Chapter 6 – Meeting Punctuality Counts With Your Suppliers

Contrary to what you may have heard from hearsay, suppliers in Asia are relatively punctual considering the long distances they sometimes have to cover to meet you. Therefore, you are also expected to be punctual for your meetings. It is a matter of courtesy to inform a waiting supplier of any delay that may be caused by something outside of your control.

Culture plays a role in what is accepted as good manners. There are Western cultures where it is polite to arrive late at an engagement. However, in Chinese culture, punctuality is synonymous with good manners and respect for the other party. In fact, for the Chinese, it is normal to arrive slightly in advance in many situations. The higher the status of the person involved in the meeting, the greater the importance attributed to punctuality. Guests are usually greeted upon arrival by a company representative and escorted to the meeting room and hosts are expected to be in place before guests arrive.