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International Business Communication with Different Background

In: Business and Management

Submitted By ivanmayers
Words 2537
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Chapter I: Background
The world population has grown rapidly over the past two thousand years. For the example in 1999, world population passed the six billion mark. By the year 2080, the world population estimated around 10,000,000,000 people around the world. Latest official estimates of the current global population by mid-2011, estimated at 6,928,198,253 people around the world (Rosenberg, World Population - The Current World Population, 2011). From the 7 billion populations in the world, they certainly have a different background, such as country, language, race, culture, religion, customs etc. People as a human being cannot live alone without others people. They must communicate with each other. Language is the way of communication.
Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to show to the people how to communicate with each other in different background especially in Global Business Communication. The expectation is the readers will learn how to using and understand the way people communicate, base on every aspect of their background. Business definition itself is a commercial activity engaged in as a means of livelihood or profit, or an entity which engages in such activities (WebFinance, 2012).
In this paper, there will be the research and analyzing personal behavior and attitudes in a country and the relationship with others country. The countries that will be research and analyze are: Indonesia-Malaysia, Indonesia-China, Indonesia Singapore.

Chapter II: Research
The research divided into three groups: Indonesia-Malaysia, Indonesia-China, Indonesia-Singapore. Because those countries located in the same area that is Asia and also because those countries is Relationship-Focused Country, and there’s so much interesting about issue that happened in those countries, so that will be more challenge working on it.
Firstly this is more explanation about the factor that effect in Indonesian-Malaysia Cultural Diversity in geographical way.
Geographical of Indonesia, located in Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean (, 2010). While geographical of Malaysia is located near of Indonesia, in Southeastern Asia, peninsula bordering Thailand and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam (Rosenberg, Geography and Map of Malaysia, 2012). The location of both countries is in Southeastern Asia that makes Indonesia-Malaysia become Relationship-Focused country. Most Relationship-Focused or Deal-Focused country is determined by the geographical of the country.
Talking about geographical it’s also about the people, in Business Communication geographic of the country can also give the impact to the people who live there. How they speak, behavior and attitude have influenced by the geography of the country. Both of the countries mostly have the same behavior and attitude.
The geographical benefit for Indonesia-Malaysia, those countries located close to each country, just like the neighbor, the distance between countries is not too far away so it can be achieved in a short time either by land or sea and air. Indonesian is predominantly Moslem, as well as Malaysian, so that would be easy for doing business.
The geographical weakness for Indonesia-Malaysia is as we all know that a few years ago Malaysia recognize what should be owned by Indonesia (Arry Anggadha, 2009). This resulted in tensions that lead to worse relations between the two countries and it also affect all aspects related to the two countries, even in the football match. For the example, not all people in Indonesia hating all things related to Malaysia. The stereotype of the people that think all people in Indonesia hate Malaysia and vice versa. It affects people’s behavior towards the two countries, it makes difficult to do business. Indonesia-China This time is the explanation of the factor that related with the Indonesia-China. Doing business in China would be the great opportunity and also the great challenge to start business there, since China open its door-policy in 1970s, China become global economic power. Nowadays China mainly in agricultural, energy industry, and telecommunication and more investors start to do business there. There are many advantages doing business in China, for the example; major emerging market, large trained labor pool, favorable business atmosphere, fast growing economy, and low employment cost (Yuan, 2011). In late 1990s, China become an option for global manufacturers lower costs of production, that’s possible because China become the one of the cheapest labor cost beside India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia (Whitford, 2011). But don’t forget that in China the local speak Chinese language to communicate. The great opportunities come with the great challenges. The challenge that to face it is if you don’t speak Chinese the overcoming the language barrier will become to start the business. The easiest way to communicate with Chinese people is using interpreter. The communication in China, nowadays English language is a must when talking with a stranger, because English is a world language (Dieu, 2011). In the other hand, Indonesian people they speak with Bahasa Language and English as their second language, outside the typical language in certain area. China is Relationship-Focused country same as Indonesia, the relationship is the priority, so make a good relationship first then make a deal. The language barrier will take more time to build a good relationship (, 2012). When in the meeting, the Chinese people are very strict with time, and they also expect the same thing they did, while the Indonesian people famous with “Rubber Time”. The communication benefit for Indonesia-China is the same Relationship-Focused country and also mostly using indirect language. The similarity above is an advantage for both parties. Desire to hold a meeting face-to-face and use of indirect language is to avoid misunderstandings. Once making a good relationship and making a deal, maintain the relationship by making a regular contact, because when make another deal it would be very easy to be dealing. The communication weakness for Indonesia-China is taking too much time having a meeting face-to-face because the distance between Indonesia-China is too far away. The language barriers also could be the problem for Indonesia-China.

