Having had the pleasure to live in Thailand, liaise and negotiate with Thais over the past 10 years, it is my take that Thailand is a country that is known for its friendly and welcoming culture, and this extends to the way business is conducted as well.
If you're planning on doing business in Thailand, there are a few things you should know to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
First and foremost, it's important to be aware of the concept of "saving face." In Thailand, it's considered very important to avoid causing embarrassment or shame to oneself or others. This means that it's best to avoid direct criticism or confrontation, and instead use indirect language or gestures to express your thoughts and feelings.
Another important aspect of business in Thailand is the concept of "sanuk," which means having fun or enjoying oneself. Thais believe that work should be enjoyable, and it's not uncommon for business meetings to include a bit of socializing and relaxation. This can take the form of a round of golf, a meal, or even a traditional Thai massage.
One of the most notable aspects of Thai business culture is the importance of building personal relationships. Thais value trust and loyalty, and it's important to take the time to get to know your business partners and build a strong relationship with them. This can involve sharing meals and drinks, visiting each other's homes, and even going on holiday together.
It's also important to be aware of the role of hierarchy in Thai business. Thais tend to be very respectful of authority and it's important to show respect to your elders and superiors, using formal titles and showing deference when appropriate.
When it comes to communication, it's important to be aware that Thais tend to be indirect and may not always say what they mean directly. It's important to pay attention to nonverbal cues, such as tone of voice and body language, to understand what's really being said.
Finally, it's worth noting that Thailand is a cash-based society and most transactions are done in cash. It's important to have enough cash on hand when conducting business in Thailand.
All in all, doing business in Thailand can be a good and rewarding experience if you are aware of the cultural differences and make an effort to adapt to them. Building strong relationships and showing respect for local customs and traditions will go a long way in ensuring a successful business venture.
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Dan Thai Net