Posted by: cmartinezgarcia | 16 October, 2010

The impact of culture on international business

A few days ago I read in a book called International Marketing (Ghauri & Cateora, 2006) some information about Culture and traditions in several countries or regions. The article focuses on giving a present in another country and some suggestions for that case. On this regard, it requires careful attention if it is to be done properly.
I guess this could make you curious and be of interest to you.

Here’s the brief:

You should not open a gift in front of a Japanese counterpart. Likewise, you don’t have to expect the Japanese to open it.
Avoid ribbons and bows as part of gift wrapping. Bows are considered unattractive and Ribbon colours can have different meanings.
Do not offer a gift depicting a fox or badger. The first is the symbol of fertility and the second is cunning.

Arab world
To give a present when you first meet someone may be interpreted as bribery. Try to give the gift in front of others in less personal relationships.

Latin America
Gifts should be given during social encounters, not for business relations.
Avoid the colours black and purple because both are related to the Catholic Lenten season.

Presents should be given privately, except for collective ceremonial gifts at banquets.

Finally, as you can see, it’s not the gift that counts, but how you present it.

I hope you find this interesting



  1. Thanks for the post. It is something we really have to bear in mind when we travel and especially when we want to do business with people from a different culture.

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