8 Apr 2004

Who is it for?
The airport-hopping business executive.

What information does it contain?
At the core of the site is a listing of 39 countries, from Argentina to Australia, Malaysia to Mexico. For each country, a picture is painted of what it is like to do business there. The idea is that these Business Culture Guides give the business visitor the basic information he/she needs to get by or even impress the locals and, just as important, to avoid embarrassing situations that could jeopardise a business deal. Issues like appropriate style of dress, suitable conversational topics, negotiation tactics and client entertaining are addressed. The site has an abundant supply of useful tips such as presenting business cards with English on one side and Chinese on the other when visiting Hong Kong and taking off your shoes when entering someone’s home in Saudi Arabia.

How does it look?
Much like any other business site though not crammed with content unlike most of the major US sites.

Best feature?
The section on Ireland which advises those planning to visit Ireland to be aware of the ‘Blarney’ factor and not believe everything they are told. Visitors are also advised that the weather is a ‘safe’ topic to discuss with the locals so long as they don’t make the mistake of moaning about rain: ‘Be aware that rain is viewed positively here’ is the curious advice.

The verdict?
Nice idea but the execution is a little flaky in parts and the cultural assessment of some countries (Ireland for example) seem a little stereotyped (see previous answer). The addition of an international business news section would help alleviate the site’s static feel.

By Brian Skelly