WORKING ABROAD / AUG. 21, 2014
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How to Master Business Etiquette in the Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands is the least populated state in South America. The population on the island is predominantly of Welsh and Scottish ancestry, with smaller concentrations of French, Gibraltarians and Scandinavians. The city of Stanley is the only urban center on the island. There is a low population density and many island residents live on farms and ranches in rural settings. Commercially, the main goods that are produced on the island are wool, hides, meat, potatoes, cabbages and cauliflower. The current prosperity of the islands has been built around the operation of the local fishing industry. Oil exploration has also brought a current wave of economic activity. Currently, there is no unemployment on the islands. Much of the work is seasonal, such as peat cutting and sheep shearing. Many islanders supplement their incomes with small scale mechanical and agricultural projects in the off-work seasons. This article will address how to master business etiquette in the Falkland Islands.

According to the Falkland Islands Chamber of Commerce, the “islands are a friendly, positive and dynamic place to visit or do business in the 21 century, with good worldwide communciation links.” The local community has risen above various issues affecting the economy—poor fishing season, rising fuel costs, the global economy and international politics. The chamber works diligently to assist both established and new startups that seek to do business on the islands. They assist in providing information on how to develop a business and bring it into the future.  

Communication

English is the official language of the Falkland Islands. Islanders are known for their self-sufficient attitudes and the resulting ability to diligently complete a wide range of tasks. Their communication style in the business world is that of friendly, polite and positive conversations.  

Business Meetings

Island culture is derived from British culture which was brought to the islands when the settlers from the British Isles arrived. The island culture has also been influenced by Hispanic South America. The business culture is professional yet social. Locals are known for stopping for a chat during the day. Relationships are highly valued. Even though the island offers a small town society, islanders do have certain rules of etiquette. Some people are more reclusive, but a good majority of residents are friendly. In the urban center of Stanley, life is simple but also fairly affluent. However, life in the camps is more rustic.

Dining Etiquette

The local cuisine is very British in character. Meals usually consist of homegrown vegetables combined with local lamb, mutton, beef or fish. Between meals, it is customary for islanders to take a midmorning break, called a “smoko” where they eat homemade cakes or biscuits with tea or coffee.

Business Attire

The business attire on the island is business casual which works well with the laidback, social feel of the professional relationships.

Doing business on the Falkland Islands is possible for the enterprising individual who is seeking to cultivate prosperity in a picturesque environment. It is important for business owners to proceed forward cautiously on their journey while respecting the cultural and business etiquette of the islands. Working with the local Chamber of Commerce can assist in the process.

 

Photo Credit: i.dailymail.co.uk

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