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Bangladesh

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Most of Bangladesh lies within the broad delta formed by the Ganges and
Brahmaputra rivers. The land is flat, low-lying, and subject to annual flooding, which
creates agricultural challenges. It is one of the most densely populated countries in
the world, with widespread poverty.

The government strives to reduce the birth rate and improve the health and
education of its people. In addition, the government is actively pursuing policies for
supporting and encouraging private investment as well as diversifying the economy.
The 2013 collapse of a garment factory that killed more than 1,000 lives brought
global demands for better working conditions.

Onshore and offshore gas reserves could provide future prosperity if handled
properly.

With a rapid rise in Islamist extremism, the government began arresting opposition
Islamist politicians, which led to accusations that the government was suppressing
legitimate opposition.

Culture Overview

Cultural Essentials

Bangladesh has a rapidly changing culture where behaviors are dependent
upon age, exposure to Western ideas, region of origin as well as education
and socio-economic level.

Hierarchy
Bangladesh has a hierarchical culture where people are respected
because of their age and position. From childhood, Bangladeshis learn to
adjust their behavior based upon the status of the other person. Within the
family, each person is superior or inferior to someone else depending upon
their age and sex. Respect towards others is shown in the way they are
addressed. A suffix is appended to a person's name to recognize the
relationship between the speakers. Older women may be addressed as
Aunty and men as Uncle, even if there is not a relationship; people in the
same general age bracket may have brother or sister appended to their
name.

Older people are considered wise and are granted respect. The oldest
person in a group is revered and honored. In a social situation, they are

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served first. Elders are introduced first and are generally provided with the
choicest morsels during meals. Bangladeshis expect the most senior male,
by age or position, to make decisions that are in the best interest of the
group.

Companies are generally extremely hierarchical, with a top-down
management structure. Titles are important since they denote status and a
person’s position within the hierarchy. Subordinates address their
managers by Sir or Madam and would not address someone senior to
themselves by their first name, although this may be changing as
Generation Y makes inroads in the workplace.

Business cards may include university degrees as a visible testament to
hierarchy and status. Managers can be more autocratic than in many
Western cultures because of the respect employees have towards the
hierarchy. Concurrent with their status, however, managers have
obligations towards their staff that may extend into the personal realm.

Personal relationships / Group Harmony
Bangladeshis are willing to subjugate their own desires for the group's
greater good. Within the group, they strive to show mutual respect and
agreement. They avoid confrontation and do not embarrass each other,
since doing so would bring dishonor to the group.

This reliance on the group is shown in the close personal ties maintained
with their family. The extended family creates a myriad of
interrelationships, rules, and structures. Along with mutual obligations
comes a deep-rooted trust. Relatives can be counted on to loan money,
help find employment, offer caretaking when someone is ill, and can be
counted on in a multitude of ways when needed.

Unlike many Western cultures where business trust is based upon a
company’s reputation, in Bangladesh personal relationships are the
foundation of trust. It can be very difficult to develop strong business
relationships without first forging a personal relationship.

Indirect Communication
Since group harmony and face saving are basic facets of the culture,
Bangladeshis adopt an indirect communication style. They are reluctant to
tell someone something that would be unpleasant, even if it means
withholding vital information. Likewise, they are unwilling to admit that they
do not know an answer.

For the most part, Bangladeshis strives to maintain group harmony and
respect hierarchy by telling the other person what they think is the desired
response. When they do offer a negative response, it is done in an
extremely indirect manner that is often not understood by foreigners. To
the foreigner, it may appear that Bangladeshi communication is meant to
preserve harmony more than to relay information.

If they think that the information they are about to impart will not please the
recipient, most Bangladeshis will hint at the subject or simply avoid it.
Since they are high-context communicators, they understand that not being
given a strong affirmative response is, in fact, a negative response. They

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are attuned to understanding nuances such as hesitations. In general, if a
Bangladeshi repeats a question instead of answering it, they have said no.
Since Bangladeshis communicate bad news indirectly, it is important to
learn to read between the lines of what is said and hear what is not said.

Time
Given the importance Bangladeshis place on building and maintaining
relationships, it makes sense that they have a flexible view of time. It is
common for someone to postpone a task so they can see to their existing
relationships. This often means that timetables and schedules are not met.
Since people rather than timelines are given first priority, personal
relationships flourish and deadlines may not be met.

Many Bangladeshis see time as beyond their control. They expect people
to arrive late for social situations and would be distressed if someone
arrived on time. Given this free flowing view of time, meetings seldom start
on time. Bangladeshis who work in multinational companies may attempt to
be prompt, although they may not succeed.

Meetings may be canceled or postponed at the last minute because the
key person is attending to a personal relationship.

Impact of Generations
As is the case in most countries, most material on generations focuses on
the Millennials (born 1980 – 2000). Bangladeshi Millennials believe in the
power of technology, are optimistic about the economy and think they can
make a difference in their country. They are viewed as innovative,
technological, competitive and committed to their personal life.

Unlike previous generations who were under colonial restraints, Millennials
are a new generation that were born free of foreign intervention and have
the technological power to leverage their freedom and self-determination.
There are over one million freelancers in Bangladesh, clearly showing that
Millennials prefer an independent, self-directed future over the traditional,
conventional career paths. Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of the
economy; Millennials are on their way to increasing the GDP and
development of the country.

Religion

Bangladesh is a predominantly Islamic country with 83% Muslims (mostly
Sunnis) and Hindu 16%. There are also a significant number of Buddhists
and Christians.

Ramadan
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk
and are only permitted to work six hours per day. Fasting includes no
eating, drinking, cigarette smoking, or gum chewing. Expatriates are not
required to fast; however, they must not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in
public.

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Each night at sunset, families and friends gather together to celebrate the
breaking of the fast. The festivities often continue well into the night. In
general, things happen more slowly during Ramadan. Many businesses
operate on a reduced schedule. Shops may be open and closed at unusual
times. Although most restaurants are closed during the day, international
hotels will serve food to non-Muslims.

Role of Women

Bangladesh is a study of contrasts concerning the way women are viewed.
On one hand, women play an important role in the economic survival of
their families, especially in rural areas. On the other hand, Islam places
women in a subordinate position to men. The culture remains patriarchal,
with clearly defined roles for men and women.

During the last two decades there has been a concerted effort to increase
female education.

Since the World Conference on Women in Mexico in 1975, Bangladesh
has been at the forefront among the least-developed countries (LDCs) in
addressing gender disparities. It has the eighth lowest gender gap in
political empowerment in the world. The country had a female head of state
for longer than any other country in the world. In addition, the proportion of
seats held by women in the national parliament doubled to 20% in 2011.
Although there are quotas for women in parliament as well as in
government sector jobs, there is no legislation to enforce compliance.

Women’s increasing presence in politics has led to changes in the family
structure. The culture is slowly moving away from the traditional view that
women are an economic liability and that sons are more desirable than
daughters. Studies show that the growing independence of women is one
reason for the decrease in gender-based infanticide.

Women’s participation in economic activity has increased in both rural and
urban areas. Seventy-four percent of the garments production employees
are female. In urban areas, women are often teachers, lawyers, journalists,
and government employees. Nonetheless, there is widespread
discrimination and women seldom rise to senior management or decision-
making positions. Nearly 25% of women are self-employed or freelancers,
particularly in fields such as travel, hotel, communications, and retail.

There have been many development initiatives for entrepreneurial women
in the government’s Five Year Plans. There has also been an NGO-led
micro-credit revolution specifically targeting women.

In many ways, class has the greatest impact on the way a woman is
perceived in society. Status is derived from the family – the father until
marriage and the husband thereafter. Educated women appear to be more

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diplomatic. therefore. Visiting businesswomen should act in a reserved manner with male business colleagues. Although personal relationships are important in business. are considered secure places where a woman may work without wearing the burkha. Tips for Businesswomen It is important that businesswomen dress conservatively and professionally.2017. It is a good idea for women to behave with professional decorum and avoid behavior that could be considered flirtatious. and patient. and discuss the matter in private. Preparing a stock answer in advance allows you to handle the questions with grace and aplomb. they may have difficulty seeing a businesswoman as the final authority. foreign businesswomen should strive to maintain a professional demeanor. working women are often deemed desirable as wives because they earn their own money. business remains formal. Since Bengali women seldom go out unescorted at night.. 8.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Nearly 80% of garment workers are female since they can be paid less and are considered to be docile.aspx. You may be asked somewhat intrusive questions about your marital status and whether or not you have children. If you must disagree with a Bengali. When interested in foreign investment. In general. a foreign woman should not venture out alone at night. At the same time. Since men are accustomed to treating women relatively formally.PrintView Page 5 of 43 involved in decisions concerning the household and family than are lesser educated women. a businesswoman will be more successful as a subject matter expert. therefore. and tactful. Working women in the business sector tend to be young and single. nimble-fingered. especially when dealing with members of the opposite sex..2. In urban areas. be polite. Having an income also often improves a woman’s position within her family and affords her the status to be consulted on important decisions.culturewizard. Bengali businessmen will treat foreign businesswomen in the same manner they would a foreign businessman with similar credentials. Bengalis will generally treat a woman with respect if she demonstrates knowledge in her field since expertise is respected and admired. Many religious women prefer working in the garment factories because they are not considered "public" and. A businesswoman should extend her hand to the Bengali businessman http://kpmg. . Accept that you are in a male-dominated culture that is influenced by Islamic culture and beliefs. View of Foreign Women Foreign businesswomen can expect to be treated with respect and dignity.

