Hong Kong: Appointment Alert!


Appointment Alert!

Famous for being fast-paced and efficient, time is money in Hong Kong. Punctuality is therefore considered a must in business. It is therefore very important for one to allow for sufficient travel time.

If one is likely to be late for a meeting, it is a matter of courtesy to call up the host to inform him/her of your expected arrival time. It is also essential to offer words of apology for your lateness.

Hong Kong has a very efficient public transportation system. While taking a taxi might sometimes be really handy – both in terms of speed and accuracy, traffic congestion at the peak hours (8 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm) in the central districts and other areas could make it a poor choice. Taking the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) which covers most main areas in both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon could confer certain advantages. Maps and information of the MTR system are readily available in tourist information centres.

Other public transportation systems include very efficient bus services as well as tram services (on Hong Kong Island only).

When meeting with your business counterparts, always show your welcome by rising from your chair if you happen to be at your own office. The usual greetings are saying things like “Welcome to our office!” or “Did you have to travel a long way to come here?”.

Hand shakes between the same gender are basic courtesies that should always be observed. If you happen to be a man, you might sometimes want to wait for a woman to extend her hand to you first, as a sign of respect, although most business women would be ready to shake hands with any of their guests.