International Business Center Newsletter - Volume 2 - Issue 1
Volume 2 - Issue 1   

Welcome to this issue of the

   In this issue:

International Business Center Newsletter

Recent world events have created new challenges for those working in International Business:

  • The war in Iraq, with its worldwide terror alerts, placed additional limits on global business travel -
  • The World Health Organization issued a travel alert for Asia due to the new SARS respiratory illness - Over 1600 people have now been reported with this new virus and more than 60 deaths have occurred. The latest news includes an American Airlines flight into San Jose from Hong Kong with four passengers complaining of SARS symptoms.
  • The political dissent in the UN created a worldwide split. Now citizens in a number of countries are forming boycotts against long-term allies -
  • There is no sign that any major world economy is experiencing a sustained recovery -

- Global Resource Spotlight

- International Success Tips
    by Kimberley Roberts

Did you know?

Over 12 billion e-mails are sent everyday in the world!!!


Send us your

The bottom line, it never hurts to work on business basics. That means either building or reinforcing a foundation for the inevitable recovery that will be taking place.

Yes, it is difficult to think about positive business results when so many challenging events are occurring around the world. But these problems will pass, and the astute business person that plans ahead will be ready to profit from the coming turn-around.

For help with intercultural education, training and development within your organization, please consider the worldwide services of The Sigma Two Group, international business management consultants and trainers.

the International Business Center Staff

Global Resource Spotlight?

Each month we Spotlight a free resource for readers that focuses on Global business. This month's Spotlight is on Optimize Magazine online. Specializing in strategy and execution for business technology executives, they have a global issues segment, as well as good information articles on business like Outside-the-Box Manufacturing.

International Success Tips by Kimberley Roberts

Doing business around the world has been streamlined with telephone calls, e-mails and video conferences. But the importance of a personal meeting with associates and clients will never be replaced by modern technology. At times the meeting will be between, or among, trusted colleagues who have done business together for years. At other times, a first meeting will be taking place with the hope of establishing a beneficial and rewarding relationship.

When a meeting is scheduled with people from other cultures, it’s wise to be cognizant of that culture’s protocol. To establish a professional tone for the meeting and make a good first impression, become familiar with the standard greeting for the country, or the cultural group within the country, you will be meeting.

The handshake is used as a greeting throughout the world. In western countries it’s the standard, and in other countries it has replaced the more traditional greeting. For countries that may use the handshake, in addition to a traditional greeting, it is nice to know both. Then, when greeting the other person, pause and wait for a clue as to which greeting you should use.

Men are safe in extending a hand to another man. However, the rules may change when a man greets a woman; or a woman greets a man, or even another woman. Following are several tips that will simplify the greeting and give you some helpful information.

- Germany and the United States have firm handshakes, with the German being very brief and the US being about three to four seconds

- France, Guatemala, and Japan have more limp handshakes

- Singapore has a longer handshake (10+ seconds)

- Women should be the first to offer a hand for a handshake in New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, or Taiwan

- In South Korea, more respect is shown by cupping your left hand under your right forearm, as if supporting your right forearm during the hand shake

- A traditional bow may be used in China, Hong Kong, or Japan

- Traditional greeting in India is namaste -place the hands in a praying position, palms together with the fingers just beneath the chin, bow and say namaste

- Traditional greeting in Thailand places the hands, palms together, in front of the chin, bow the head to touch the top of the fingers, and say Wai

- Women may greet other women by patting the right forearm or shoulder in Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, or Panama

- Countries with Hindu and Muslim religions forbid public contact between men and women. When in these countries, follow your host’s cue to determine if religious tradition will be followed.

- Women should wait for a man to offer his hand first in a Hindu or Muslim country, if a western handshake is going to be used

As you can see from this list, even people in countries that have religious beliefs forbidding public contact between men and women may use the handshake as a business greeting when meeting a businessman or businesswoman.

To be professional each time you meet with people from countries or cultures that have these strong religious beliefs, don’t assume the handshake will be the appropriate greeting. Anticipate the situation and what greeting options may be needed. Then in a relaxed and confident manner, follow the clue from the meeting’s host.

Send us your

If you've enjoyed this newsletter, please forward it to a friend! Subscribe Today!

About the International Business Center newsletter
The IBC Newsletter is sent monthly to international executives, managers, supervisors, and international business school students. The Newsletter focuses on issues, information, and trends of importance to conducting business on a Global perspective.

This Newsletter is sent only to those who request it. If you have received this Newsletter and do not believe you requested it, please use this link to stop delivery.

For more information and resources for Global Business visit our website at: International Business Center