Singapore is a city-state on the southern point of the Malay Peninsula and a tropical Southeast Asian Island that is known as a business district, attracting the world’s largest corporations, like Facebook and Google, to build their Asia-Pacific headquarters.

Moreover, if you plan to do business in Singapore, be prepared for a rich cultural experience. The city-state is a melting pot of global inhabitants, including many first-generation immigrants. If you spend enough time there, you’ll meet folks of Malaysian, Chinese, Arab, and Indian descent.

In this article, we will discuss various components in building business relationships in Singapore.


Meet-up and Networking

Professional business connections, as well as establishing personal relationships with coworkers and possible business associates, are vital components of doing business in Singapore. Meetups, professional social gatherings, seminars, training sessions, and even banquets are popular networking events in the country.

Respecting others and taking the time to create a business relationship shows that the company you represent is more concerned with the big picture than the short-term gain given by your introduction.


Business Cards and the Key Initial Greeting

Business cards are exchanged relatively immediately upon contact in Singapore. The finest approach to swapping cards is with both hands; this is a polite gesture that your Singaporean counterparts will almost surely notice. Avoid trading cards that are unclean.

Continue to express your appreciation for the other person by treating his/her business card with care: carefully read the card after receiving it, then deposit it in a professional business card case or place it on the table next to you. Never put the card in your back pocket; Singaporeans regard this as an insult.


Tips for Business Cards:

  • When you first meet someone, you normally exchange business cards, so keep plenty on hand at all times.
  • Normally, cards are exchanged with both hands.
  • Consider having a Mandarin translation on one side in case you meet a Chinese colleague.


Email Etiquette

Email is far more official in Singapore than in other nations, such as the United States. It’s fine to cold email a prospect if you’ve done your research and know they’re the ideal person to contact.

For professional email etiquette, use traditional letter-writing principles. Expect a delayed answer; Singaporeans may not check their email every day.


  • Formally address the recipients.
  • Always be courteous and respectful.
  • Use proper and polite salutations and closings.



  • Avoid using emojis or attachments.
  • Avoid negativity, be non-confrontational, and refrain from making criticisms.
  • Don’t assume that because you submitted an email about it, the matter is being handled. First, you’ll need the person’s and team’s buy-in and approval.



Finally, Singapore corporate etiquette is based on modesty, decency, and respect for older and more experienced people.

Although it is the most Westernized country in Southeast Asia, traditional Asian etiquette is carefully followed in most situations.

Thriving in a multicultural business environment is an intriguing feat, and conforming to customs and culture as a sign of respect is part of the experience.

If you plan to do business in Singapore, EBOS Cloud Accountants will assist you by conducting a free consultation to understand business culture and etiquette. When you establish a new company in Singapore, we will advise you on how to communicate and deal with clients. So, Contact us today.

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