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Expert Asia

"Doing business in Vietnam is about building relationships. You've got to get to know people first, you've got to get them to like you and then you can do the business.”
Mr. Tim Brownbill
HM Consul General Vietnam
Director of Trade & Investment Vietnam
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)

Doing business in Asia

Although that quote is about Vietnam, it is true about Asia because the culture, history and society in Asia is all about
relationships. The Chinese have a special word to describe the concept, it is Guanxi, which describes the basic dynamic in personalized networks of influence, and is a central idea in Chinese society. Guanxi can also be used to describe a network of contacts gained from social connections and usually extends from extended family, school friends, workmates and members of common clubs or organizations, which an individual can call upon when something needs to be done, and through which he or she can exert influence on behalf of another.
It is custom for Chinese people to cultivate an intricate web of guanxi relationships, which may expand in a huge number of directions, and includes lifelong relationships. In East Asian societies the boundary between business and social lives can sometimes be ambiguous as people tend to rely heavily on their closer relations and friends. This can result in nepotism as it is common for authoritative figures to draw from family and close ties.

Ask the Expert

Through the services of Asia Trade Experts, the Guanxi that has been built up over the past forty years by our Chief Expert is available to you. As your Expert in Asia, we have experienced experts with local knowledge and international experience in all our offices, who are able to help you track down the supplier that you are looking for or simply to answer your question.
In the first instance, please contact our Chief Expert, so that he may determine the most appropriate expert to deal with your query. It might be possible to arrange a video conference between the relevant expert(s) and yourself.
Below are just some of the experts available to help you. There are many more, some of which cannot ‘go public' because of their current situation or status. This is particularly true of some senior officials.