How to make your meeting count in Asia

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Expanding your business into Asia can be lucrative and incredibly rewarding, as long as you don't offend your host during meetings! Here's our guide to the do's and don'ts across some of Asia's largest countries.

The way to address people is different in South Korea and most people will expect you to refer to them by their family name

Building business relations through social gatherings is incredibly common, so you may be expected to attend after work dinners and extensive drinking sessions

It's customary to bow when greeting people and adopting this may impress associates, the more senior the person, the deeper you should bow

Business cards are essential, receive it with two hands, make sure you look at it and make a complimentary comment about the font or design. Place in your wallet carefully and never write on it

Take a gift for your host, make sure it's gift-wrapped

If socialising with contemporaries, never pour a drink for yourself, let someone else do it and vice versa

'Sanook', which loosely translates to 'Fun or pleasure', is a key component of a Thai person's day-to-day life – personally and professionally. Be sure to take this into consideration

Thai people have a passion for food. They also like to build personal relationships while discussing business and initial meetings sometimes take place over lunch or drinks

Thai people will appreciate it if you make the effort to use the Thai 'Wai' greeting when meeting with them. It is made by pressing the palms of your hands together in a prayer-like gesture

Careful how you point to things in a meeting, using an open palm is best

The decision-making process can be slow, don't expect to come to any swift conclusions

Business gift-giving is a delicate issue, exercise caution and never give items such as clocks, handkerchiefs or anything blue/white/black - as they're all associated with death

Rank and status is very important, always greet the oldest people first and address people by their full titles

It's considered polite to verbally refuse a gift before accepting it to show you're not greedy

Meetings often start late, but you should endeavour to ensure you arrive on time

Learn more about Korean

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Learn more about Korean

Learn more about Japanese

Learn more about Thai

Learn more about Indonesian

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