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Business customs and etiquette in Belarus

Shaking hands on a deal
Shaking hands on a deal

From dealing with state organisations to conducting a business negotiation, here’s your essential guide to doing business in Belarus

Dealing with state organisations

The government in Belarus is working to make state organisations more accessible to foreign partners and investors.

A meeting with a Belarus state official will be more official than with businessmen.

The level of manager you meet will depend on the status of your own organisation. If the meeting is going well, it’s common for more senior managers to be brought in.

Business etiquette – quick tips

  • Business meetings tend to be low key but formal, so dress smartly.
  • Personal relationships are very important – establishing a partnership based on trust is essential to doing business successfully.
  • Be patient. If you have a good product and a fair price you are likely to succeed, though the process may take longer than in other countries.
  • Older people in Belarus will introduce themselves using their first name and patronymic (the name from their father) and you should use this when addressing them.
  • Before you travel to Belarus get some business cards printed with English on one side and Russian on the other. Give these out to everyone in the room at the start of the meeting.
  • Employ a good local interpreter.
  • It’s considered poor form to criticise the host country.
  • Have an open mind to try any food or drink offered to you.
  • Don’t adopt an overly rigid approach to prices and agreements: be prepared to negotiate and make concessions.

Belarus women in the workplace

There is a high proportion of career women in Belarus. Women make up 67% of professionals and dominate in the teaching and medical spheres.

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