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Doing Business in Philippines (with description)
Western influence is very strong in the Filipino culture and in its way of doing business. Therefore, there are fewer difficulties in the Philippines, compared with its Asian neighbours.
In general, the format of business meetings would be as follows: meeting agenda, detailed discussion of specific items in the agenda, agreement on specific items under discussion (normally includes the assignment of responsibilities and project timetable) and the summary of discussion.
Filipinos often engage in light conversation with their colleagues either immediately before and/or after the meeting. This should not be taken as being unprofessional.
Although an exchange of gifts is hardly a part of the business culture, gift-giving may be practised, depending on the company and/or the purpose, but only on a limited scale.
The Filipinos are highly hospitable and enjoy entertaining, such as taking guests out for lunch or dinner. Business entertainment is considered very important and is usually limited to dining in restaurants.
If invited to a Filipino home, it would be appropriate to bring a thoughtful gift, particularly something representative of your town or region, as a friendly gesture.
English is the language of government, business and education. Most Filipinos use bilingual language when they converse with each other during informal conversations. They use what is called "Tag-lish" (i.e., a combination of Tagalog and English words within a sentence, or a constant shifting between Filipino and English sentences in a conversation) during informal occasions During business/formal occasions however, they use pure English.