Business strategies in Theravada Buddhist Southeast Asia
Introduction There are some basic principles that apply to business transactions around the world, while the practices used to carry out the business principles will vary according to context. Merchants along the Silk Road one thousand years ago would most likely have no trouble appreciating a modern business tycoon’s concern over ensuring steady supplies at reasonable prices. It is probable; consumers in the Roman Empire were as concerned about receiving value for money as are modern shoppers in Beijing. The importance of building a reputation for quality was in all likelihood as important for nineteenth-century tea merchants as it is for Toyota or Mercedes Benz today. The Theravada Buddhist countries of Southeast Asia have very different business environments than is found in other locations in the world and therefore it is not surprising one will find very different business practices; however, it should also be kept in mind many of the universal principles of business are applied by businesses in the region on a daily basis.