bills for the night.

Controversial Issues

There are some taboo areas in social conversations with the Chinese. Try to avoid these conversational topics as much as possible. I have seen many nasty arguements as a result of these topics:

1. You must not mention that Taiwan is an independent state or a country.
2. You must NEVER praise the Japanese or be seen to be good buddies with them
3. You can condemn Mao Tse Tung but avoid critising Deng Hsiao Ping
4. You must not praise Shanghai in front of natives of Beijing and similarly vice versa

Other than that, you are pretty safe to converse with the Chinese anything under the sun!

Article Author: Ken Cheong

Ken Cheong lived, worked and travelled in China for the last 7 years. You may find more such articles at his websites. Feel free to distribute these articles as long as you mention his websites at: http://www.chinese-culture.net and http://www.quick-pain-relief.com

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_5242_15.html

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