Cultural do’s and don’ts in Myanmar

Businessmen will typically greet each other with a handshake. If a businesswoman offers you her hand, it is acceptable to shake it, however you should not offer your hand to a woman – a small bow is enough. The exchanging of business cards is common in Myanmar. As in other Asian countries, please use both hands to exchange cards and take a short time to read a business card. Please clearly introduce yourself with the title described on your business card. Setting up business in Myanmar requires patience and investment in relationships. Attempts to do business in a fast -track way, without sufficient regard for the local culture and personal introduction, may lead to frustration, and perhaps offence. Often a first (or even second) meeting will simply be an opportunity for parties to get to know each other, as a prelude to more serious or in -depth matters being discussed later. As in much of Asia, making the right connections is crucial to successfully doing business. Being introduced by a mutual trusted contact will bring you in a good position.
  • Do stand-up when an older (senior) person enters a room it is normal to stand up.
  • Do stand-up / make place for monks.
  • Do bring a (small, formal) gift at your business meeting.
  • Do be on time for your business meeting.
  • Don’t directly point at images of Buddha.
  • Don’t show the below side of you feet.
  • It’s common to take out your shoes when entering a room.
  • Don’t abbreviate the names of your business partners.
  • Don’t discuss political topics.

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