and professional accomplishments should be sufficient. If you are a business traveler.. Forwarding a brief bio including her academic background.2. Although most businessmen understand that a Western woman may do both in an attempt to appear sincere. Saying you must ask someone else to authorize a decision may cause you to lose credibility. 8. If you are naturally enthusiastic or effusive. Establishing Credibility It is a good idea to advise Bengalis in advance of a businesswoman’s credentials so that her role is clearly defined. A businesswoman should be authorized to make decisions. it is generally a good idea to adjust your style to be more compatible with the local culture. .culturewizard.2017.PrintView Page 6 of 43 during the greeting process. Bengali women do not smile or make direct eye contact with men other than their husband or male relatives. In general. Titles are important since they tell others how to behave towards you and where to place you relative to themselves -. lead the business discussion when you are part of a team. he will generally tell her so and will most likely not be offended by her gesture..and relative to the hierarchy. title. They sometimes determine the level of the person with whom you may conduct business. The government has made a concerted effort to promote the country at trade shows and to build high-end hotels http://kpmg. To avoid this. highest-ranking male who knows the people with whom she will be meeting. Even if all team members are equal. If he does not shake hands with a woman. you may wish to invent a "business card title" to ensure that you are able to meet with the appropriate decision maker. Bengalis will defer to the men on the team. the businesswoman should nod her head slightly and lower her eyes to demonstrate respect. this visible taking charge enhances your credibility.aspx. If this occurs. The status of the person who makes the introduction lays the foundation for the way a businesswoman is perceived. If possible. it is a good idea to arrange with your team to have certain questions deferred to you. strive to moderate your speaking voice as Bengalis expect women to have a soft voice.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. she should strive to be introduced by the oldest. If a businesswoman is meeting with a company for the first time. View of Foreigners Bangladesh is trying to change its image from solely a business destination to a tourist destination as well.

you should remember the following tips: • Whether you are managing a corporate team or a household staff. At the same time. Perhaps the most important tip we can provide is that when interacting across cultures. deadlines. • Be aware that people expect to be treated differently based on their socio-economic backgrounds or levels in the organization.. you need to approach every situation with an understanding of the basic tenets of a given culture and yet remain alert to the specific cultural signals you receive in each situation and adjust your behavior and expectations accordingly. explicit directions regarding duties. 8. they expect to take direction from the leader. Don’t expect meetings or social functions to involve people from multiple levels. but in order to describe cultural traits. Hierarchical vs. They are designed to help you work and understand people from other cultural backgrounds. so when interacting with people from Bangladesh.culturewizard. • Do not expect employees to display individual initiative. Cultural Model. http://kpmg. Foreigners are generally well received since they bring much-needed foreign investment into the country.2. you will need to give clear. Egalitarian The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • How society is structured • How power is allocated or earned • Tolerance for social mobility • How organizations are structured and run • The amount of responsibility and control employees are given Bangladesh is hierarchical. • As a manager or employer. Foreign women who adopt a conservative wardrobe to reflect prevailing cultural sensitivities are generally better received. we had to make generalizations. which may not apply in some cases. . you will be expected to demonstrate an authoritative leadership style.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. many Bengalis are concerned that foreigners will challenge their traditional culture and attempt to Westernize the country. Please keep in mind that not all people from any given culture act the same.aspx.2017.. Cross Culture Tips The following cultural observations are based on the dimensions in the ICAM169. and decisions.PrintView Page 7 of 43 that would appeal to tourists.

. • In general. Formal vs. • Check with a colleague or local national about rules of protocol and etiquette about specific circumstances since being correct with etiquette is important. As you interact with people from Bangladesh.culturewizard.. • Expect to encounter more bureaucracy in organizations and government agencies.PrintView Page 8 of 43 • Show the appropriate level of deference and respect.2017. Group vs. Informal The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • The importance and value attached to professional vs. to the more senior members of society and the organization. Do not move to first-name basis until invited. 8. Individual The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • The source of an individual's identity and loyalties • The relative importance of the individual versus the group • Whether legal systems will protect the rights of the individual or focus on the group as a whole • Whether individuals prefer to work alone or be part of a group • Whether work teams operate as a seamless entity or as cooperating individuals • The value of individual contributions vs. teamwork in accomplishing and rewarding business goals • The roles and responsibilities of individuals to other family members • The appropriate levels of self-assertion and self-promotion within a society Bangladesh is a relatively group-oriented society. When you interact with people from Bangladesh: • Address people by their appropriate title and name. Check to be certain it is proper to use social functions to network.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.. it is best to use the formal tense when using the local language. These external cues matter to locals.2. • Status is important and you may be judged on the image you present. it will be helpful to remember the following tips: http://kpmg. the clothes you wear and where you live and what car you drive.aspx. • Do not ask personal questions in a social setting unless you have developed a close relationship with someone. personal lives • How status and success are defined by a society • The presence or absence of government-sponsored initiatives relating to family welfare benefits • The source of an individual's identity and self-esteem • Tolerance for blurring the lines between professional and personal lives Bangladesh is a formal society. through language and behavior.

• Individuals do not always feel comfortable taking sole credit for accomplishments.. When you have business or social interactions with people from Bangladesh. Transactional The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • What constitutes a relationship • What are the expectations • Whether trust is deemed critical to building social or business relationships • What takes precedence in making a business decision: the people involved or other more objective business criteria • The pace and degree of formalized rituals in building new relationships • The appropriateness of mixing business and pleasure. • In a business situation. trust and familiarity will likely take precedence over price and perhaps even efficiency. then as an individual. This is how locals learn more about you as a person so that they can be learn if the type of person with whom they want a relationship.2017. Direct vs. personal relationships.. which may include going out after work to socialize. relationships are long lived. • Decision making may require a good deal of consensus building. relationship building takes time and attention. • Individuals feel a strong sense of responsibility for family members. be sensitive to the role of the group. they carry an underlying assumption of friendship. • Expect to be asked personal questions.2. • Employing or giving favorable treatment to family members and friends may be good business.PrintView Page 9 of 43 • People value their role as a family or team member. They will often identify themselves first as part of a group.aspx. • Promotions will be based on a mixture of group and individual performance and achievement. • There are expectations that people have of relationship-based behavior. as well as the individual. you will want to remember these points: • Relationship building is important and tends to be somewhat formal and ritualized. even when credit is primarily due to them. entertaining at one’s home or even inviting someone for the weekend and while these may be seen as casual in your culture. In return.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. once developed. and what may be considered to be "nepotism" in your culture may be openly accepted. Interpersonal vs. or professional and personal lives Bangladesh is an interpersonal. . 8. Indirect The defining characteristics of this dimension are: http://kpmg. They may be uncomfortable if too much focus is placed on them individually. Instead.culturewizard. • In general. relationship-oriented culture.

8. and dialog are important to assure understanding. Fluid vs. status and sense of personal accomplishment are derived from family. • Show you are considering the subject thoroughly when a topic is presented.2017. • Personal identity.culturewizard.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. background information. you should remember the following tips: • Individuals value their personal and family time. When interacting with people from Bangladesh. personal lives • How status and success are defined by a society • The presence or absence of government-sponsored initiatives relating to family welfare benefits • The source of an individual's identity and self-esteem • Tolerance for blurring the lines between professional and personal lives Bangladesh is a Balance-Motivation culture. • Adding some context. • Employees see a clear distinction between work time and personal time and rarely blur those lines. Status The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • The importance and value attached to professional vs.2. • Eloquence in verbal communication and meticulous preparation of written or visual communication forms are highly valued.. • Family obligations will take precedence over professional loyalties or advancement.PrintView Page 10 of 43 • The relative importance of verbal vs. non-verbal communication • The degree of directness or subtlety in the language • The relative importance of contextual versus tactical information in conveying a message • The need to maintain harmony and dignity when communicating • The degree to which a society uses conciseness and clarity versus eloquent language when communicating Bangladesh is a very indirect communication culture. Balance vs. • Take care when making introductions to have a respectful.. Controlled Time The defining characteristics of this dimension are: http://kpmg. even deferential demeanor. The following tips will give you clues about how you might handle communication with people from Bangladesh: • Non-verbal gestures are important to enhance the meaning and acceptance of the words being spoken.aspx. education and pursuits outside of the workplace. . • People are reluctant to permanently relocate and leave family and friends.

