GIFT GIVING IN PORTUGAL*
- Gift Giving Etiquette
BUSINESS GIFT GIVING /
PERSONAL GIFT GIVING
It is common to give a gift to a prospective
business partner or customer. You will offend if you reject a gift offered
to you or, say, make it clear it will be distributed to staff. These gifts
are intended to be a personal gesture and mark of respect and not a bribe.
Gifts received should be unwrapped and shown on
Gifts from your own country or region are
Quite expensive gifts--a good fountain pen or a
piece of porcelain, for example--can be acceptable if that is really
appropriate in the business situation and to the status of the person
Suppliers will usually distribute gifts,
sometimes quite lavish ones, to customers at Christmas time [this is an
almost entirely Christian/non-religious culture].
Spirits [especially whisky] are acceptable
but, usually, avoid wine because the Portuguese believe their wine is better
than anyone else's [it is pretty good].
Personal dress items such as a tie, scarf or
scent are appreciated [although choosing the right scent for women can be
If you know your contact has children, then
gifts for them rather than [or as well as] your contact are often very
successful, as long as you get the age range about right. There is less
likely to be the same depth of sensitivity about the kind of present as in,
say, the US.
Your own company branded gifts can be useful but
you need to assess whether they will actually be used and their perceived
value [e.g. a bunch of cheap pens may not be very effective as a
presentation gift]. People here do not generally 'flag wave' for their
company or country as much as in other cultures.
Appropriate coffee table books are often given
You may not be given a gift in return on the
Business contacts are not often invited home but
if you are, take some flowers or chocolate, not wine. Gifts for any children
are very welcome, especially as you are likely to be introduced to them.
Thanking for a gift is usually done verbally but
a written note, while not necessary, is always appreciated.
*Bennett, Clyde Vegas. Argentina Business
Etiquette - Gift Giving. Executive Planet. 10 Aug. 2004
Above: The flag of Portugal