Getting the Most Out Of Your Business Trip To Singapore

Singapore offers a little bit of everything for anybody traveling to Southeast Asia. However, the question is, what makes Singapore an attractive hub to investors and business people alike?

Multicultural Society

Singapore boasts four predominant cultures: Malay, Chinese, Eurasian, and Indians. Business people can take a trip to this city-state to enjoy the cultural diversity.

Ease of Doing Business

Singapore offers a smooth and short process for acquiring business permits and setting up shop within the country – both for locals and non-locals. Additionally, Singapore is among the first nations within Asia to embrace new tech for business people to use.

Are you planning to visit Singapore any time soon for a business trip? Here are excellent pointers to make the most out of your stay there.

Find the Right Accommodation

Singapore has plenty of excellent places of accommodation for business travelers. If you are looking forward to staying there for an extended period, you can always check in to corporate apartments.

These apartments are designed for business tourists and are 30% cheaper than hotels. Additionally, they’re fitted with modern facilities alongside social amenities located within the neighborhood.

Get Connected   

Singapore is a telecommunication hub and, being a corporate center of the Asian continent, staying connected is easy. You can easily buy a SIM card; however, you will need to show your passport at the time of purchase.

Besides that, the city-state is supplied with high-speed free internet.

Understand the Language

Singaporeans speak Malay, Mandarin, and English. Also, there is Singlish, which borrows heavily from English. It is crucial that you understand a few phrases from the local languages which may come in handy when you need help.

Get Yourself a Work Permit

Singapore has strict immigration rules. If you’re visiting the country for a business trip, having a work permit is essential. Besides a work permit, it is also important to know how you’ll get your visa.

This shouldn’t be a bother. You can visit Visa Express, where you can find assistance in getting the necessary documentation for a trouble-free stay.

Your Behavior

Singapore has made significant progress thanks to the discipline of its citizens. As a foreigner, you’ll be required to behave well else you will find yourself on the wrong hand of the law. Here are some of the don’ts: do not litter, avoid PDA (Public Displays of Affection), and avoid emotional behavior in public.

Carry the Right Clothes

Singapore has a tropical climate, meaning the weather there is hot and humid. Cotton clothes are the best since they allow for proper aeration and comfort. Additionally, get yourself an umbrella or a stylish raincoat for the rainy days.

Be Polite

This is standard in all countries. Always be sure to let the hosts speak first during meetings, keeping your interruptions low if possible. Additionally, make your speech or talk brief and to the point.

Importance of Guanxi

When doing business, Chinese attach great importance to “Guanxi”, which is the private relationship with the partners. So please keep in touch with your Chinese friends by making phone calls with them to have a talk. This shows that they are important in your mind. Building a harmonious relationship will help you a lot when you want to do business with them.

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Use formal titles

When you are having a meeting with your Chinese associates, always address them by titles. i.e. Director Wu, Chairman Chen. If you don’t know somebody yet, just start with “xian sheng” or “xiao jie,” which means Mister or Miss/Mrs in Chinese. It is very important to keep in mind someone’s family name, which comes before the first name of a Chinese person. ( As in “Yao Ming”,“Yao” is the family name.)


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What to talk about?

Great conversation topics with your Chinese host are family, children, football or other sports, food or industry. With the topics you can build up a closer relationship with your host. Please try to be open about your own personal life also, this is very much appreciated.

If you are talking with Chinese please be very careful when talking about Tibet, Taiwan, Japan or Chinese politics. Chinese do not like to talk about these subjects, but also they are very easy offended with these conversation topics. Try not to mention these topics or keep a neutral opinion.

Avoid discussing Diaoyu Island

Diaoyu Island has been a cause of conflicts between China and Japan for decades. This is the one of the most concerned political issues in Chinese society. The Japanese culture has a great influence on younger generation of China, but politically, the hatred towards the Japanese among Chinese citizens has never diminished since WWII. Such emotions are still easily provoked when it comes to politics. Therefore, it is not advised to talk about these issues with Chinese people.

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Eye-catching presentation

Chinese people value appearance as much as the actual context. If you are planning to show some presentations to your Chinese clients on a conference, you need to make sure that they are slick and eye-catching. Your Chinese clients would love to see some colorful and dazzling presentations. Try to convey key messages through a bunch of exciting visual presentations to impress your Chinese partners.

Don’t fear for the exotic meals

Westerners can be horrified by what the Chinese are eating. Chinese food is the most intriguing part of the culture. Dog meat is a common dish that is popular in some parts of China, while spicy bunny head is a very famous cuisine in Chendu. Animal organs and feet are generally favored by Chinese people. If you are comfortable with those, then you have nothing to worry about. Insects and scorpions are rather provincial and probably will never be introduced to you. Always tell your host about your preferences and dislikes of food

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Small talk as a warm-up

Chinese people will never cut to the case right away. A casual conversation is to be expected before a serious discussion. You may be asked to talk about your feelings for the city, the food, the people,ect. Engage actively in such conversation and stay interested. Build up a warm atmosphere for your business negotiation.

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Bring your own interpreter/translator

It is not good for negotiations when you bring your own interpreter, especially if you plan to discuss legal or extremely technical concepts as you can brief the interpreter prior to the meeting. To give your Chinese host trust and a good feeling, ask him to arrange a proper interpreter for you.

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Use of Weixin or QQ

In China, many employees within companies use Chinese instant messaging services to communicate and relay important information to each other. QQ, a computer-based messenger, was the old favorite and can still be seen on many office computers, but newcomer Weixin, which is remarkably similar to WeChat, is becoming increasingly popular. Weixin allows users to record and send voice messages, and for the recipient to play the messages back at their own convenience, making it ideal for business people on the go.

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