Tajikistan Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022

Subchapters:

  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public Holidays

Introduction

Doing business with Tajikistan may be promising in the future, but it is necessary to take into account that it is one of the poorest countries in the world and entering this market is still (not only from the point of view of the culture of negotiations) quite complicated, expensive and especially time-consuming, regardless, that changes and reforms have been taking place in the country in recent years. When communicating with Tajiks, we recommend giving preference to personal contact or a phone call. Knowledge of Russian is a basic condition for setting up effective business relations, as well as using the services of a local representative/partner of the company. Visit Animalerts for more information about Tajikistan culture and traditions.

Addressing

It is advisable to reach out via the standard way of e-mail communication, either directly, i.e. to contact a Tajik business company or members of its management, or indirectly, for example through a Tajik representative or an interpreter, ensuring communication, if the Tajik representatives do not know some of the internationally used languages. It is most effective to conduct business communication as directly as possible, and to remind yourself often. It is advantageous to establish a contact person at the beginning, and direct all business communication through them, so that it is clear who is responsible, for what, and when.

Business meeting

It is best to arrange business meetings well in advance and in a standard way, i.e. by e-mail (letter sent by e-mail and telephone confirmation). A suitable place is the company headquarters (office) or a public space (e.g. a restaurant). Tajiks are not used to working early in the morning, the standard time for the earliest meeting is around 9-10. hour in the morning. A suitable arrangement can be a joint lunch, for example in a restaurant matching the price and quality. The meeting time depends on the program and volume of topics discussed, but it is ideal to keep the meeting to a total time of 60 to 90 minutes. An exchange of business cards is desirable at the beginning of the meeting. It is polite to grasp the business card with both hands, say thank you, read its contents, and make sure you pronounce the business partner’s name correctly. Only then store it properly (e.g. in a case). Gifts are common in Tajikistan, but it depends on what impression you want to make. When invited to a lunch that you are paying for, the gift could seem rather ostentatious, or cause your partner to fear a certain pressure. It is therefore more appropriate to give a gift after some time and a successful negotiation, so that the business partner knows that you value the cooperation and attach adequate importance to it.

Tajiks do not show their emotions during negotiations, it is recommended to mirror this tactic. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, video conference meetings have also become widespread in Tajikistan, so it is not unusual for you to suggest a virtual meeting to a business partner. It is recommended to check its availability well in advance, and above all the quality of the Internet connection (and the applications used), because the Internet connection in the country does not reach the level according to European standards. Tajiks are generally good business people, and if they care about trade with the Czech side, they will find out all the available information in advance. They will be interested primarily in the final price, but they will not ask the question immediately, in the introductory part, but rather as if casually during a conversation about the details of the deal, but the final amount for the delivery usually plays a decisive role when deciding on its implementation.

Communication

During business negotiations, it is necessary to take into account that corruption and nepotism, a complex bureaucratic system and unclear regulations will cause frequent delays, changes made at the last minute without prior agreement, and delays in handling even very common matters. Time has no special importance for Tajiks; exact adherence to deadlines, fulfillment of agreements or meeting times cannot be relied upon. Patience must be maintained during negotiations; do not be discouraged by partial failure, it is important to maintain constant contact with your partner. It must be kept in mind that Tajiks prefer personal interaction to correspondence. A local interpreter, if he is trustworthy, can make a positive impression on his partner. Although many high-ranking Tajiks, e.g. in the private sector, have a certain level of command of English, for them, it is somehow “detracting from seriousness” to speak directly to their partner, moreover, in a language that is not their mother tongue. Initially, it is advisable to communicate mainly by e-mail, but they are very tolerant of “informal” communication channels, e.g. the communication application WhatsApp is very widespread here, where after a certain time they may want to exchange messages also on topics not related to business (family, health, courtesies ), after you get to know each other and establish direct contact. Currently, the exchange of voice messages recorded and sent via communication applications (e.g. WhatsApp) is a very widespread trend, instead of a classic call. the communication application WhatsApp is very widespread here, where after a certain time they may want to exchange messages on topics not related to business (family, health, politeness), after you get to know each other and establish direct contact. Currently, the exchange of voice messages recorded and sent via communication applications (e.g. WhatsApp) is a very widespread trend, instead of a classic call. the communication application WhatsApp is very widespread here, where after a certain time they may want to exchange messages on topics not related to business (family, health, politeness), after you get to know each other and establish direct contact. Currently, the exchange of voice messages recorded and sent via communication applications (e.g. WhatsApp) is a very widespread trend, instead of a classic call.

Tajiks place high demands on polite behavior. Compared to Western standards, social conversation is to a far greater extent interspersed with often highly exaggerated polite phrases containing praise and recognition of the partner. Disapproval or displeasure, on the other hand, is expressed only cautiously and often by mere silence. It is normal to first “modestly” refuse an offer of a service, a gift, or even ordinary hospitality, and only accept it at the offerer’s insistence; only a repeated refusal is usually taken as serious.

As for alcohol, Tajiks have no problem with it. It is advisable to choose standard clothes, if possible as formal as possible. Tajiks dress similarly for official occasions, depending on whether the negotiations are conducted with an “urban” partner, who is most likely to choose a European style of formal clothing. Clothing is the same as in Europe, traditional clothes are almost never used in official meetings.

Recommendation

In Tajikistan, a fair amount of tolerance and patience is necessary when it comes to expecting anything to go quickly or smoothly. If you are going, especially for the first time, to this country for the purpose of business, it is necessary to find out as much information as possible about the local partners, especially about their relations with the government administration. It is almost essential to have a local representative/partner to deal with end customers. Prepare for the fact that the period from the first contacts to the signing of the contract will take a long time. Pay more attention to payment terms. Even after the contract is signed, nothing is certain until the first payment is made. Cooperation will require ongoing contact and review. Tajikistan is characterized by the presence of corruption, which results, among other things, from the considerable influence of the state in the economy.

Public Holidays

In negotiations, Tajiks behave similarly to other Central Asian nations. They are open, direct and proud. There is no need to follow any special customs when dealing, but it is necessary to honor their rich and long history and respect Islam. It is also necessary to respect their historical, linguistic and current economic and political good relations with Iran and Afghanistan, where a large number of Tajiks live.

Public Holidays:

New Year – January 1

Army Day – February 23

Women’s Day – March 8

Navruz – March 21

Labor Day – May 1

Victory Day – May 9

National Unity Day – June 27

Independence Day – September 9

Constitution Day of Tajikistan – November 6

Day of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan – November 16

National Flag Day of Tajikistan – November 24

Moving public holidays:

the beginning of Ramadan

Eid Al Fitr, or Idi Fitr (celebrations of the end of Ramadan)

Eid Al Adha (Day of Sacrifice)

Tajikistan Culture of Business