When one thinks of Trinidad and Tobago, the idea of beautiful beaches, warm sunshine and hot temperatures usually comes to mind right away. What many may not realize is that its also one of the wealthiest countries inside the Caribbean, which is gradually producing plenty of business opportunities.
In part to its petroleum and natural gas production as well as its expanding tourism industry, Trinidadians get to enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the region. A low unemployment rate, a $27 billion gross domestic product and a diminishing poverty rate, residents are relishing in the fact that theyre enjoying free markets and a superb environment.
Although local residents and international observers have criticized Trinidad and Tobago for its corrupt government and paucity of law enforcement, the country is still doing remarkably well for itself. If youre heading there then be on the lookout for a new lucrative career path or investments.
Here are five business etiquette rules to follow in Trinidad and Tobago:
English has been classified as the official language of Trinidad and Tobago. It should be noted, however, that there are other popular dialects spoken, including Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), French, Spanish and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin).
If youre preparing to embark upon a conversation with a Trinidadian, then be prepared for the other person to be direct and straight to the point. They circumvent a potential uncouth statement or remark by following it up by telling a joke or making a self-deprecating comment.
During a conversation, its best to be at an arms length from the opposite individual, whether its formal or informal. In general, Trinidadians do not touch one another or show their affection to the public, but the level of touching can vary based on age, gender and relationship.
It is expected that eye contact is maintained in any kind of business or social setting.
Despite the fact that residents get to take pleasure in a warm climate all year around, the apparel for men and women is business and conservative. Men will usually sport a business suit or a long sleeved shirt with tailored pants, while women will usually wear conservative corporate wear (dresses, skirts or dress pants).
When men are in the company of other men in a casual situation then they will just acknowledge each other with a nod. In a more formal situation, men will shake hands. When women greet other women they will usually say hello and either shake hands or kiss each other on the cheek. Men and women will generally shake hands or do a simple nod.
Professional Titles & Business Cards
Its important to address other people by Mr., Mrs. or Ms. and only the first name can be iterated when the other person permits it.
There is no specific measure to take when allocating and receiving business cards, but it is expected of you to treat the card with respect, which means you shouldnt crumple it, lose the card or write on it.
Trinidadians make fun of themselves because they are not known to be punctual and are usually late to appointments that are both formal and informal. On the other hand, there are a lot of expectations, particularly in business settings, to be on time for a scheduled meeting.
Trinidad and Tobago is one of the nicest places to live in the Caribbean. From wonderful weather to a growing economy, from a pleasant people to an abundance of business opportunities, Trinidad and Tobago appears to be one of the most sought after places to move to, especially when a lot of places in the world are buried in snow and frigid temperatures.
Have you previously conducted business in Trinidad and Tobago? Let us know in the comment section.
Photo by Neiljs via Flickr.