Economy & Business > Business > Overview

Doing Business Ranking

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Source: http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreEconomies/?economyid=202
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Cultural characteristics of Vietnam
Business environment

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Vietnam is a collectivist society.

Family and que huong are high priorities for Vietnamese. They are delighted when foreign friends and colleagues ask about the health and activities of their family members.

When doing business in Vietnam, relationships are key and harmony is the goal of virtually every activity and interaction. Thus, people engage in small talk and catching up before getting down to business. In addition, age and status are highly valued, therefore, the use of titles is essential in business.


Due to the collectivistic nature of the Vietnamese, business decisions are made based on consensus, through the use of comprehensive consultation

Like other Asian countries, Vietnam is classified as a high-context society. People understand each other very well, and they rely more on context and nonverbal communication. Due to this characteristic, the use of intermediaries and third parties is common in business negotiations, as this avoids direct conflict

As the Vietnamese expression goes, “better to die than to lose face”, saving face is highly valued by the Vietnamese as a way of maintaining respect and harmony in interpersonal relations. People are reluctant to say no, since refusal threatens harmony.
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Standard Business Customs

Meetings

Business cards are always exchanged at the first meeting. The Vietnamese often use both hands to receive and give cards and also slightly bow their head to indicate respect.

Handshakes are usually exchanged at the beginning and at the end of the meeting. If a Vietnamese does not extend his or her handshake, a slight bow of head will suffice. This is particularly common in the more rural areas and in interaction with women.

Connections and introductions

Relationships are critical to successful business partnerships. Always invest time in building a good relationship based on both personal and business lines. An initial meeting should be solely used as a “getting to know you” meeting. Common ways of doing so include inviting the client to dinner, giving gifts and visiting their family.

Business dressing

Subdued colours, no bright colours.
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Other Customs

Counterparts of opposite gender: Vietnamese men often feel uncomfortable socializing with foreign women. They also often assume that women are more comfortable in talking with other women and will often seat them accordingly at meals or sometimes in social meetings.

Differences between Hanoi and HCMC: Businessmen in Hanoi are more “image-conscious”, hence in business meetings, they may prefer to go to expensive restaurants. However, businessmen in Ho Chi Minh City usually like to “enjoy life” more, hence they’ll prefer to go drinking or even karaoke/massage for business meetings.

Starting a Business

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Source: http://www.doingbusiness.org/ExploreTopics/StartingBusiness/Details.aspx?economyid=202


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