Singapore used to be a colony of Britain in 1819. Singapore now has become one of the world’s most prosperous countries (CIA-The World Factbook ). The main income of these countries is international trade. Both the port and the airport are never quite. The GDP of Singapore is not far from the other countries in Europe.
Because Singapore used to be a colony of Britain the most common language there is English. But for the official languages there are four such as, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English (Culture of Singapore, 2011). In Singapore children are taught to using English at school and also learn their mother tongue. The purpose is to make sure they don’t lose contact with their own traditions. From the explanation above that English is the common language in Singapore, but the English that they use is not like the “Real English”. They use Singlish to communicate. Singlish is the combination with other language that mixed into the English (Singapore Expats). For the example, Chinese commonly using own dialect to communicate in English. Those things sometimes hard to understand and also sometimes the misunderstanding happen. The same as with China above, the main problem or the challenge to start the business in Singapore is the language barriers.
Most of Singaporeans use Singlish to communicate with each others, when the language is generally English but there are mixed with other languages. While in Indonesia generally they using Bahasa to communicate daily with each others. To use English in daily live, not everyone can use it even the people in the big city. For the Indonesian, it’s really hard to communicate with the stranger using English. And for Singaporeans they communicate with Singlish. If they meet each others, can you imagine what kind of language they will use to communicate? The language barriers become the challenge if want to start business there.
The communication benefit for Indonesia-Singapore, they put forward the relationship as the most important than the deal. That’s what the exactly characteristic of the country. Respectful to each other’s and patiently when dealing with others, will lead this to the harmonious relationships. Soft-spoken that makes a good relationship (Kwintessential).
The communication weakness for Indonesia-Singapore, the language barriers become the main problem for each countries. Outside the language barriers that take time to solve it there also some problem, it’s difficult to build relationship with the strangers and it will take much more time to build the relationship.

Chapter III: Analysis Indonesia-Malaysia, due to geographical factors those countries are close to each others. But not really close enough like geographical, relationship between Indonesia-Malaysia is far away from good relationship. That’s happened because of the some problem that should not be happened in the past. The result of that problem still effect until now, many people stereotype that Indonesian people hate Malaysian and vice versa. But not everyone is like that, sometimes they don’t want to know about it. They prefer to not take the dizziness.
Indonesia-China, China with their economic power mainly in agricultural, energy industry, and telecommunication and more investors start to do business there. There are many advantages doing business in China, for the example; major emerging market, large trained labor pool, favorable business atmosphere, fast growing economy, and low employment cost. And that also as the developed country become great business opportunity comes with the great challenge to start business there. The challenge that will be faced is the different common language becomes the great barriers for the strangers. And also the time sacrifice to build the relationship. The different history of Indonesia-Singapore is taking a apart of the future of that country itself. Indonesia used to once colonize by the Dutch suffered a dramatically moral deterioration. Unlike many British colonies are making a good progress until now compared to the former Dutch colony. The same factor also happen in Indonesia-Singapore, Singapore that famous with their international trade communicate daily using their own English, Singlish that modified from English mixing with other language will make confuse other people.

The recommendation for the readers that outside the geography and communication, there are more than one factors that can be used to compare all of the countries above. Factor that can be used as a reference of the study are, economic, politic, military and also transportation. Those factors are connecting each other, so the reader can elaborate more in detail the factor. The factor is potential to be important things in human live even in the daily life. The further studies from those factors can useful in order to understand communicate with each others from different background.

Chapter IV: Conclusion People as a human being cannot live alone without others people. They must communicate with each other. Language is the way of communication. By the population of the world that rapidly increased with the person who has different background, they should know the background of the others. To know the background, first is to know the behavior and attitude in order to understand the other culture.
From the research about business relationship Indonesia-Malaysia, Indonesia-China, and Indonesia-Singapore, every pair has their own behavior and attitude. Even all of the country located in Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Singapore) and all is Relationship-Focused. But the main important that location and business cultures are not guarantee that the behavior and attitude are same. There are not only Business Culture factor (Relationship-Focused Country and Deal-Focused Country) that can be the behavior and attitude. The factor can be the conflict between the related countries, or maybe the language that could be the problem. The opportunity of every country to open business is totally different, the challenge can’t be same each country. That things happened because the characteristic of each country, that’s why International Business Communication is important in our life.

Arry Anggadha, E. Y. (2009, August 31). VIVAnews - Another Indonesia-Malaysia Conflict. Retrieved from VIVAnews: (2010). Indonesia's Geography. Retrieved from (2012). Etiquette in Singapore. Retrieved from
Business Culture. (n.d.). Business Culture in Singapore. Retrieved from Business Culture:
Characteristic - Different Type of Culture and Their Characteristic. (n.d.). Retrieved from
CIA-The World Factbook . (n.d.). CIA - The World Factbook. Retrieved from The World Factbook:
Culture of Singapore. (2011). Retrieved from Countries and Their Cultures:
Dieu, B. (2011). English Speaking Country. Retrieved from The English Dept: (n.d.). Indonesia. Retrieved from (2012). The China Language Barrier. Retrieved from Resource For Entrepreneur :
Jakarta Globe. (2012). ‘Cultural Misunderstandings’ Behind Indonesia's Foreigner Business Ban. Retrieved from Jakarta Globe:
Kwintessential. (n.d.). Singapore - Language, Culture, Customs, Etiquete, and Doing Business. Retrieved from Kwintessential:
P, A. (n.d.). Work Culture in Singapore. Retrieved from
Rosenberg, M. (2012). Geography and Map of Malaysia. Retrieved from Geography:
Rosenberg, M. (2011, January 1). World Population - The Current World Population. Retrieved May 26, 2012, from Geography:
Singapore Expats. (n.d.). About Singapore - Singapore cultural and language, relagion of singapore, singlish. Retrieved from Singapore expats:
Taylor, S. (n.d.). Indonesia Business Etiquette & Culture. Retrieved from
The Star Online. (n.d.). Time to redefine, malaysian's work culture. Retrieved from
WebFinance. (2012). What is business? Definition and Meaning. Retrieved 5 25, 2012, from
Whitford, D. (2011). Where in the world is cheap labor? Retrieved from CNN Money:
World Business Culture. (n.d.). Top Tips on Malaysian Business. Retrieved from World Business Culture:
World Room. (2008). Singapore Business Etiquette. Retrieved from
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