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In-depth information for your business trip to Indonesia

Business trip to Indonesia can be one of the most extravagant experiences you may have. It is advised to research basic information regarding the places that you are going to visit. Furthermore, like any other places in the world, Indonesia has its own business etiquette. Learning and really knowing Indonesia business etiquette can prove to be advantageous to foster a long term relationship.

Here are some of Indonesia business etiquettes:

  • Always greet with a firm handshake and a slight bow to show respect.
  • When you are being introduced to a group of people, it is important to start greeting the eldest or the senior first.
  • If you know the title of the person you are being introduced, greet them and state their titles. Else, you can simply say “Pak / Bapak or Bu / Ibu” in conjunction to their names.
  • Indonesians have a different understanding and perception of time. Coming late to a meeting is customary, even though at this moment, it is starting to change due to the increasing number of western culture growing in Indonesia. You, however, are expected to arrive on time. It is important not to comment on the lateness of your Indonesians associates. Indonesians view Time does not equal to money, harmony and great relations do.
  • Do not rush into negotiating a deal. Indonesians culture and relationships are based on respect and trust. You will need to take time to establish a great relationship that is based on good will.
  • Give your business card after the initial handshake and greeting. Give and receive business cards using your two hands or right hand.
  • Business attire is usually conservative. Research about your Indonesian counterpart before meeting with him/her. Indonesia is home to six religions and it is important to respect each and every religions customs. For instance, if you are meeting with a Muslim Indonesian associates, avoid wearing anything that is “too open”. This can be considered a deep V-Neck blouse.
  • Indonesians’ communication style is indirect, which means yes can be no. Indonesians do not always say what they mean and it is up to you, as the listener, to read the underlying message of gestures and body language. Avoid being aggressive and create a safe space for your Indonesian counterpart. If you are unsure, politely ask again.
  • Indonesians biggest fear is to lose their face. In a conflict or disagreement, they are going to cover up their feelings and say what they think you want to hear. It is important not to offend your Indonesian associates. Be polite and, again, reassure it is safe to express their opinions privately.
  • Due to the fact that Indonesians build business based on trust and respect, your first initial meeting may be more about informal get-to-know rather than business.

During the process of coming to Indonesia for your business purpose, use the following checklist to ensure your safeties and to avoid any delays.

  • Contact one of the expatriate organizations in Indonesia because they can assist you in learning what is happening in the local business community and meet new colleagues.
  • Contact your local embassy upon arriving in Indonesia.
  • Learn Bahasa Indonesia basic phrases before you arrive.
  • Make sure to carry some Indonesian currency (rupiah).
  • Prepare your Indonesia visa requirements.
  • Research, research and research…

Business trip does not mean you cannot have free times to visit beautiful places in Indonesia. Plan ahead for your leisure and/or adventure trips in Indonesia. Turisku.com is here to assist you with any of your Indonesia travel needs.

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