Samoan Culture

Business Culture


  • During business meetings, wear appropriate attire. This is usually a shirt and smart trousers for men and a blouse with smart trousers or a long skirt for women. If in doubt, dress modestly.
  • During a meeting, a gift is usually expected. The presentation of gifts is formal and often done publicly.
  • When accepting a gift, it is customary to bow your head slightly and place the gift above your head with both hands for a moment.
  • Punctuality is important. However, keep in mind that meetings may not start at the designated time.


  • In a business setting, Samoans tend to be very polite. They may say what they think their foreign counterpart wants to hear, regardless of whether it is entirely true. This is because they want to avoid spoiling relations. See ‘Indirect Communication’ in Communication for more information on this.
  • Note that meetings may be interrupted by prayers if they run into a time of worship.

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