Professional Travel and Cultural Competence
Since the enactment of Vietnam's "doi moi" (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities
have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize
the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries.
The Vietnamese generally shake hands both as a greeting and a farewell. They use the free hand
to cover the handshake, and bow their heads slightly to show respect.
Elderly people may not shake hands. Bow slightly to those who do not extend a hand.
Always wait for a woman to extend her hand. If she does not, bow your head slightly.
It's polite to add the inquiry, "Co manh gioi khong? (gaw mahn zhoi cum in the north, gaw mahn
yoy cum in the south), which means, "Do you have good health?"
Name order is last name (surname) + middle name + first name (given name).
There are only about a couple hundred different surnames for over 80 million ethnic Vietnamese.
For this reason, people address one another by courtesy or professional title and first name.
Vietnamese commonly address foreigners by a courtesy title and first name.
Business Card Etiquette
Business cards are exchanged after the initial introductions.
Give and receive business cards with both hands. Cards must be in English on one side and
Vietnamese on the other. These cards can be printed overnight in Saigon and Hanoi.