Business etiquette in Vietnam

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 Vietnam, 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 Vietnam?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience!


I worked as an intern for 6 months at Hanoi University of Science, I found something strange( would I say different), usually after lunch break everyone take a nap for about 30-40 minutes(it is also common in other work places from my little research).
At first,I felt a little uncomfortable watching colleagues sleep at work, which is absolutely unacceptable in country.
So be ready for an after lunch nap, new expats. :)

In my experience it isn't about expats learning local business etiquette but Vietnamese behaving in a truly professional way.

I think it much depends on the level that you are doing business. For example, at Director and Senior Manager level the etiquette is very formal. So you need to remember to use the correct forms of address (Anh; Em etc).

Also, always receive someones business card with both hands and (don't know if the next bit is important in Vietnam but it is very important in Japan): Never put someones business card in your back pocket. Likewise when handing someone your business card, make sure it is the correct way up and present it using both hands.

And don't expect to be meeting directors and senior managers if your business card describes you as "salesman/woman" or similar.

It is of paramount importance in Vietnam for you to have an office, people just don't work from home in Vietnam like they do in the UK.

At social events you may find that people who place themselves lower in the pecking order may "clink" glasses with you whilst keeping the rim of their glass below the rim of yours. You are expected to do the same with anyone who is senior to you.

Good point about business card etiquette, it's like this in most of Asia. Many nicer establishments also do this when receiving and handing back your credit card. After more than then years in Asia, when I give my business card to a Westerner and they stuff in their shirt pocket or worse their pants pocket without even looking at it, I get offended and think "how rude." Guess I've become part Asian after all of these years. ^^

Nope.  You think of others.   How few do..?

..and if you live among good people, you become one of them.

That is All

Its true as Mr. Agwuena said.Its may be odd for expats and foreigners but in Vietnam, its ok.

Brazza139 is real

Oops sorry Bazza

Gosh!, thank you.   I was wondering about my reality too...             :unsure

The word says my friend

I like reading your posts! I think you are very " real" myself ;)

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