Business etiquette in Cambodia

Hello everybody,

As you know, professional habits may differ from one country to another. In order to help newly arrived expats better understand their new professional environment in Cambodia, we warmly encourage you to share information and insights about the do’s and don’ts in the workplace.

For instance, are there office manners? How do you greet your co-workers? Do you greet your management differently? Is there a dress code? Particular rules to observe? Maybe a professional body language?

On another level, what is key for a successful professional meeting? Are there any steps to follow? How do you a start a negotiation?

In other words, what are the most important things to know for a successful professional integration in Cambodia?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience!


Two words, bad behaviour! Potential partners start off coming late for meetings, expect you to finance cash flow, and then asking for a cut of fees /commissions when they do no work.

I have learned in Cambodia there is no such thing as taking responsibility or being accountable. My employees show up whenever they want to, my building fix-it man says he will be there at 10 am and shows up at 8 pm. When you have a problem with such instances they laugh because that is how they deal with uncomfortable situations. It can be very frustrating, it feels as if you are being taken advantage of because you are a foreigner. I have set up meetings with multiple different beverage suppliers for the cafe I manage and all times they have not shown up. Hours later they finally respond to your missed calls and texts saying they were too busy to show up. Bad manners all around has been my experience so far working in Cambodia.

Concur! Completely. And I know other business people who agree. Western Style business is out the window in Cambodia. But then, most of us don't come here for that.

So true Captnw4, I did not come to Cambodia to have the same experience as the US. Its an adjustment but in the grand scheme of things, completely worth it. :)

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