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
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
Above: The flag of Switzerland