Amr M. Hatata
Business etiquette in Egypt and Japan
Dr. Bhavini Desai
Word Count: 2,800
When doing business in any country, one must fully understand their culture in order to avoid misunderstandings which might be taken very offensive. Misunderstandings occur a lot when foreigners interact in the business segment, and most of the time it is because partners don’t understand each other’s business customs. Japan is considered as a high-context culture, and when doing a business with the Japanese one must be aware of nearly everything about their business customs and etiquettes. Anyone in the business field probably heard about million dollar deals being turned down just because small things, like the way it’s offered or the other partner was five minutes late. In Japan, businessmen can turn down huge deals if the business is not done their way. When doing business with the Japanese, it doesn’t mean that just because the meetings are carried out in English that the American or western business customs apply. One must read about their etiquettes and customs and try to respect it before trying to deal with them. One must familiarize himself with all dimensions of the Japanese culture and use sensitivity and respect when working with the Japanese culture and backgrounds than his own. One must spend some time reading more about the way they do business if seeking successful negotiations with Japanese firms or businessmen.
Egypt is considered as a high context culture as well, but in a different way than Japan, even though the two countries have a lot of things in common. Business men in Egypt built their partnership with each other based on trust. Emotions play an important role in business in Egypt. Same as Japan, business men in Egypt can turn down deals so easy, just for small things such as religious views for example. Due to the Arab Israeli conflicts that occurred in the last 80 years, most Arab business men prefer to never do business with Jewish corporations. Even though if they know they are going to make a lot of money from such a partnership, they might take it as betraying their country and people. All successful business men in Egypt have money, but not all of them been educated in proper schools. So sometimes businesses can take an unprofessional form that might work out perfect in the end and business might be profitable. Greetings
When a business man travels for a business meeting in Japan, he should bring a lot of business cards with him. In the introduction process, partners often exchange business cards together. The quality of the business man’s card is considered as a title to how serious and formal is the business man and his company. It will be much appreciated if a person handles his business card using both hands and if the card is one side in Japanese and one side in English this might make them very happy, as you’re showing them how caring you are and how respectful you are to their culture. The worst thing a foreigner business man can do is to put the Japanese’s business man’s card in his back pocket or wallet in front of them, it is considered very rude and disrespectful as japan is a high-context culture. One must introduce himself with his full name followed by your company’s name (if you’re the one representing your company. It is also very important to use proper titles when talking to someone. So try to establish the position or the rank of the person you are talking to. Same as Japan, business card are necessary as they define the business man or the employee who is spoken to. But though, a lot of business men do business with each other based on their reputation or previous relations. Any business man in Egypt has to gain as much respect as he can get while being in a business meeting.
In Japan, business partners usually give gifts to each other on business occasions. For example if two companies (One Japanese and another British) doing business together, it is expected to...
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