About Pakistan Business Culture

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Differences in Business between Pakistan and USA
In a diverse and complex country like Pakistan, it’s difficult to impart generic conclusions that could be used by those wanting to do business here. Regionalism, religion, language and caste are all factors that need to be taken into account when doing business in India. Behavior, etiquette and approach are all modified depending on whom you are addressing and the context in which they are being addressed. Unlike western societies, in Pakistan religion, fatalism and collectivism are all components of daily life and they need to be respected for a healthy and successful business relationships. There is a strong sense of tradition tied into daily business practices. No matter what the industry is, foreign businesses should expect some degree of differences in business norms in Pakistan. Do use titles to address your Pakistani counterparts, such as “Professor” or “Doctor”. Do wait for a female business colleague to initiate a greeting whether it is verbal or physical. Pakistani men do not generally shake hands with women out of respect. Aside from differences like these, there can be subtle differences as well. For example, because Pakistan is predominantly Muslim, there can small things that could affect the negotiation. Eating pork or drinking alcohol in front of Pakistani negotiators might be seen as offensive. Additionally, women might find it hard to negotiate with Pakistanis at first because Arabs might not be used to dealing with women in negotiations. Don't be aggressive in your business negotiations – it can be interpreted as a sign of disrespect. “Saving face” is another important aspect is important when dealing with the Pakistani culture. Therefore, when negotiations get tough, it might be better to back off than go for the jugular because this might drastically effect future negotiations. This also brings in the need to be flexible. Because information and communication between cultures can...
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