Thinking of starting a business or expanding your business in Vietnam? Like any markets that you may not be familiar with, it is always good to learn more about their unique business culture and etiquette before embarking on a business trip. Although most tips on cultural and social etiquettes are usually over generalizing, they are meant to provide visitors with basic insights and are not meant to stereotype any nationality.
Here are some common etiquette practiced by most Vietnamese.
Similar to most Asian countries, the concept of “saving face” is important to the typical Vietnamese. They guard their reputations and good names with fervor and it is prudent for any visiting business person to be particular sensitive when dealing with issues that may cause your Vietnamese counterpart to be embarrassed or insulted. On the other hand, if your actions were deemed to have helped them “save face”, you will be treated with much reverence and appreciation.
Though English is increasingly popular, it is still wise to engage an interpreter when conducting business that requires negotiation and lengthy dialogs. Do put in some effort to learn the minimal Vietnamese pleasantries. This would make things a little easier for you.
Exchanging of name cards
Once again we see similarity with other Asian culture. When receiving and presenting name cards, please remember to demonstrate respect by using both hands. You are expected to look at the card before putting it away.
Decisions by committee
Do bear in mind that most business decisions are made after deliberation by a team or committee. Do expect delays and if only one person disagree, the deal falls through and you may have to start again.
For more about setting businesses and companies in Vietnam, you can read Healy Consultants Group’ guide here: https://www.healyconsultants.com/vietnam-company-registration/