GIFT GIVING IN BELGIUM* -
Gift Giving Etiquette
BUSINESS GIFT GIVING
It is not
usually part of Belgian business culture to give or receive gifts.
do wish to give a present to a particularly close business associate, for
example on closure of a deal, you should not include your business card with
it or give anything featuring your company logo.
time you should have become familiar with your counterpart's tastes and be
in a position to select something that he or she would genuinely appreciate
regardless of cost; if not, then it is probably not appropriate to give
anything at all.
standby, it is always handy to bring something from your homeland--a
coffee-table book or some representative artifact--or to have some
interesting ideas for an impromptu gift [e.g. a bottle of something rare or
unusual] should the need arise.
will be opened in front of the giver and you should do the same if you are
are entertained in public, then the easiest way of giving thanks is to
return the compliment and host your own party, dinner, trip to the opera, or
is no harm in sending a New Year's greetings card to business associates as
an expression of thanks and as a way of maintaining contact.
PERSONAL GIFT GIVING
It is quite rare to be
invited into a Belgian's home so, if you enjoy this privilege [most likely
in Flanders], you must be certain to behave accordingly.
know that they make the finest chocolates in the world, so it is probably
best to take flowers for your hostess [not chrysanthemums, lilies or red
roses and, in accordance with the old European tradition, an uneven number
that is not thirteen] and perhaps a bottle of spirits for your host.
gift should be presented on arrival.
as importantly, you must send a hand-written thank-you letter to your
hosts to reach them the next day. You might also send flowers [if you have
not already given some] or a basket of fruit as a token of gratitude and
*Dray, Paul. Belgium Business Etiquette -
Gift Giving. Executive Planet. 29 July 2004
Above: The flag of