The Etiquette of Corporate Gift Giving in Singapore

The Etiquette of Corporate Gift Giving in Singapore

Corporate gift giving is the best way of showing appreciation to your clients and workers. However, a slight mistake when exchanging gifts might come out the wrong way and may appear as bribery. Therefore, you should be aware of the gift giving etiquette of the country. Singapore is a multicultural state with 76% of the people being Chinese, 15% Malay, and 6% consisting of Indians. This means you should familiarise yourself with the gift-giving norms and etiquette of different cultures to avoid offending them accidentally.

Singapore is one of the strictest states in Asia in terms of deterring and handling corruption. Government officials such as judges and police officers should never receive any gifts since they may be disguised as bribes. However, this should not stop employers from giving corporate gifts to their business partners, employees, or clients. Below are some essential elements that you should consider while giving gifts in a business setting.

Always try to be unique by exchanging customised corporate gifts if you want to leave an impact during corporate gift giving. It is always advisable to do a little research on the recipient’s tastes and preferences as well as hobbies. You can also contact an associate or assistant to inquire more about the person you intend to give the gift. A little more effort while getting a personalised corporate gift shows that you care about and value your clients and colleagues.

  • Avoid Religious and Political Related Gifts

Singapore is a multicultural state meaning you are highly likely to find people with different religious and political beliefs. Therefore, you should always avoid political or religious related gifts as much as possible unless you are confident about the recipient’s religious or political background. Remember to include a universal note such as “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” since most people in the country are not Christians.

  • Follow the Company’s Policy on Gift-Giving

Giving expensive gifts may appear as bribery while inexpensive ones make you look cheap. Therefore, you should strike a balance between the two while giving a corporate gift. You may consider checking with the human resource manager in your company to get a limit that you should never exceed while giving corporate gifts.

  • Give Gifts to Every Employee

Never alienate anyone when it comes to corporate gift giving since it makes him or her feel less important and forgotten. Distribute all the gifts evenly across all members of a department without choosing one over the other. This should be done openly with everyone present to avoid appearing biased. Alternatively, you can consider giving a group gift such as a platter of cookies if there are many people in the department.

  • Delivery

Gift presentation is important while giving out corporate gifts. Wrap your gifts neatly using bright colors like red, pink, or yellow. Never use black, blue, or white while giving a gift to a Singaporean since it signifies death or mourning. Delivering your gift in person shows your client or recipient that they are worth your time.

Singapore is one of the countries where you should exercise caution while giving out corporate gifts. For example, a leather item may appear appropriate to give, but it might end up offending a worker from a Hindu background. Therefore, you may consider universal corporate gifts ideas such as branded pens from your company, chocolates, or a little souvenir if you are not familiar with the recipients’ cultural background. Remember to give the gifts with your right hand or both if it is large. Avoid opening it immediately when you receive a gift since it is a sign of impatience and greed.


Always follow the corporate gift giving etiquette above if you always want to create healthy relationships between workers in your company. Remember gifts are for special occasions such as holidays or anniversaries and should never be used to secure a deal in your favor. Corporate gift giving can be challenging, but it gets easier if you place the recipient’s taste and preferences above yours. If you are concerned about sourcing gifts, you shouldn’t be as there are many suppliers providing corporate gifts wholesale in Singapore.