• People in this society look for strong. schedules • Attitudes towards timekeeping and punctuality • Comfort level with short range vs. • Don't expect changes to be readily embraced and be prepared for considerable resistance even after you’ve been able to demonstrate the value of a proposed change. http://kpmg.culturewizard.2. and brevity to maintain time schedules is not considered a virtue.. External vs. . • While employees and colleagues in Bangladesh may show a great deal of competence. and allow failure Bangladesh is an External Control society.2017. • There is generally a large window of accepted lateness for social events in someone’s house. longer term planning • The feasibility / appropriateness of assigning set times for social functions or business meetings to start and finish Bangladesh is a Fluid Time culture. The following tips will give you clues about how you may best interact with people from Bangladesh around time issues: • Time schedules and deadlines are not necessarily considered final. This may be less pronounced when meeting with government officials. directive leadership. Internal The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • The degree to which people feel they control their environment and destiny-or the degree to which they feel their environment and destiny control them • Openness to change and innovation • The preference for rules and structure • Willingness to take risks • The degree to which organizational practices encourage and reward initiative and risk taking..PrintView Page 11 of 43 • The degree to which people feel that they can control time • The relative importance of relationships vs. When interacting with people from Bangladesh. 8. you should remember the following tips: • People in these societies are typically quite risk averse and the society is not readily forgiving of failure.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • Given their exposure to global business standards. people generally know that foreigners value promptness and they may strive to comply. Management is often paternalistic and care-taking towards employees.aspx. • It may be rude to interrupt a colleague who is taking a long time to deliver a message. don’t be surprised if they don’t show much initiative. Tending to relationships may be more important.

9% (includes Buddhist.) Population growth rate: 1. Sylhet.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. The next major religion is Hinduism (16%). other sources estimate there are about 75 ethnic groups.aspx. other 0. and Rajshahi. About 83% of Bangladeshis are Muslim. Tribes comprise about 1% of the population. The tribes intermingle.186.) Languages: Bangla 98. The largest tribe. Most Chakmas are Buddhists. ethnic groups 1. Country Overview The People Nearly 98% of the population is Bengali. marriage customs. critics of the 2011 census claim that it underestimates the size of Bangladesh's ethnic population (2011 est.6% (2014 est. but some practice Hinduism or animism. 8. birth and death rites.8% (official. food. dress. . Unlike the other tribes. Nationality: Noun: Bangladeshi(s) Adjective: Bangladeshi Population: 156. and customs.) http://kpmg. and other social customs.1% (2011 est..2.PrintView Page 12 of 43 • When introducing initiatives. They differ in their social organization.) Ethnic groups: Bengali at least 98%. be prepared for considerable discussion and debate and other actions that demonstrate resistance. Other major religions include Buddhism and Christianity. also known as Bengali). yet can be distinguished by differences in their dialect. Christian) (2013 est.) Note: Bangladesh's government recognizes 27 ethnic groups under the 2010 Cultural Institution for Small Anthropological Groups Act. They live primarily in the Chittagong Hills and in the regions of Mymensingh. Hindu 10%. the Chakmas.1%.. Most are of SinoTibetan descent and have distinctive Mongoloid features.) Religions: Muslim 89. the Chakmas and Marmas generally live in the highland valleys.882 (July 2016 est.2017.2% (2011 est.culturewizard. are of mixed origin but reflect more Bengali influence than any other tribe. other 1.

etc.. In its oldest areas it is dominated both by the commercial waterfront and several old buildings. northwest. cyclones. East Pakistan Government type: Parliamentary republic http://kpmg. Government Country name: • Conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh • Conventional short form: Bangladesh • Local long form: Gana Prajatantri Bangladesh • Local short form: Bangladesh • Former: East Bengal. . These include the uncompleted 17th-century Lalbagh Fort. It is located in the geographic center of the country. tidal bores. Low hills are found in the far northeastern part of the country..culturewizard. the spectacular Ahsan Manzil palace museum and the Chotta Katra. an alluvial plain formed by the sediments of the rivers and tributaries that traverse the country. The country is prone to natural disasters.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.2017. Dhaka was founded in 1608 as the seat of the Imperial Mughal Viceroys of Bengal and has been known for its fine silk and muslin. in the great delta region of the Ganges and Brahmapurta Rivers. Nearly 90% of the country is low land.2. The alluvial soil of Bangladesh is continuously enriched by heavy silt-deposits during the rainy season. Dhaka The historic city and capital of Bangladesh. The Chittagong Hills are steep sloped parallel ranges. Bangladesh has a tropical monsoon climate. These are part or extension of the Khasia-Garo-Jainta and the Tippera Hills of India. and east and Myanmar to the southeast. Monsoons start in June and continue through October.aspx. largely covered with tropical forests. 8. The larger hilly areas are concentrated in the Chittagong hill districts that are geologically the offshoots of the Arakan Yoma running through Eastern India to Burma. Forests cover about 8% of the land. floods.PrintView Page 13 of 43 Source: The World Factbook Cities & Regions Bangladesh is bordered by India on the north. and faces the consequences of such disasters almost every year.

S.state. Steady garment export growth combined with remittances from overseas Bangladeshis . Department of State.which totaled http://kpmg.. including a nationwide transportation blockade implemented by the political opposition during the first several months of 2015. with rice as the single-most-important product. the backbone of Bangladesh's industrial sector. slow implementation of economic reforms. accounted for more than 80% of total exports and surpassed $25 billion in 2015. and crippling strikes. despite a series of factory accidents that have killed more than 1. Economy Currency: Taka (BDT) Economy .gov/ An online directory of leaders updated weekly by the Central Intelligence Agency.overview: Bangladesh's economy has grown roughly 6% per year since 1996 despite political instability. Garment exports.PrintView Page 14 of 43 Capital: Dhaka Independence: 16 December 1971 (from West Pakistan) Legal system: Mixed legal system of mostly English common law and Islamic law Source: The World Factbook More Government Information Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members in Bangladesh https://www.cia. Background Note: Bangladesh http://www.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.000 workers.com/ A comprehensive directory of Bangladesh government Web sites.aspx. corruption.gov/ An overview of government and political conditions published by the U. poor infrastructure.gksoft. ..2017. The sector continues to grow. almost half of Bangladeshis are employed in the agriculture sector.culturewizard. 8. Although more than half of GDP is generated through the services sector.2. Links to Government Web Sites http://www. and the 2008-09 global financial crisis and recession. insufficient power supplies.

iron and steel. soap and detergent.290 sq km Land boundaries: Total: 4. 8. warm rainy monsoon (June to October) Terrain: Mostly flat alluvial plain. humid. leather.230 m Natural hazards: Droughts. paper. between Burma and India Area: Total: 148.. sugar. bordering the Bay of Bengal.142 km Coastline: 580 km Climate: Tropical.2017. hilly in southeast Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m Highest point: Keokradong 1. garments. drugs and pharmaceuticals. salt. much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season http://kpmg.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.9%.. hot.170 sq km Water: 18. .7% (2015) Source: The World Factbook Geography & Climate Location: Southern Asia. mild winter (October to March).are the largest contributors to Bangladesh's sustained economic growth and rising foreign exchange reserves.9%. Germany 12. fabricated metal products. Industries: Jute.PrintView Page 15 of 43 about $15 billion and 8% of GDP in 2015 . Spain 4. cotton. ceramic.culturewizard. cyclones. France 5%. petroleum products. tobacco.460 sq km Land: 130.aspx. fertilizer.partners: US 13.2. India 4. electricity and natural gas Exports . humid summer (March to June). cement. UK 8.413 km Border countries: Burma 271 km. tea. edible oil.9%.

. 8. Exiled Awami League leaders proclaimed East Pakistan's independence on March 26.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. With the help of Indian troops. soil degradation and erosion. The area then came under British rule in 1757.culturewizard. West Pakistani elite exploited East Pakistanis despite the fact that East Pakistan had the larger population.. Their soldiers attacked civilians in Dhaka. A national state of emergency was declared in 1974 when severe flooding devastated much of the grain crop and killed 30. Martial law was imposed on the country.PrintView Page 16 of 43 Environment .current issues: Many people are landless and forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land. results from the use of commercial pesticides.000 people. • General Zia ur Rahman took the role of Chief Martial Law Administrator in 1976. intermittent water shortages because of falling water tables in the northern and central parts of the country. deforestation. • Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of the Awami League was elected to head East Pakistan in 1970. massacring nearly half a million people. at which time he amended the constitution. ground water contaminated by naturally occurring arsenic.2017.note: Most of the country is situated on deltas of large rivers flowing from the Himalayas: the Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty into the Bay of Bengal Source: The World Factbook History Overview • Muslim rule of the region began in about 1200 and lasted for five and a half centuries. They named the country Bangladesh. . • Sheikh Mujibur was arrested and taken to West Pakistan. In 1978 General Zia http://kpmg. About 10 million Bangladeshis fled to India. • British colonial rule of India ended in 1947 at which time the country was partitioned into India and Pakistan. water pollution.2. Pakistan was further sub- divided into East and West Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur returned to Bangladesh and became Prime Minister the following year. 1971. He assumed the role of President the following year. after the Battle of Plassey. waterborne diseases prevalent in surface water. severe overpopulation Geography . Bangladesh overthrows West Pakistan troops. Sheikh Mujibur became President in 1975 and was assassinated in a military coup in August of the same year. • The Awami League (AL) was established in 1949 to campaign for autonomy from West Pakistan. Bangladesh became East Pakistan and was separated from West Pakistan by India.aspx. especially of fishing areas. The government of West Pakistan refused to recognize the election results.

