Gift Guide

Cultural Notes – Europe


  • Gifts are not a part of business interactions. Rather than giving a gift, invite your hosts to a meal.
  • When invited to a home, you may bring flowers, liquor or chocolates. For good etiquette, send a thank you message via messenger (rather than by mail) to the host afterwards.
  • Avoid giving white lilies as they signify death.


  • Businessmen and women do not expect to receive gifts. If a gift is given, the gift should be of good quality, but not cost an exorbitant amount.
  • A good gift to give would be a wine that is not available in Germany.


  • Do not give a gift at the first meeting or encounter.
  • Avoid too lavish and too skimpy and gifts that show your company logo.
  • Local crafts or products from your region are appropriate.


  • Business gifts are mainly given at a senior managerial level. They should be small and not too obviously expensive. The craftsmanship and quality is important.
  • Again, avoid company logos on gifts.
  • If giving flowers, never give flowers in even numbers. Do not give chrysanthemums for they are used for funerals. Brooches, handkerchiefs and knives all connote sadness.


  • If you are given a gift, open it in front of the giver.
  • Don’t give 13 flowers. It is considered bad luck.
  • Business gifts should not be given at the first meeting.
  • Avoid giving gifts with your company logo on it. A pen with your logo is acceptable.
  • Local crafts or illustrated books from your region/city are always appropriate and appreciated.


  • Liquor is expensive in Sweden, so a gift of liquor is always welcome and appreciated. A wine from your region is a good business gift to give.


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