Doing business in Kazakhstan
Getting to know each other
It is the custom in Kazakhstan to shake the hand with both hands. Business cards are then exchanged which are examined and are carefully put away. It is not usual to present gifts in a business environment except when you are invited to someone’s home. Flowers and chocolates are usually given but alcohol is generally not appreciated.
If you are invited to someone’s home, there are a number of unwritten rules of which you should be aware. For instance, it is always sensible to remove your shoes because they are regarded as unclean. Similarly, showing the soles of your feet is considered an insult in Kazakhstan, so try to keep your feet on the ground.
Another important tip is to avoid the use of the left hand as much as possible. The left hand is also regarded as unclean so always give and take things with your right hand.
Both Russian and Kazakh are generally spoken in Kazakhstan. Russian was always the most important language but Kazakh is becoming more important with the growing independence from Russia. More and more business people speak English but that is not the case everywhere so it is advisable to have an interpreter at your meetings and to have business documents such as brochures, flyers, and any contracts translated. We will be happy to help you with the translation of business documents and daily correspondence. Contact us for more information or request a no-obligation quotation immediately by email.
Nicolette van Neer
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