In May. Floods covered nearly 85% of the country. leaving the country desperate for food. 8. General Ershad imposed Islam on the educational system and forced teachers to teach in Arabic. Violence led to curfews in many cities in August.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. the BNP. he lost to Khaleda Zia's Nationalist Party. • A 2001 law allowing the death penalty for acid attacks was enacted to counteract the rise in violence against women. • General Zai was assassinated in 1982. President Ahmed ended up with the caretaker role until the January 2007 elections. wife of General Zia. • Sheikh Hasina Wajed. daughter of Sheikh Mujibur. The country remained unstable for several years. General Ershad stepped down in 1990 following mass protests that made the country ungovernable. became Prime Minister in 1996.culturewizard. • By November 2006. • A banned Islamic group set off about 350 bombs across the country on August 17. General Ershad was elected President. Two-thirds of the country was devastated by floods in 1998. • In October 2006. • Khaleda Zia. A state of emergency was declared the next year following strikes and opposition demonstrations. 2005.2.. the constitution was amended to reserve 45 MP positions for women. • Leaders in the main Islamist party were charged with war crimes by a Spring 2012 government tribunal investigating collaboration with Pakistan during the 1971 war for independence. In retaliation. General Ershad seized power in a bloodless coup and placed the country under martial law. • Martial law ended in 1986 and a constitutional government was revived. • 2005 January – The Awami League’s Shah AMS Kibria died in a grenade attack at a political rally in January 2005.. • In April 2007. violent protests erupted over the government- recommended caretaker administration that would maintain control when Premier Zia ended her term. . The opposition party. his party called for a general strike. • Sheikh Hasina was the first Prime Minister to complete a 5-year term. much of the country was paralyzed by a blockade and a state of emergency was declared. began striking against the government. particularly among the non- Muslim minority. Safety standards were increased in May when 500 people died on a river ferry.PrintView Page 17 of 43 won the first independent presidential election. The President became a ceremonial position and the Prime Minister was given full executive powers. Bombings continued in November. In October 2001. This led to social unrest. making much of the population homeless. of the BNP Party became Prime Minister in the 1991 elections. • Islam officially became the state religion in 1988.aspx. • 2004 brought the worst floods in nearly a decade. Martial law was repealed and the state of emergency revoked. • The opposition called 21 general strikes in 2004 while trying to oust the government. Sheikh Hasina was charged with murder and Begum Khaleda Zia was put under house arrest. Muslim rioters http://kpmg. General Ershad was jailed for corruption and illegal possession of weapons.2017.

the war crimes tribunal tried in absentia and sentenced Muslim cleric Abul Kalam Azad to death for crimes against humanity. to which the expected response http://kpmg. Since Islam is the predominant religion.2. although they do not always smile in public. Raising the right hand to the forehead. • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina vetoed an Islamist bill to outlaw criticism of Islam in April 2013. The traditional Islamic greeting is "Assalamo alaikum" ("Peace be with you"). Greetings are. palm curved and relaxed in a salute-type gesture indicates respect from Muslims. therefore.culturewizard. Country Information Embassies Public Holidays Social Etiquette Meeting People Bangladeshis are warm and hospitable people.. 8. Eleven other political leaders stood trial. The next month.000 workers died in a fire. Abdul Kader Mullah of Jamaat-e-Islami was sentenced to life in prison. Employee protests closed hundreds of factories until the government agreed to increase the minimum wage and make it easier to form unions. the tribunal declared the Assistant Secretary General of the main Islamist party guilty of the same charge.PrintView Page 18 of 43 attacked Buddhist villages and shrines after a supposed burnt Koran was posted on Facebook in October.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. The tradition greeting between men is a rather limp handshake. • Clashes with the police continue due to the July 2013 arrest and detention of Islamist party members from the 1971 war for independence.2017. generally between members of the same sex. . it is important to follow their cultural norms and understand that few Bangladeshi women communicate with men outside their extended family.aspx.. • In January 2013. • European retailers agreed to improve safety conditions in factories in May 2013 after over 1.

it is becoming common to give gifts to children on their birthday. In general. Both Muslims and Hindus may use the word "Ashi" ("so long") to say goodbye. The most common such suffixes are older brother. 8.. Bangladesh is a poor country and it would be rude to give an expensive gift knowing the recipient could not reciprocate in a similar fashion. Say goodbye to each person before departing. bring a small gift such as cookies. he should say that it is from his wife. • Do not give white flowers as they indicate mourning.2017. and other celebratory occasions. • Giving money is viewed as an insult. In some cases. wife of older brother ("bhabi"). Gift Giving Family or close friends may exchange gifts for Ramadan. the suffix. • Gifts are generally not opened when received. this practice is not extended to adults. the age of the speakers dictates how people are addressed. • At Ramadan. In urban areas. • If a man must give a gift to a woman. mother. it is important to say goodbye to the eldest person first. Haj.2. the person is called by their first name and a suffix that denotes the family relationship. The Hindu greeting is "Adab" or "Namaskasr" ("hello") and they say "Khoda hafiz" ("May god be with you") when departing. or some other female relative. rather than the value of the gift that is important. son of father's brother.aspx.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. however. It is the thought. Bangladeshis often append a suffix to a person's name that denotes respect and the level of closeness of the two people. . If the person being addressed is older than the speaker. Here are some general gift giving guidelines (but also check to be sure they are permitted under company policy): • If invited to a Bangladeshi’s home.. Since this is a hierarchical culture. • Gifts are given with two hands.culturewizard. gifts of food and fruit are exchanged. • Do not give alcohol to Muslims.PrintView Page 19 of 43 is respond "wa alaikum salaam" ("and peace be with you"). • During Haj (the pilgrimage to Mecca). Expect to be introduced to each person individually by your host in a social setting. • Do not give frangipanis as they are used at funerals. • At Eid. gifts are generally given to children. Eid. candy. sister. If people are of the same age. or good quality chocolates. older sister ("apa"). they use first names. without the first name is used. sweets are the most popular gift. http://kpmg.

PrintView Page 20 of 43 Entertaining How Bangladeshis Entertain Since this is a poor country and often several generations of family live together. Entertainment outside the home is usually same-sex only. Bangladeshis seldom entertain foreigners in their homes. . • Arrive approximately 15 minutes later than the stipulated time when invited to dinner or a small gathering... which is viewed as superficial behavior.2017. • Guests are served first. • Show respect for the elders by greeting them first. Bangladeshis reciprocate hospitality rather than say "thank you". Extending a similar invitation marks you as a person of good breeding. If not. In general. This is changing in urban areas and among the more well-to-do. When in doubt.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. If you are invited to a Bangladeshi’s house: • Check to see if the host is wearing shoes. watch what others are doing and emulate their behavior. remove yours at the door. • Bangladeshis do not generally converse during meals. • Sample everything that is served. • It is not necessary to send a thank you note. • Dress conservatively. • The most common eating utensils are a fork and tablespoon. It is better to say you will try to attend rather than turn down an invitation. • Eat only with the right hand. Table Manners Bangladeshis table manners are relatively formal. • Bones should be put on a special bone plate. http://kpmg. even if utensils are used.culturewizard. but not in all cases. many families do. although in urban areas. Refusing an invitation may be viewed as not valuing the invitee's friendship.2. Keep the spoon in the right hand and use the fork to push food onto the spoon. women may sit at the table with males. • You may arrive up to one hour later than the stipulated time when invited to a party. • You will be urged to take second and even third helpings. Many people do not use eating utensils. • Do not start eating until the oldest person does. When having dinner at someone's house. Bangladeshis are cognizant of social class distinctions and afo not extend invitations to those they feel they cannot entertain properly. • Meals are generally served either family-style or buffet-style. continuing in some rough approximation of age order until the youngest is served. Then the oldest.aspx. not on your plate. Saying "I'm full" will be taken as a polite gesture and not accepted at face value. • You will be asked to wash your hands before and after eating. 8.

