By PREMA JAYABALAN
Asean countries have their unique, rich heritage and culture. Here are some facts from each of these countries that may come in handy for business purposes or to simply gain more insights and knowledge.
Shaking hands by a light touch and bringing one’s hand back to the chest is a custom in Brunei. Remember not to point with your finger. You should use your thumb from your right hand with the other four fingers are folded beneath it. – Brunei Tourism
Cambodians are well-mannered and greet with a “Sampeah” where both palms are pressed together and placed at the chest while the body takes a slight bow and a greeting of “Chumreap Suor” is conveyed politely. Foreigners can shake hands with Cambodians but a “Chumreap Suor” greeting is more favourable. – Ministry of Tourism Cambodia
The people here follow the “Pancasila” which is the five principles of nationhood that comprises belief in the one and only God, a just and civilised humanity, the unity of Indonesia, democracy through unanimous deliberations, and social justice for all. – Discover Indonesia
People in Laos are friendly and frank with their thoughts and opinions. They believe in courtesy and respect while interacting and all who practise these values will receive a warm welcome – Laos Official Tourism website
Supported by a market-oriented economy and pro-business Government policies, Malaysia offers investors a dynamic and vibrant business environment. Malaysia’s key strengths include a well-developed infrastructure and productive workforce. – Malaysian Investment Development Authority
The country is rich with natural resources that has potential for direct foreign investment. Under the market-oriented system, Myanmar has attracted participation of foreign investors that has enhanced a long-term, win-win economic cooperation. – Embassy of The Republic of The Union of Myanmar
The Filipino government invites people from any nationality to invest in the country. A liberalisation of the foreign investment law allows 100% of foreign equity in all forms of investments except for those reserved for Filipinos. – Philippines Tourism
Known as Asia’s “garden city”, Singapore is the hub for “east meets west”. This multiracial society has a vastly built market-based economy that revolves around extended entrepot trade. – Singapore Cooperation Programme
Although the Thai language is the official language in the country, many Thais speak and understand English, especially in the major cities. As Thailand welcomes visitors from all over the globe, English is commonly used for cross-cultural conversations. – Amazing Thailand
Foreign investors are attracted to this country, resulting in an influential part of the country’s open government policies that encourages geographical position near global supply chains, political and economic stability, and labour resources. Foreign investment is seen as a part of the country’s development strategy and commitment to improving the country’s business and investment climate. – Invest in Vietnam
See main story: Asean: Unity In Diversity
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Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 18 April 2015