Warnings concerning other miscellaneous items are also included in the equipment regulations.
For example, doing business in Thailand is often based on first and on-going impressions, body language, common courtesies and attention to small details. Almost 95 per cent of the population practices the southeast Asian form of Buddhism called Theravada.
The Buddhist approach to life has strongly influenced Thai attitudes and behavior. This fatalism is backed up by a strong national identity and self-awareness.
The Thais are very proud of their monarchy, one of the oldest in the world, and of their independence as one of the only Asian nations to have avoided Western colonization. Your presence will be needed. It will soon be worked out whether you intend to put in the personal work to build the necessary relationships that are essential for success — all of which take time and are based on Thais getting to know you well.
The family and hierarchies The family unit is the cornerstone of Thai community life and remains particularly strong in rural areas. Despite the advent of commerce and tourism, and the pursuit of material wealth, children are taught to honour their parents and elders and to depend on the extended family for mutual support.
Thais still respect hierarchical relationships. Parents are superior to their children, teachers to their students, and bosses to their subordinates. Although women usually run the family finances and are increasingly visible in Thai business and government, they still tend to be treated as secondary to men.
When Thais meet a stranger, they will immediately try to place you within your own hierarchy so they know how you should be treated. Being self-effacing, modest and not embarrassing or intruding on others is an essential part of Thai culture. In a non-confrontational society, any attempt to criticize others publicly or be openly angry amounts to an unpardonable loss of face.
In such a culture, the smile is the most useful non-verbal tool and disarms as well as hides a large variety of emotions and reactions. Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, which indicates a good deal of relaxation and a friendly attitude but might not always be entirely positive. Make sure that you smile back.
The wai may be made while sitting, walking or standing.
It takes the form of a slight bow forwards while bringing your hands to a praying position in front of you between chest and forehead with the fingers pointing upwards. The exact location of the hands and the depth of the bow depend on the level of respect being offered, with the junior person offering the wai first and the senior responding.
The mere fact that you attempt a wai will delight your hosts. Most educated and cosmopolitan Thais now offer both a wai and a handshake. Business cards Generally speaking, Asian business people exchange business cards much more frequently than in the West and with greater formality. Present the card in both hands with the Thai translation uppermost and the characters facing your counterpart English is also acceptable.
As in most Asian countries, it is polite to make some comment about the card, even if it is only to acknowledge the address. Gifts and festivals The Thai calendar is full of festive occasions. Red and gold are suitable for both ethnic Thai and Chinese Thai households because they are royal colours.
A bottle of imported liquor such as single malt Scotch is appropriate for an executive. Entertaining is a major part of developing business relationships in Thailand.
Thais place great value on enjoyment kwam sanuk and they always ready to laugh. You can easily overcome any social mistakes you make by laughing too.
It may take several meetings or several months or even several years to forge a successful partnership. Since the Thais are supportive of hierarchies and respect all forms of authority, decisions are made by senior management with little consultation of middle or junior management.
The eldest person in the group is always the most revered. As in many Asian societies, non-verbal communication is often more important than verbal communication. You must watch your own body language and facial expressions, as these often will be believed much more your words.
You must also watch the non-verbal demeanour of your Thai counterparts. So avoid placing them in an awkward position.Thailand Risk Assessment Country Guide. Experiencing rapid economic growth, Thailand has become a global industrial leader with a diverse population of over 65 million people.
The country as a whole poses a number of risks for expats living and working within its borders.
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Top 10 challenges of doing business in Thailand Disclaimer: This article was accurate at the time of publishing. To obtain the most up-to-date information, please get in touch with our local experts.