since this is a poor country and food is precious. the businessperson will take the call and not rush it. • Restaurants: 10% • Porters: 50 cents per bag • Taxis: 10% Approach to Time Most Bangladeshis see time as something that is fluid and adjusts to changing circumstances. Tipping The following tipping hints are guidelines. 8. and cultural events. Safe topics include travel. If a friend or family member telephones as a meeting is to start.2.culturewizard. They will stand close to you while conversing and you may feel as if your personal space has been violated. • Reciprocate any hospitality received. Do not leave a great deal. Bangladeshis have a relaxed attitude towards scheduling.2017. While it is acceptable to inquire about someone's children. If you want to reciprocate. Do not inquire about someone's wife or discuss your own. You can find more explicit information on restaurant tipping in the Dining Out section above. hobbies. The person extending the invitation generally pays. Bengladeshis do not require as much personal space as people in most Western cultures. . invite the host to a meal and make payment arrangements in advance... place the fork and spoon in the middle of the plate. Personal relationships are so important that they often overshadow the clock. Guests are expected to make a ritual pretense of offering to pay nonetheless. specific questions should be asked about sons rather than daughters. Leave just enough to show that your hosts have provided sufficient hospitality. In general.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • When you are finished eating. http://kpmg. Dining Out Tipping 10% is customary.aspx.PrintView Page 21 of 43 • Leave some food on your plate when you have finished eating. since that would be rude. Conversation Topics Bengladeshis are known to be wonderful conversationalists. Do not back away.

. • Avoid public displays of affection with members of the opposite sex. • Do not photograph anyone without permission. • Do not point the soles of your feet or shoes at anyone.. • Do not use the "thumbs up" signal. Since group harmony and maintaining face are crucial. • Do not touch books or reading material with your feet. as this indicates rejection. . Other Situations Bengladeshis visit friends and family in the late afternoon. Making eye contact while conversing with peers demonstrates sincerity. As a foreigner. • Do not speak disrespectfully or even lightheartedly about the prophet Mohammed.2017. guests are generally invited to stay. • Do not place a holy book on the floor or treat it in a manner that could be considered disrespectful. although it is not required if the relationship is close. Bengladeshis will look down when speaking to someone who is older or of a higher social standing to denote their respect towards the person.PrintView Page 22 of 43 as the person may attempt to close the gap between the two of you and you may find yourself backed up against a wall. they will talk around issues trusting that the listener will somehow gather the intended message http://kpmg. • Do not use the "okay" signal.2.aspx. it is still advisable to call in advance.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. as this is considered obscene. Faux Pas Keep in mind the following behavior while in Bangladesh: • Do not point your finger at anyone. • Do not step on a prayer mat when someone is praying. Use the right hand to give or pass items since many Bangldeshis believe the left hand is unclean. Visiting at this time can be done without an invitation. If a visit occurs near a meal time. • Whistling or winking are considered rude behaviors. Communication Communication Essentials Bengalis are known for being talkative and wonderful conversationalists. 8.culturewizard.

. Rather. They are also masters of passive silence. Key Words/Phrases • Yes: Haa • No: Na • Hello: Ei je • Good morning: Salaam alaikum or Nomoshkar shu pravat • Good afternoon: Salaam alaikum or Nomoshkar shuvo oporanho • Good evening: Salaam alaikum or Nomoshkar shuvo shandhya • Good night: Suvo ratri • Good bye: Khoda hafez (literal translation – God bless you) • Welcome: Sh agatom • How are you?: Kemon achen? • Response: Valo asi • Please: Onugraha kore • Thank you: Dhanyabad • Thank you very much: Ozasro dhanyabad Spoken Key Phrases http://www.com A video featuring basic spoken phrases in Bengali. Bengalis are soft-spoken and dislike loud or harsh tones. 8. They pride themselves on their ability to maintain their self-control. the translation must be exact.com The Bengali alphabet. This is a culture where saying things delicately gets better results than the direct approach. . and links to more information. Bengalis use evasive phrases instead of directly stating that they will not do something. Public expressions of anger are avoided since there is a fear of it being the harbinger of violence. This lack of friendly demeanor should not be misinterpreted as a lack of interest in what is being said. rather than what the translator thinks each party wants to hear. you may want to ask the same question in several other ways. If you are not certain how a response you received was meant.. Communication is non-confrontational.PrintView Page 23 of 43 from the context and their non-verbal language.omniglot.2017.aspx.wonderhowto. Using Translators Take care in selecting a translator and develop an early understanding of what you expect--specifically. pronunciation guide. it is a desire to treat the conversation with the seriousness it deserves. If you are from a direct culture where saying what you think regardless of the consequences is the norm.culturewizard. Smiling in business is not common as it is considered more professional to demonstrate seriousness. http://kpmg. you may wish to modify your speech pattern so that it is not viewed as threatening.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. They are indirect communicators who prefer long sentences rife with contextual communication.2. as is common in this region. Language Related Videos http://www. A calm and serious face is considered a sign of maturity.

2017. try to find the right balance between standing too close and not close enough.aspx. and between maintaining eye contact so you appear trustworthy and not too much so you don't seem provocative. it is important to build and maintain a respectful yet harmonious tone. Developing a thorough relationship with your translator enables them to argue your points with a level of confidence they might not otherwise have. http://kpmg.culturewizard. include a fair amount of background information.2. they often increase the space considerably when speaking to someone of the opposite sex. or when continuing with a written dialogue following an initial face-to- face meeting. it is a good idea to begin a letter by asking about your counterpart’s health.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. When closing.PrintView Page 24 of 43 To be on the safe side you may want to meet with the translator prior to your appointments so that the person learns your accent and can be exposed to any technical or non-familiar terms that may be used. it is best to use intermittent rather than direct eye contact. Do not attempt to move to a distance that is more comfortable as it may make the Bengali uncomfortable. therefore.. Non-Verbal Language Bengalis stand extremely close when speaking to someone of the same gender. Have your translator explain to you the most elementary of basic courtesies. It is essential to be polite and to handle difficult situations tactfully. avoid appearing blunt. family. When interacting with someone of the opposite sex. written communication should balance politeness with affability. Listen attentively to someone who is speaking to denote respect. However. . or mutual interests. If the speaker is senior to you in age or position. Even when writing to someone you have never met. 8. arrogant or domineering. When introducing a company or otherwise soliciting services. again make a personal statement. Given the emphasis on relationship-building.. Mail & Telephone Letters/Email Business is formal and.Express any differing points of view or disagreements by fully explaining your position.

Use the time to develop a rapport with the audience. The first five minutes of most telephone conversations should be considered the equivalent of small talk.culturewizard. not the presentation. • Use diagrams and pictures when possible rather than words.aspx. • Avoid putting too much text on slides. intersperse charts and graphs with written material. Telephone Your first approach to a prospective client should be extremely courteous and emphasize your personal and company history. The way you present yourself in writing says a great deal about who you are as a person and this can positively or negatively affect your working relationship.2017. background data. • Typos. or spelling mistakes indicate lack of attention to detail. Presentations Handouts • Provide handouts a few days in advance so the audience can discuss the material with technical experts or other stakeholders who may not attend the presentation. even if they require clarification.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.. 8. An intermediary can help you navigate “who’s who” in a particular organization.. • To emphasize a point.2. grammatical errors. http://kpmg. it may be shortened. Presenter • Provide coffee and sweets. • Handouts should provide additional details. During the first conversation. allow time for the audience to mingle. or charts and data to flush out the details of what is presented. while in subsequent conversations. To end a conversation you can simply thank the person for their time or help. • Will not interrupt a speaker. It is important to identify who the key decision makers are. Audience • Some may arrive late. • Slides should be an outline. .PrintView Page 25 of 43 Use a proper salutation including titles and do not use abbreviations and slang. this may be prolonged. • You may ask the audience to turn off their mobile phones. Presentation Slides/Power Point • Presentation materials should be spell-checked for British spelling. • Side conversations may still occur. • High-tech visuals are the accepted norm.

. • Make eye contact with your audience. • Do not read from your slides or notes. • Explain a bit about what you plan to discuss and how the situation came into existence.culturewizard. • Interactive exercises can work well if the audience is at the same level in the hierarchy.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • Moderate expressive hand gestures if possible. do not focus entirely on one member. • Strive for a cordial yet formal delivery style. • When presenting a new product/service. hype. Closing the Presentation http://kpmg. • Invest time in developing a rapport with the audience.PrintView Page 26 of 43 • Introduce yourself to each member of the audience as they arrive and engage in some small talk. • Include the conceptual framework while addressing the local context. • Avoid hard sell. • Move from the big picture to case studies or anecdotes that proves past results.. • Be knowledgeable about your subject. even if they are late. • Use creative examples. • Recap at regular intervals to ensure understanding. • Technical aspects of the proposal should only be discussed if the designated technical expert is present. which are ineffective and possibly offensive. • Avoid pacing or too much movement—it will be interpreted as nervousness. • Introduce yourself and provide a brief business bio. focus on its value to the audience more than how the item works. Body of the Presentation • Presentations should be well-organized and follow the outline in the opening. • Begin with the business advantage of what you are about to discuss and a big picture overview.. to back-up any claims made.2017. 8. do so indirectly. • Both substance and style are important. or hyperbole. • Provide supporting documentation. You are expected to be an expert.2. • Minimize slang. it makes you appear unsure of your material and detracts from being seen as a subject matter expert.aspx. jargon or sporting analogies. including facts and figures. Opening the Presentation • Do not begin until the most senior person arrives. • State how long the presentation will take and the key points that will be covered. metaphors or analogies to facilitate understanding. • A professional and eloquent speaking style is preferred. • When presenting potential drawback.

