International Gift Giving Etiquette - Switzerland

GIFT GIVING IN SWITZERLAND* - Gift Giving Customs

BUSINESS GIFT GIVING /
PERSONAL GIFT GIVING

  • In Swiss business culture, propriety is considered more important than gestures of affection such as gifts. When the Swiss decide that they like you, however, they will go out of their way to be friendly and generous. The best policy is to wait until the conclusion of negotiations before presenting any gift and you should really allow your contact to give the first gift so that you can reciprocate.

  • It is recommended that you bring an assortment of gifts for different occasions. A coffee-table book about your home region or some representative artefact would be suitable choices and a bottle of fine wine, whisky or brandy is a good fallback.

  • Do not give a gift that is obviously expensive, since your generosity may be perceived as either too excessive or a form of bribery.

  • If you are invited to a Swiss home, flowers [not chrysanthemums, white lilies or red roses] and/or chocolates are safe options. You must also send a hand-written thank-you note to your hosts.

  • Interpreters or guides prefer to receive a thoughtful gift rather than a tip.

  • Knives, scissors, cutlery or other sharp objects of any kind are not appropriate gifts since they symbolise the severing of a friendship or other close bond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Dray, Paul.  Switzerland Business Etiquette - Gift Giving.  Executive Planet.  16 Aug. 2004                           <http://www.executiveplanet.com/business-culture-in/132161242033.html>.


Above:  The flag of Switzerland