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Dominican Republic - Business Culture
You should make appointments in advance, and turn up on time, although the Dominicans may arrive a little late. Business hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays to Fridays; some businesses still close for a two-hour siesta in the middle of the day. Early mornings are popular for meetings, and business lunches are commonly held, but are generally for getting to know people rather than formal business discussions.
Spanish is the official language, although English is widely spoken. Written materials should be provided in both Spanish and English. Business attire is conservative but smart, consisting of dark business suits for men and smart suits or dresses for women.
Dominican communication styles are quite direct, and they are skilled and tough negotiators, although high-pressure sales tactics are not popular here. Decisions are often deferred until after the meeting, and the decision-making progress can be quite lengthy due to the need to consult senior members of the organisation or to navigate the complex bureaucracy.
It is inadvisable to give gifts to your Dominican business counterparts, as this may be construed as a request for something in return. If you are invited to someone's home, a small gift such as chocolates or cakes is appropriate.
This guide was compiled with the help of Lindsay de Feliz, a British expat blogger living in the Dominican Republic. Visit her blog at yoursaucepans.blogspot.com.
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