Looking to set up a new business in Thailand? Our business etiquette insights can help establish good relations with your Thailand colleagues:
- Being a predominantly Buddhist country, most holidays are taken in April and May by business people. You should therefore plan meetings to take place between November and March. Appointments should be made well in advance and it is a good idea to confirm again the day before. Initial meetings will always take place over lunch or drinks; entertainment is an important part of the business culture in Thailand.
- Thai people prefer to build personal relationships before discussing business. Repeated discussions will very often need to take place and at many different levels before any decisions are made, so several meetings are likely to take place following the initial meeting. Be patient, respectful and courteous at all times as these qualities are extremely important to Thai people.
- Certain actions should be avoided to ensure you do not insult or anger your Thai colleagues – do not pass anything over someone’s head as the head is considered sacred; always use your right hand as the left hand is considered dirty, and never point with one finger. If, by chance, you are invited to someone’s home, make sure you remove your shoes before entering as Thai people hold cleanliness in very high regard.