Doing business in Indonesia
Translations into Indonesian help you do business successfully in Indonesia.
Don’t be too direct
While it is customary in the UK to make some small talk, in Indonesia, they take it to another level. In the Indonesian business world, it is customary to get to know each other better personally before getting down to business. It is therefore a good idea to invest time and effort in this. For the first few meetings, go out to eat together somewhere or seek another form of relaxation. Let your potential client take the initiative when it comes to starting a conversation about business. Even business conversations generally begin with personal chit-chat. Ask politely about your potential client’s personal life and about the country. Show that you are interested in Indonesia. Never refuse invitations to social events, dinners, etc, as these are often the occasions in which the most business gets done.
People are very formal in Indonesia so it’s very important that you take this into account when it comes to your own behaviour and choice of clothing. As a business man or woman, you will be expected to dress formally and soberly. The exchange of business cards is also very important. A business card that is printed in English on one side and Indonesian on the other is certain to make a good impression. You always give and take cards with your right hand as the left hand is regarded as unclean.
Physical contact and feet
Whereas the British don’t have a reputation for making physical contact, Indonesians are even less so inclined. The only physical contact that takes place is when shaking hands. Make sure that you keep both feet on the ground and never rest one foot on the other knee. Pointing your foot at someone can be interpreted as being an insult.
The official national language is Indonesian. This is taught in all schools, spoken by most Indonesians, and used for all official documents.
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