2017.PrintView Page 27 of 43 • Avoid giving an overview or summary at the end of the presentation.2011 or 09/07/11. Time The 24-hour clock is a timekeeping convention where the time of a day is the number of hours since midnight. • Schedule time for a Q&A session at the end of your presentation. http://kpmg. leading zeroes are used. Date/Time Date In Bangladesh. • Handshakes may be somewhat limp.2. although they may use the 12-hour clock when speaking. 2 o'clock in the afternoon would be 14:00 in the 24-hour clock. Bangladeshis generally communicate in writing using the 24-hour clock. • Recap the purpose of the presentation. 8. . but will be important for an understanding of the material and its context. The 12-hour clock divides the day into two periods (midnight to noon and noon to midnight). The year may be written using two or four digits. you may want to spell out the name of the month. month and year format with either periods or slashes between each number. • Be prepared for in-depth questions as to the background of the material you are presenting. To ensure there is no confusion. • Thank the audience. each with 12 hours.culturewizard.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView... 2011 could be written 09. dates are generally written in the day. This leaves no ambiguity as to what is the day and what is the month. Questions may not always appear directly related to the topic at hand. Business Protocol Meeting & Greeting • Men greet each other with a handshake upon arriving and leaving. If the day or month is less than 10.07.aspx. Example: July 9. Thus.

• Include any advanced university degrees on your card. conservative suits or dresses.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. what we report is the conservative approach to business attire for a country. Some industries and companies may have less stringent requirements. • The way you handle a colleague's business card is an indication of the way you will treat the relationship. • Business cards are exchanged using the right hand only or with two hands. • Men should wear a suit when meeting with government officials. 8. • Businessmen should be addressed by the term "Bahadur" ("Sir"). • Business attire is formal and conservative. Clothing should not be http://kpmg.PrintView Page 28 of 43 • Foreign men should nod to a Bangladeshis woman unless she extends her hand.2.. This may be used with or without the surname. • Make a point of studying any business card you receive before putting into your business card holder.aspx. • Women should wear extremely modest. Therefore. • In the summer months. while women may be addressed as "Begum" ("Madam"). Appropriate attire varies within countries based on location.culturewizard. it is generally a good idea to check with the local office to determine what the appropriate dress code is in a specific location. Business Cards • Business cards are exchanged after the initial introduction. • Your business card is considered an extension of you. but it is best to dress conservatively for the first meeting. a man may be able to dispense with the jacket. . Skirts should cover the knee. Business Attire The way a businessperson dresses conveys their professional image and their respect for the people with whom they conduct business. • The common greeting to a Muslim is "salaam alaikum" ("peace be with you"). • Wait until invited before moving to a first-name basis. as they denote status. make sure your cards are in pristine condition. Before embarking on an international trip. to which the expected response is "as alaikum salaam" ("and peace be with you"). Blouses should have high necklines and cover the arms completely. • Men should wear a tropical weight business suit with a shirt and tie. • Present your business card so that the text is facing the recipient.. event.2017. As such. and individual organization culture.

. they close earlier. Some garments factories are in production 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. • If you host a business function.. • Natural fibers provide the best defense against the intense heat. Business Hours • Offices and government: 9:00am–5:00pm.2. • Good gifts include desk items. • Industrial facilities: 9:00am–5:00pm. it is common to have business lunches or dinners where business is not discussed. During Ramadan.2017.PrintView Page 29 of 43 form fitting. Therefore. • It is common to have a celebratory meal at the end of successful negotiations.culturewizard. Business Entertaining • Bangladeshis maintain strong business contacts through socializing. • Banks: 9:00am or 9:30am–1:00pm Sunday to Thursday • Shops: 10:00am–9:00pm Saturday to Thursday Business Meetings http://kpmg. Sunday to Thursday. do so at a first class international hotel.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Swiss army knives. Gifts Here are some general gift giving guidelines (but also check to be sure they comply with company policy): • Business gifts are very much appreciated. Wearing loose trousers and an over-blouse or a floor- length. 8. flowing skirt demonstrates respect for the local culture. Saturday to Thursday. .aspx. • Entertaining takes place in restaurants or hotels. • Avoid giving expensive gifts as they may be viewed as an attempt to curry favor. • Business entertainment is generally male only. or electronic gadgets.

This will only occur when he is satisfied that you are the type of person with whom he would be comfortable conducing business. http://kpmg. although Bengalis are not slaves to them. • Who participates/speaks: Employees will not correct their superiors. Lower level Bengalis may lower their eyes when speaking to someone who is their superior to demonstrate their respect and deference towards the person. 8. In fact. Although foreigners are not expected to do the same.. facilitates the meeting.. Agendas are frequently used. Similarly to other South Asians. .PrintView Page 30 of 43 Meeting Essentials • Structure: Agendas and back-up materials should be provided in advance. They are generally as concerned with the content of their message with how it is received. If you want to recommend items for inclusion on the agenda.2. Bengalis have an indirect communication style. Meetings generally begin with getting-to-know-you conversation and relationship building. Employees may be called on to corroborate or clarify facts and statistics but there will be little collaboration.culturewizard. Communication in meetings is formal and hierarchical. He is responsible for setting the agenda. • Who attends: Key stakeholders or others who are deemed to have a business interest in the subject. They see agendas as a broad outline of items to be discussed.2017. sets the agenda. if this is the first time your company has done business with a particular company. and setting the tone for the discussion. It is a good idea to include back-up material then as well. so be it. • Role of Leader: Calls the meeting.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. The purpose of meetings is to communicate information and decisions that have already been made. although this may not be the actual decision maker. calling the meeting to order. so they generally only corroborate information. Agendas are loosely followed. If this sparks a tangential discussion. they should be cautious not to say anything that causes another to lose face. Meetings seldom have ending times since they are over when their purpose has been met and everyone has had their say. sets the pace • Purpose: Exchange information or communicate decisions that have already been reached.aspx. The highest ranking Bengali at the meeting is the host. the initial meeting may only be used for relationship development. They tend to be careful when communicating something that could hurt or offend. do so in writing several weeks prior to the meeting. It is a good idea to allow the most senior Bengali to decide when the appropriate time to begin the business discussion is.

Try not to schedule meetings during Ramadan. 8. • If you want to include something on the agenda. it is important to monitor your behavior so that you do not inadvertently offend someone.aspx. The recipient loses face because they were the receiver of the behavior. this is especially important when dealing with government officials. Demonstrate deference to the most senior person in the group. Bureaucrats can be easily offended by what they perceive as overly casual behavior.2017. Due to the long history of Western colonial domination. Try not to appear irritated if this occurs. 3 to 4 weeks in advance. • Agnedas are considered broad outlines of what is to be discussed. Arrive at meetings on time and be prepared to be kept waiting. Meetings may be cancelled at the last minute or even once you have arrived. Agendas • Agendas are often used when meeting with foreigners. If you are from a more egalitarian culture. Conducting Meetings Communication is formal and follows a hierarchical structure.PrintView Page 31 of 43 Scheduling Meetings Appointments are necessary and should be made in writing.culturewizard. Bangladeshis are circumspect in their use of language and strive to avoid http://kpmg. although meetings with private companies can often be arranged with less notice. Informality may be misinterpreted as a lack of respect. If you are scheduling the meeting from within the country. Bangladeshis in the private sector who are accustomed to working with international companies may strive for punctuality. Both people lose dignity and respect if one person loses their temper. try to make arrangements at least one week in advance.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView... . The person who displays anger loses dignity and respect because he has acted childishly.2. if possible. provide the item and back-up material when scheduling the meeting. • It is more important that everyone has their say than the agenda is followed in a point-by-point fashion. but are not always successful. They are not followed slavishly and frequent tangential discussions are common.

