Gift giving in Thailand nowadays is more Westernized than ever and less formality compare to other countries in Asia. In general, gifts are not required but it is appreciated. And as we all know, Thai people is considered as collectivist culture. So when it comes to receiving gift or giving gift, loss of face or making someone lose face is best to avoid. They will not open gift in front of the giver because they don’t want to look greedy or appear disappointed if they don’t like the gift. Instead, they will say thank you and put it aside and open it later after the giver left. Some foreigners especially westerners might feel put off by this reaction but if they wish to create a good relationship with Thai clients or show Thai business people their goodwill. They should follow the procedure. Here are some tips of what foreigners should do and avoid when they give or receive gift from Thai people whether the gift is exchanged at the meeting or give when invited to Thai people home. Don’ts
1) Expensive and “run-of-the-mill”.
Do not offer gift that is obviously expensive and run of mill. If your gift is obviously expensive, it will make the recipient feel uncomfortable and refuse to take it because it might look like you trying to bribe them especially in business context or with government official agencies. And by Run of the mill it means common stuff such as things that the recipient already has or they buy it frequently. Because it can interpret that you are careless. 2) Sharp objects or personal stuff.
Do not give sharp objects such as knives and scissors, and mirrors, as gifts. If you are involved in business transaction with Thai business people or especially Chinese-Thai business people, you would want to maintain a good relationship with them. By giving those sharp objects, to some people it can imply that you want to sever the relationship. Moreover, do not give personal stuff such as perfume and handkerchief as a gift because it might convey...
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