Taking the time to develop solid, long-term personal relationships is of vital importance when doing business here.
In Indonesian business culture, relationships are based on respect and trust.
Consequently, you will have to take time to establish good will, and this often involves making several trips over a period of months.
Although many government officials may speak some English, they will probably prefer to hold meetings in Bahasa Indonesia.
Politeness is a necessary part of a successful business relationship in Indonesia
The meeting will usually begin with a bit of preliminary ‘small talk’, or a subsequent meeting with a period of ‘catching up.
The pace of business negotiations in Indonesia is slower than you may know.
There is also less of an emphasis on efficiency, punctuality, and deadlines–hence the popular concept of ‘rubber time’ that exists in Indonesia.
It’s essential that you speak in quiet, gentle tones and always remain calm and in control of your emotions.
You may find that the Indonesian participants will say very little during a meeting. This reticence, however, should not be interpreted negatively.
Indonesians tend to be soft-spoken, and you should make the effort to do the same.
Indonesians tend to be shrewd negotiators, intent on obtaining the best deal possible. You will earn their respect if you maintain a positive, persistent attitude.
To successfully hold a conversation, it’s essential for Indonesians to know if they are speaking with a person who is their superior, inferior or equal.
they will feel uncomfortable until they learn your status–hence the tendency to ask very personal questions.
As a face-saving measure, Indonesians will often say ‘yes’ when they don’t actually mean it.