. when talking to someone in a higher position. your country's embassy in Bangladesh. or "we will have to give that further study" rather than admit that they will not do something.. This may require several visits. Do not take off your suit jacket without permission. "that may be difficult". or the local chamber of commerce for assistance in locating a reputable person. However. Management Styles Relationships Introductions are very important in Bangladesh.aspx. Bangladeshis prefer to do business in person. Therefore. They use phrases such as "we will try". your intentions may be questioned. Once a relationship develops.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. If you do not know someone to perform this vital task. many Bangladeshis do not smile in business. Bangladeshis maintain eye contact while conversing with someone they consider to be at their level as this denotes sincerity. Keeping your suit jacket on in a non-air conditioned office signals great respect for the person with whom you are meeting. the relationship- building process will start again. This is a vital part of your business success. they have a continuing need for face-to-face contact. Therefore.2017.2. it is important to ask questions in several ways to be certain what was meant by a vague response. They expect to see suppliers and partners in person more than would be necessary in a less relationship-driven culture. they look down to show their respect. http://kpmg. Do not appear frustrated by what may appear to be purely social conversation. A calm and serious face is believed to demonstrate maturity. Even after a personal relationship has developed.culturewizard. 8. the alliance is to the person rather than the company they represent. If you appear overly friendly when you are first introduced. Relationships take time to grow and must be nurtured.PrintView Page 32 of 43 conflict. Silence is often used as a communication tool. This does not indicate that they are unfriendly. If you change representatives. A personal introduction bridges the relationship gap between you and the person with whom you wish to meet. They see the telephone and written communication as too impersonal for business communication. contact the Bangladesh Embassy in your country. Bangladeshis prefer to work with people they trust and spend a great deal of time on the getting-to-know-you part of relationship building. .

http://kpmg. Do not back away. especially government officials.aspx. It is important to remain calm and patient in business. they would be: • Hierarchical structures • Formal style • Interpersonal relationships • Indirect communication In Bangladesh. It may take several meetings to accomplish what could be handled by a telephone call in your home country.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Consider the time spent in social chitchat as an investment in business success. it is important to maintain a formal and professional demeanor. as your colleague will attempt to close the gap between the two of you and you may find yourself backed up against a wall.2017. they devote a great deal of time becoming familiar with you as an individual.PrintView Page 33 of 43 Bangladeshis do not require as much personal space as people from many Western cultures. it is imperative that you develop cordial relationships in that sector. At the same time. Since the government is intimately involved in much business. Things generally take longer than expected. . 8.2. Government officials are particularly sensitive to foreigners who act superior or as if they are in the country to show the Bangladeshis the proper way to do something. Management Essentials If you were to think about the most important cultural attributes that you will see operating in business in Bangladesh. therefore. their technological fluency allows them to develop or maintain relationships using social media and video conferencing rather than face-to-face contact. Older people and those in senior positions. are more willing to conduct business with people with whom they do not have a personal relationship. Business is considered serious and appear overly enthusiastic may be misinterpreted. When conversing with someone of the same sex. as such.. they tend to stand close and you may feel as if your personal space has been violated. Impact of Generations on Relationships Generation Y are more entrepreneurial than previous generations and. Bangladeshis prefer to deal with those they know. should be deferred to and treated with dignity and respect.culturewizard..

it is advisable to give an artificial deadline in advance of the actual date and follow-up repeatedly as the date approaches to ensure compliance. Since the country is still struggling with finding its way in the global arena. since Bangladeshis are less concerned with success elsewhere. Schedules & Deadlines Bangladesh is a fluid time culture where maintaining harmonious relationships is more important than timetables. Their access to the Internet and social media have reinforced in them the need to meet schedules in order for the country to be seen as a global player. However. Changes. At the same time. when adopted.PrintView Page 34 of 43 Risk Tolerance Bangladesh is a low risk and low change tolerant culture. They see entrepreneurial behavior and taking risks as a necessary step to improving the local economy. so there is a natural hesitancy to adopt new ideas.. if you have case studies of the same thing working elsewhere in the country.2017. it is important to be especially diplomatic when recommending new ideas. although this has been changing in the last several years. due to their strong collective culture. Impact of Generations on Risk Tolerance Generation Y is more risk tolerant than previous generations. Do not rush the process.culturewizard. If it is imperative that a certain timetable is met. Impact of Generations on Schedules & Deadlines Generation Y employees are more focused on meeting agreed upon timetables.aspx. Businesspeople can be lax about meeting deadlines.2.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Bangladeshis may respond positively to deadlines if the importance of the deadline is reinforced gently and explained in terms of how failing to meet it could impact others within the organization. How this ultimately impacts the view of risk across the culture remains to be seen. Testimonials and case studies are less important than in many other countries. There is a concern that change will negatively impact the culture. are done so slowly and carefully. Background data and what the change could mean are important. . use this. Decision Making http://kpmg. 8..

consider the following: • Offer attractive career growth prospects. This means that decision making can be extremely protracted if this person is away from the office or involved in something else. location and time to achieve the goal. since this would show a lack of respect towards the manager. Subordinates do not challenge what the manager tells them to do. http://kpmg. the Managing Director does not delegate decision making authority.PrintView Page 35 of 43 Company Structure Companies and government entities tend to be extremely hierarchical. • Provide on-going communication and explanations so that Millennials feel they are in the loop and understand the rationales for decisions. Managers and executives wield most authority and are respected. At the same time.aspx.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • Offer promotional opportunities to retain them. • Offer frequent feedback. this helps them improve their performance and fulfill their achievement need. Decision Making Decisions are made at the top of the company. The manager may take an interest in non-business related matters impacting his staff. . Managing Employees Bangladeshi managers tend to have a rather autocratic style. • Provide flexibility and allow them to determine the best approach. In many organizations.2017. although this may have to change as Generation Y takes on a more prominent role in the workforce. How this ultimately impacts the workplace remains to be seen. When managing employees born between 1980 and 2000.Create situations where you can give them some influence. • Provide ongoing training. even on mundane matters.. Gen Y expects managers to earn their respect. The manager delegates tasks to specific employees and clearly explains what to do and the limits of the subordinate's authority to deviate from the instructions. Impact of Generations on Decision Making The old hierarchical method of decision making is coming under strain as more Generation Y enter the workplace and achieve supervisory or managerial roles. as is frequently the case in extremely hierarchical cultures. mentoring and coaching. The manager expects subordinates to come to him with any questions. the manager is seen as a paternalistic figure and is expected to assist subordinates with personal problems. 8..culturewizard. Most organizations have set policies and procedures so that everyone within the organization understands what they are to do and how it should be done. to direct reports. including both lateral and horizontal development.2. Impact of Generations on Managing Employees The age of employees can materially impact the best way to manage them. This is expected even if the manager is an expat.

it is a good idea to keep your jacket on despite the heat and humidity. unless the most senior ranking Bangladeshi person does. the leader must create an environment where team members feel they may speak openly. It is acceptable to demand similar concessions for each one you grant. They will seldom say "no" overtly. If you change negotiators. since Bangladeshis may not publicly disagree. Moving There http://kpmg. Do not appear impatient. . Negotiations often take a long time due to the lengthy process of building trust and developing a personal relationship.culturewizard.2017.. It is important that the leader listen to what all members say and watch their non-verbal behavior for signs that they are concerned.PrintView Page 36 of 43 Team Focus Roles are clearly defined in Bangladesh. so you must watch their non-verbal cues. negotiations will have to start over since relationships are to the person and not the company that they represent. If you try to rush things.. Therefore. act like younger brothers or sisters.2. Being able to control your emotions is a virtue.aspx. It is the role of the team leader to provide advice and guidance to the team so that deadlines are met. The team leader must act like a mother or father to the team members who. Personal honor and reputation are important to Bangladeshis. Do not use high-pressure tactics. Bangladeshis are highly skilled negotiators. you will give offense and jeopardize your business relationship. in turn. Negotiations Do not remove your suit jacket without permission.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. not to individuals to maintain harmony within the group. It is a good idea to include a wide margin in your initial price so that you can come down. They are counterproductive. 8. Praise should be given to the entire group. This demonstrates respect and deference. Bangladeshis expect concessions in both price and terms. Bangladeshis are non-confrontational. In general. Even then.

dial: • Fire: 101 • Police: 100 • Ambulance: 102 Emergency Numbers Emergency Telephone Numbers To reach emergency services from a local telephone.culturewizard.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. dial: • Fire: 101 • Police: 100 http://kpmg.. . 8.aspx.PrintView Page 37 of 43 Advice and Tips for Moving Customs Regulations Entry Requirements Getting Around Getting There Safety & Security Emergency Numbers Emergency Telephone Numbers To reach emergency services from a local telephone.2.2017..

how to dress. 8. and many of them revolve around understanding the specifics of where you are. . pickpockets and spontaneous political demonstrations.. Terrorist attacks and kidnappings have simply brought all security concerns to our awareness. • Make copies of all of your travel documents (including detailed itinerary with contact numbers) and be sure two people have easy access to them. • Think about the small (and large) disasters that could occur at home during your absence and be sure there is someone prepared to assist you. but ordinary crime. and who to be watchful of. • Be sure someone knows where you will be and how to contact you in emergencies at all times. In-Country So many variables go into being safe. obtain and make several copies of important emergency company contact numbers to keep and give to all members of your family who might need them. where you can go and where to avoid. Seek information from cultural experts and local nationals whom you have confidence in. how to act in public.. Before You Go • Take time to get all of your financial and personal records in order. • Be sure you have enough of your prescription medication so you are all right if you cannot get a refill right away. When in comes to your safety.2017. http://kpmg.aspx. • Do not display your guest room key unnecessarily. • Talk with a trusted family member or friend about what types of emergencies might arise in your absence. • Do the same with crucial health documentation. don’t be afraid to ask.PrintView Page 38 of 43 • Ambulance: 102 Safety Precautions Today. we think of political situations as causing safety concerns.2.culturewizard. take an extra pair of glasses if you wear them. weather and geographic problems also pose risks. this information is compiled for travelers in general and will apply in varying degrees to your destination and personal situation. With the exception of the emergency telephone numbers. The wise traveler is cautious about hurricanes and earthquakes along with hotel fires. • Find out the services your company offers to you in case of emergency. including preparing a will. Hotel Safety • Know how to call for help AND what to say. how to carry yourself. Be sure to learn details of your location -.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. and what to do in those events.

