Business Culture in Malaysia

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Business Culture in Malaysia

Image Find out about business culture, protocol, customs and business etiquette in Malaysia. Learn about doing successful business in Malaysia, marketing, corporate structure, negotiating, establishing connections and finding your partner. Receive latest information on Malaysia business organization, manners, building relationship, correspondence and traditions. Get practical tips on meeting protocol, business entertainment, communication, social customs and much more.

Successful Business Meetings in Malaysia

Image Decisions are formulated slowly and in a very calculated manner. The Confucian ethic and Muslim influence affect many aspects of Malaysian business. In most situations, companies are very hierarchical and there are only a few decision makers at the top. Malaysians tend to be very detail-oriented and use a lot of research in their analysis. Expect at least two to three visits before business considerations will become serious and final decisions made. This will depend on the ethnic group with whom you are doing business as well as with the name recognition of your company. Large well established international companies will have a slightly easier time establishing credibility. Winning trust, however, will take longer for unknown companies. Overall, Malaysians tend to be risk-averse, although Malays and Indians are more so than the Chinese. Malaysians can be cautious and even reluctant to make difficult decisions, although it often depends on their exposure and involvement in international business. Overall, Malaysians are fatalistic, and within reason, believe that if a deal is meant to happen, it will. ... » » » MORE

Business Customs and Protocol in Malaysia

Image The most common way a foreigner loses face or causes Malaysians to lose face unintentionally is to show negative emotions during negotiations. That could be impatience, because negotiations last much longer than they would in the US, irritation and, especially, a display of temper. You immediately lose face if you display anger, even somewhat controlled, such as your face getting red. You are immediately classed as childish and immature. The person who displays that negative emotion also loses face. You should give face to your Malaysian counterpart all the time. You give face by showing respect verbally. If you are talking to a senior person, you give face by making sure that you never raise your voice during negotiations. If you are dealing with someone of your status or higher it will be grossly insulting if you raise your voice. Maintaining a soft tone, even if the things get tough, will give face to your Malaysian counterpart. ... » » » MORE

Doing Business in Malaysia

Image Getting to know your counterpart is an essential prelude to discussing a deal in Southeast Asia. Expect most of your first meeting to be taken up with general conversation. Sharing a meal helps you get to know your Malaysian contact, so does playing golf and going sightseeing. During the initial meeting it is a good idea to stick to small talk and general topics until your counterparts signal they are ready to talk business. Good topics of conversation include travel, sightseeing, business conditions in your country and food. Avoid criticizing local customs, politics or religion. Malaysians usually signal their readiness to get down to business by asking specific questions about your product, your company or the purpose of your visit. Each time you re-visit the market take time to update your counterparts on what's been happening and socialize with them before getting down to business. ... » » » MORE




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