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Doing Business in Thailand (with description)

Flag of Thailand
Cultural Customs: Thai culture is based on Thervada Buddhism, which involves the remembrance and recognition of ancestors. The King and Queen are the most respected persons in Thailand. Thais also respect unselfishness and those who lead virtuous lives.

A sense of humor, laughter and a smiling attitude are highly regarded by Thais. Public displays of anger result in loss of face, and public criticism. One should never criticize the monarchy, even in private.

Gesture taboos include touching another person's head or passing an object over it; pointing the sole of the foot at another person; stamping your feet or touching a person with your foot; crossing your legs while seated; and placing your arm over the back of a chair in which another person is seated. Shoes are removed on entering a home or Buddhist temple (avoid stepping on the temple doorsill when entering). When seated on the floor, men sit cross-legged, and women tuck their legs to the side. When finished eating, place your eating utensils together on your plate.

Appointments: Thais may not be punctual for appointments. Preliminary business meeting should be held at the counterpart's office or in a business hotel lobby or restaurant.
Business Attire: Conservative Western. Men: Suit and tie for business. Short-sleeved shirt socially, except hotels, where a jacket is appropriate. Women: Suit or dress for business; smart casual socially.
Greetings: Traditional greeting is the wai: the palms of the hands pressed together with the fingers extended and held about chest-high, together with a slight bow and the honorary prefix Khun followed by your counterpart's first name. Do not use Khun in reference to yourself. A western handshake is also acceptable between men, followed by Mr. with your counterpart's last name. Business cards are exchanged at the first meeting. Small Talk Topics: Television and sports.
Gifts: Gifts are customary socially, but not demanded in business. Social: Dinner guests should bring premium liquor or chocolates. Overnight guests should bring a house favour (an art book or folk art). Disfavored Gifts: Flowers.