Even groups of children can be working together to divert your attention while one will steal your money. . be extremely cautious and circumspect. • The more you know about your location. The following websites offer specific advice for women: • Travel Tips for Women • Best Women's Travel Tips • Her Own Way: A Woman's Safe Travel Tips • Tips for Solo Women Travelers Women Travelers Travel Tips Crowded Situations • When you’re in crowded places.. if you wish walking you to your room very late at night or escorting you from a parking lot to the hotel lobby).PrintView Page 39 of 43 • Lock your door and do not answer it until you feel comfortable that you know who it is. • Carry as few valuable items with you as possible when you know you’re going to a crowded area. ◦ Find out all the gender-based restrictions and abide by them.. Safety in Your New Home City • Learn about your host country and culture. ◦ Use a hotel known for its security and be sure that whatever type of transportation you use. ◦ As a rule. • Use the room safe or hotel safe deposit box. • Watch out for pickpockets who will try to distract you in many different ways while taking your money. a pair of shoes and some money by your bedside.2. Know exactly where the nearest fire exits are.aspx. (Remember to safeguard your passport. keep your room key. • Hide personal documents. your glasses (if necessary). • Women traveling alone will have different issues depending upon the morés of the society you’re visiting. but is extremely important so you can understand what may be offensive or negligent behavior. be very careful to guard your property at all times. This is not only wise for business and social purposes. expensive cameras.culturewizard.) • Read the fire safety information and know what you would do if you need to evacuate.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. http://kpmg. For example. valuables and other important items. • Don’t let strangers into your room. • Use your Embassy. certainly understand written and unwritten laws and codes of conduct.2017. the safer you’ll be. ◦ Ask hotel concierge or front desk manager to assist you whenever you have questions about your safety. • Travel with a flashlight. 8. (They will also arrange for you to have help. it is reliable and safe. • In the event that you might need to leave your room quickly. PDAs and cash are easy targets. These people are here to help you.

Nonetheless..PrintView Page 40 of 43 • Embassies Around the World • Even if you are living in a relatively safe country. Be sure you have 24-hour hotline numbers and appropriate contacts who can assist you. Don’t underplay the importance of understanding what is culturally appropriate—it may help you avoid some difficult situations. contact: Embassies Around the World • Make sure you know the name of the firm your company has selected for medical emergencies and evacuation services. such as a lost passport or the need for money because yours has been stolen. Emergencies • In an emergency that requires help by your government.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.. such as a lost passport or the need for money because yours has been stolen. practicing common sense based upon knowledge of your location will help you. but by identifying sources of local news. Security Issues Security is not simply a state-of-mind. • No matter where you live—high risk or low risk countries—today’s world is volatile. nor is it a stroke of luck. always be sure that close family or friends have accurate contact information so they can find you quickly. Keeping yourself and your family safe anywhere you go—whether it is an extended trip within hours of your home or a long-term assignment halfway around the world—requires planning and active follow-through.2. Always check to see what services your company may offer to you.2017. You might want to contact: International SOS to see if you qualify for some of their services.culturewizard. 8.aspx. Clearly the length of time you spend and the geographic and political profile of the countries you’re living in--or traveling to--will make a difference in your level of preparedness. • For helpful information: Helpful Tips • If you are living in a high-risk location. your company should have guidelines for your safety. contact: Embassies Around the World http://kpmg. and you never know when a potentially dangerous situation can develop. this information is compiled for travelers in general and will apply in varying degrees to your destination and personal situation. International SOS provides emergency medical and evacuation services for individuals and companies. reading local papers and telling your local friends to keep you informed. . Emergencies • In an emergency that requires help by your government. Keep informed—not only with your country’s published data and warnings. With the exception of the emergency telephone numbers.

credit cards and other valuables. Embassies Around the World • See if there are any health-related issues in the countries to which you’re traveling. . Be sure you know the words to use in the local language. if possible. • Do not leave laptops. http://kpmg. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has in- depth information regarding all regions of the world. • Be sure you know how to contact (and get to) your country’s Embassy and Consulate wherever you are traveling—you need the location details. report it immediately to the nearest appropriate Embassy or consulate. • For the most current. if asked. International SOS provides emergency medical and evacuation services for individuals and companies. do not pack valuables in your checked luggage. For example. • When you’re on the plane or train. computer bags or other luggage unattended at any time. Be sure you know how to call for help in an emergency.and geographic-related concerns. fire and other emergency personnel. keep enough cash on hand so you will be all right if there are power failures and ATM machines don’t work. En Route • Protect your passport.S. phone and hours of operation. You might want to contact: International SOS to see if you qualify for some of their services.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. The U..2. • Be able to answer questions about your luggage and be able to open all suitcases and packages immediately. • Avoid calling attention to yourself by wearing fancy jewelry or carrying other expensive items.2017. • Whenever possible carry valuables and important prescription medications in your carry-on luggage.culturewizard. • Use your business address on your luggage tags. If it is lost or stolen. • Be sure to respond completely to requests by security officials and avoid comments about security that could be misinterpreted. You may need to reach the police. 8.PrintView Page 41 of 43 • Make sure you know the name of the firm your company has selected for medical emergencies and evacuation services. we recommend the following government sites as quite comprehensive and easy-to- understand: Australian Travel Advisories Canadian Travel Advisories UK Travel Advice US Travel Warnings • Read about other precautions you should take for weather. it is one of the most valuable items you possess--so protect it as you would cash.. up-dated information. read safety literature and be sure you know where emergency exits are located.aspx. Prepare For Your Destination • Read about security and safety issues in the countries you’ll be traveling to or living in.

State Dept.culturewizard. the U. learn to use the local pay phones and keep change with you.2. Attire you may think is perfectly acceptable. may not be so you’ll be well served to learn what is appropriate. • Make others aware of your specific whereabouts. • If you drive. independent taxi cabs may pose specific problems. give them your valuables—money and passport—and do not fight back. Consider marking and tagging the pages of a phrase book with these types of important phrases. even when you’re going to business appointments. carry the card of your hotel or your address with you at all times--as well as your destination address. http://kpmg.. • Learn about transportation in your location—what’s safe and what can be problematic and when. Find out before you go if it is preferable to hire a private driver and car.. • Be wary when you are alone in lifts. buses. you may feel safer moving to an occupied car.PrintView Page 42 of 43 • For general information when you are en route. alleys. Otherwise. • Even when you have a mobile phone. Get off if someone suspicious gets on. • Avoid disturbances and loud arguments. Know Where You’re Going • Ask people in the hotel what areas you should avoid. • You should also ask your company about specific transportation guidelines they’ve established for your safety. quickly walk the other way. Your interpretation of this guideline needs to be based on local practices and customs.S. such as poorly- lit streets. • If you cannot speak the local language. 8. Identify the location of the emergency alarm system. subways. • When you have a specific location you’re going to. offers a wide-range of information to travelers of all nationalities: http://www. • Ostentatious jewelry will also draw attention to you. • If you find yourself alone in a train car or compartment after everyone else leaves.2017. • Be sure to know enough of the language to call for help. and deserted train stations.gov/travel/ Moving Around Safely • Always remain alert. • Dress conservatively. • Experts say that if someone does attack you. • Avoid areas where you can become a victim of crime.state. Trains. When they occur. you could run the risk of being misinterpreted and perhaps becoming a target if your clothing is provocative or offensive.aspx. ask colleagues or people who work in the hotel if there are things you should know about that area. Contact your Embassy for detailed information.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. and never pick up hitchhikers. . keep your doors locked and windows closed.

culturewizard. .aspx..S. Transportation Security Administration Settling In Accommodation Arrival Procedures Conversions Family Corner Health and Safety Media Money and Banking http://kpmg.PrintView Page 43 of 43 *Sources: U..2.2017. 8.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.