Different places have different practice, so do foreign trade. But foreign trade cannot avoid making a deal with other country. Today I prepare part of European countries’ practice for you to do business with other country better.
Transaction practices: when importers in Denmark begin the first business with a foreign exporter, the order is small and they are normally willing to accept L/C.
Tariff: Denmark offers the most favored nation treatment or more preferential GSP to imported goods from some developing countries, Eastern Europe countries and Mediterranean offshore countries but even no preferential tax on iron, steel or textile.
Notice: like the importance of the sample, delivery date is also vital. Anything that betrays the delivery date or lead to its putting off may result in a contract canceled by the importer from Denmark.
Terms of trade: with L/C, usually on consignment of 90 days, 120～150 days for the large chain stores. Order quantity is about 200～1000 each time.
Notice: no tax for imported goods. Suppliers should shorten production time, focusing on quality and business reputation.
东欧 Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe has its own characters. Not very high class is required but long-term development is wished. Low quality goods have not potential for this.
It is normal for Russian to use T/T after they sign a contract. They also require to delivery on time. They seldom use L/C. But it is not easy to connect them, only through fair or local visit. Russian is the main local language; they do not use English very much so it is a little bit difficult to communicate. Business negotiation usually needs help from translators.
People from Russia and countries in Eastern Europe are very enthusiastic to western businessmen. Never call them “Russian” when talking business with them.
Being clam and modest, British keep some distance with the others in the beginning period and not easy to show their emotion. As time goes on, they will get closer to the others. They are also more straightforward, showing their opinions and thinking about the others’ when negotiating. But they also have disadvantages which is not punctual, being proud of English and never use the second language.
There are three things cannot be done when doing business with British: 1. No tie with stripe (because it could be considered as mimic of army or student uniform ties); 2. Do not joke royal family things; 3.Do not call the British “British”.
When talking about business with French, do not talk about private things too much because they do not like talking about family and privacy too much.
南美 South America
People doing business in South America, in order to follow the local culture, is supposed to dress dark color clothes, getting closer to talk when talking about business. Do not dress light color garment or talking the local political problem.
German businessmen think highly of efficiency. So, do not chat with them if it is not necessary when doing business. Businessmen in north part of Germany care about their reputation, thus, they will be much happier when you shake with them, calling their reputation, again and again.
If a letter is sent to a Swiss company, the “receiver” should be the company's full name but definitely not a name of its staff because if the receiver is not there, the letter will not be read forever. Swiss like old and famous company, so if your company was set up before 1895, you should emphasize it on your business card.
When talking with Finnish businessmen, you need to pay more attention to the manner of shaking hands, and call them “manager” and other title like that more. Most places of negotiating is offices, not feasts. After finishing negotiation, Finnish businessmen often invite you to family feast and steam bath. This is a very important manner. Do not talk about the local political problems when you are chatting.