Business Etiquette in Albania

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By Dzhingarov

Albanians go out of their way to welcome visitors. While this could be in part due to low visitor numbers, Albanians do an exceptional job dispelling misconceptions about their country and dismantling misconceptions that may exist about Albania. Business etiquette in Albania is not difficult to understand.

It is vital when doing business with Albanians to respect hierarchy and cultural norms such as religion – this will lead to successful negotiations.

Appearance

Albanian work culture is distinct and it is essential that those conducting business there be aware of its differences. Family values play a central role in society while gender equality in the workplace is prioritized. Religion also plays a strong role, which may impact how business transactions take place.

At business meetings, Albanians typically shake hands when greeting each other and kiss those they consider close acquaintances or close friends on both cheeks when greeting. Furthermore, Albanians tend to speak very quickly and loudly during conversations – something which might prove confusing or cause miscommunication among attendees who may not speak the language natively.

Albanians are famously welcoming, but expect you to show respect for their elders by using titles such as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” when speaking to them. Furthermore, criticizing aspects of Albanian politics or religion could cause hostilities between people that lead to conflict and hostilities between strangers.

Albanians tend to dress casually for business meetings held in coffee houses or private residences. Unfortunately, Albanians can often be late for scheduled meetings so it is important that preparation be made ahead of time and meeting times be flexible in order to be productive in these meetings.

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Gifts

Albanians generally do not exchange gifts during an initial business meeting, although a small token will always be appreciated as a sign of thanks. Chocolate, cakes, cookies/biscuits, baklava, and llokume make ideal presents; avoid giving money since this could be seen as a bribe and is not accepted.

Albanians are welcoming people, often taking time to greet visitors with open arms and shaking hands when greeting someone. Elders should also be treated with great respect – avoid discussing controversial subjects such as religion and politics and refrain from making remarks about their spouses or children during conversations with them.

Your Albanian business partners and customers would certainly appreciate a beautiful watercolor map of their homeland, available in various sizes. A travel mug with designs commemorating Albania would also make for an impressive presentation; its shape recalling their historical bunkers would make this ideal souvenir; Giftsenda makes sending gifts easily with no international shipping fees or customs delays involved! A thoughtful present can engage business partners and customers quickly while further cementing relationships – making for the ideal way to do just that!

Negotiations

Albanians tend to be fair-minded people who negotiate fairly. They enjoy haggling for better prices and offering discounts wherever possible – it is just important that deals are concluded in an equitable fashion to prevent taking advantage of a weaker position.

As opposed to some other European nations, Albania does not adhere to the tradition of exchanging business cards at the beginning or end of meetings. Instead, handshakes are generally used as greetings; often repeated throughout a meeting. When meeting someone for the first time it is recommended that both parties introduce themselves by name and title and show equal courtesy towards one another.

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Once your initial meeting with your Albanian counterpart is over, it would be polite to inquire as to their interest in going for lunch or dinner together. Should they invite you, accepting such offers shows you care for their future interactions as they will likely expect this of you as well.

At meals, Albanians often drink wine or beer alongside their food and it would be considered disrespectful if one refused this offer. Furthermore, local spirits such as raki made from grape juice have similar strengths to vodka. Smoking is permitted at most restaurants and asking your Albanian counterpart to smoke there could be seen as an insult.

Coffee

Albania is the sixth-highest producer of coffee worldwide, making it no surprise that coffee shops can be found virtually on every corner. Their blend of Arabica and Robusta beans produces some delectable beverages.

Before meeting business partners, it is common to exchange a handshake as a gesture of respect and formality. Kosovars also often rock their heads while clicking their tongues when saying yes/no to anything; placing a left hand over the chest with a slight nod of the head are other forms of acknowledgment and agreement signals.

Albanians typically start off business meetings by discussing current issues in the country, before providing details about their topic of choice and providing any solutions or suggestions they have for it. After finishing a meeting it’s important to shake hands and thank everyone involved before departing.

Meetings in Albania tend to be quite informal affairs and may take place anywhere from coffee shops, private dwellings, or even taxi rides. Albanians tend to be very laid-back people and rarely stick to schedules; therefore it isn’t unusual for them to arrive late at important events or business meetings.

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