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AVOIDING PROTOCOL BLUNDERS THAT CAN KILL A BUSINESS DEAL IN THE NEW EASTERN EUROPE

 AVOIDING PROTOCOL BLUNDERS THAT CAN KILL A BUSINESS DEAL
 IN THE NEW EASTERN EUROPE
 PARIS, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Asking one's hosts to butt out their cigarettes or gesturing approval of a proposal by forming a circle with the thumb and forefinger are protocol blunders that can sabotage a business deal in the new Eastern Europe, according to a research study conducted by Uniglobe Travel (International) Inc., the largest travel franchise organization in the world.
 "Russia is likely to be the most confusing to western business travelers," said U. Gary Charlwood, chairman and CEO of Uniglobe Travel (International) Inc. "Just as the political situation has changed dramatically in Russia in the past year, so have many elements of business protocol."
 "It used to be a serious blunder to tip in the Soviet Union. Western currency was used only in the black market. Today, it is a blunder not to tip in Russia, and western currency is accepted enthusiastically everywhere."
 The UNIGLOBE International study is the latest compilation of business protocol for westerners beginning business relationships in the new Eastern Europe. UNIGLOBE International itself is exploring opportunities in Eastern Europe after establishing its European head office in Paris last month.
 When negotiating a deal in Russia, it is as important today as it was in the old Soviet Union to determine exactly what processes are required to get government approval of business transactions.
 "Make sure you know in advance what special licenses, registration numbers, seals and signatures will be required," Charlwood says.
 Charlwood cited the case of an American company that invested millions of dollars after signing an "exclusive" protocol agreement with the government to export wine. "One year later, the company discovered the government had signed similar agreements with 11 other companies as well. The million-dollar investment was completely lost," Charlwood says.
 "When traveling to Russia on business, the delegations you meet will vary in numbers and usually include a translator. It is a good idea to determine the size of the delegation in advance and bring the appropriate number of gifts," Charlwood said.
 "The majority of Russian business people smoke and will likely do so during meetings," Charlwood said. "And it is not a good business strategy to protest. If, however, you wish to smoke yourself, ask permission first. The same holds true for most other European countries."
 "Good translators are extremely valuable in Russia and should be found through recommendations only," Charlwood said. "Remember to present them with a suitable gift and tip well.
 "One of the best ways to reward good translators is to take them to a hard currency store and let them purchase something they need with your funds."
 Charlwood says few eastern Europeans want to talk about World War II, but sport is a relatively safe topic for non-business discussions.
 "Stick to soccer since it is popular all over Europe. Mentioning American football or baseball won't insult your eastern European business associates, but it may bore them."
 Even western business travelers normal attempts to be friendly and agreeable can run into problems. For example, the common western gesture of forming a circle with the thumb and forefinger to signal that something is "OK" is considered offensive in Unified Germany, Charlwood said.
 Results of the UNIGLOBE International study have been used to produce a series of wallet-size cards containing protocol advice and travel tips for business travelers going to Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Unified Germany and Russia. The cards are available at UNIGLOBE Travel offices throughout the United States and Canada.
 Uniglobe Travel (International) Inc. has 900 locations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
 -0- 4/13/92
 /CONTACT: Wayne Hartrick or Graham Bell of James Hoggan & Associates Inc., 604-682-5461, for UNIGLOBE; or United States regional contacts: Fountain Valley, Calif., UNIGLOBE Travel (Southwest) Inc., Sandy O'Connor, 714-968-4494; or Alameda UNIGLOBE Travel (Mid Pacific) Inc., Gerry Hucek, 510-769-4747; or Englewood, Colo., UNIGLOBE Corporate World Travel, Frank or Barbara Blatter, 303-773-8747; or Washington D.C., UNIGLOBE Full Service Travel Inc., Beth Pazienza, 202-244-5000; or Tallahassee, Fla., UNIGLOBE Governor's Square Travel, Jan Nichols, 904-222-2100; or Marietta Ga., UNIGLOBE First in Travel, Sheri Cohen, 404-988-0088; or Chicago, Ill., UNIGLOBE Premier Travel Inc., Kristin Tomlinson, 312-427-8400; or Rockland, Me., UNIGLOBE Davies Travel, Bill Davies, 617-982-8000; or Worthington, Ohio, UNIGLOBE Horizons Travel Inc., Jim West, 614-885-3555; or Houston, Texas, UNIGLOBE Dynamic Travel, Regina Gardner, 713-621-3833; or Federal Way, Wash., UNIGLOBE Select Travel, Karin Feldt, 206-874-6033; or Canadian Regional Contacts; Vancouver, British Columbia, UNIGLOBE Travel (Western Can.) Inc., Laurie Radloff, 604-681-9192; or Toronto, Ontario, UNIGLOBE Normark Travel, Inc., Mark Crone, 416-364-4888/ CO: Uniglobe Travel (International) Inc. ST: British Columbia IN: LEI SU:


JL -- LA006 -- 7544 04/13/92 08:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 13, 1992
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