brown lounge chair on side of swimming pool

Asia is fast becoming the most influential region in the world for global business. If you run a business that operates across international borders, it’s important that you are tapped into that area of the global economy and it’s likely that you may need to make some links with the region in the future. 

If you want to start making links with the Asian business world, that means taking some trips, and Malaysia is a great place to start. It’s a central business hub that connects you with the whole region, and it’s got plenty of amazing opportunities for business owners because it is one of the fastest growing countries in the area. If you want to expand your business into the region, read this guide to planning your first business trip to Malaysia.

Where To Stay 

Malaysia is a very diverse country and if you were visiting as a tourist, it would be worth moving around and seeing a few different places. However, if you are there for business reasons, Kuala Lumpur is the place to be. The capital city has been modernized so much in the last few decades and it is now a metropolis filled with huge skyscrapers, plenty of business opportunities, and lots of high-end restaurants and bars for entertaining. 

The accommodation in Kuala Lumpur varies a lot and there are cheap options if you like. However, on a short business trip, you should consider staying somewhere in the Taman OUG area. There are some great OUG parklane properties you can stay in that are perfectly suited for a business trip. There are lots of amenities like shops nearby, and new transport links have been developed for easy access to other areas of the city. The district is bordered by the district of Bukit Jalil, where you will find the Malaysia Technology Park, headquarters of a lot of big tech companies in the region. 

Business Customs To Be Aware Of

Whenever you are planning a foreign business trip, it is important that you are aware of local business customs before you go. Every country has its own way of doing things and if you don’t stay up to date with the customs, you risk accidentally offending somebody and jeopardizing your chances of making good business connections. 

The pace of life is quite relaxed in Malaysia, but punctuality is still expected in business meetings, so make your travel plans ahead of time. Having said that, it’s not uncommon for meetings to start late, even if everybody is present, because people in Malaysia don’t like to feel rushed. 

When you enter the meeting, there are strict rules about hierarchy that need to be followed. People will enter in order of seniority and the same rules apply when greeting people. You are expected to greet everybody individually, even in a big meeting, and there will be a set seating arrangement to follow. Breaking any of these rules can cause offense, so be careful. 

There is a lot of consultation before decisions are reached and things move slowly, so don’t expect a deal to be worked out in a single meeting. You should also be aware that some Malaysians may leave meetings to pray, so schedule time for a midday prayer if possible. 

What To Do In Your Downtime

This is dependent on how you like to run your business trips and what your corporate travel policy looks like, but it’s always a good idea to plan for some downtime and do some exploring during your trip. If you are taking some of your employees along with you, it’s a great team bonding experience and it gives everybody a chance to blow off some steam after a long day of meetings. But even if you are going on your own, it’s still good to take time to relax. 

The Kuala Lumpur food street is a great place to sample cuisine from around the region. There are hundreds of great little stalls selling food from different places around Asia, and it’s a brilliant place to meet with locals and other travelers alike. 

The Petronas Towers are also a must-see while you are in Kuala Lumpur. They’re the most popular attraction in the city and the surrounding area is filled with some great shopping centers, bars and restaurants to visit as well. 

Finally, you should take a trip to the Batu Caves, where you will find a set of incredible, vibrant painted steps leading to an amazing temple. 

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These are some of the best attractions to visit while on your first business trip to Malaysia. Hopefully, this guide has answered any questions you have and you feel prepared you for your trip. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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