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UK Profile

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Brief Fact File
Capital London
Currency British Pound (GBP)
Language(s) English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)
Local time GMT 00:00 (GMT + 01:00 in summer)
Telephone code 44
Major cities Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast

The United Kingdom is the leading trading power and financial center in Western Europe. For the past two decades, the government has reduced the public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs. Agriculture sector is very intensive, highly mechanized, and very efficient. It produces about 60% of the food needs with less than 2% of labour force. It has a large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves. UK is the member of European Union. Its top three import partners are Germany, the US and France. US, Germany and France is the top three export partners.

Major Exports:
  1. Manufactured Goods
  2. Fuels
  3. Chemicals
  4. Food
  5. Beverages
  6. Tobacco
Major Imports:
  1. Manufactured Goods
  2. Machinery
  3. Fuels
  4. Foodstuffs
Business Practices

Business Dress
  1. For both men and women, conservative dress is the norm where darker colors and heavier fabrics predominate.
  2. Few of the British firms have introduced the concept of 'dress-down' Friday with the code of 'smart casual.' IT department dress down all week.
  3. Never put pens, pencils, etc. in the shirt or the jacket breast pockets.
  4. Avoid striped ties.
Communication Guidelines
  1. They maintain a reasonable level of formality in their business relations, at least at the initial stages. They are unlikely to address by first name until they are invited to do so.
  2. Punctuality is important. If one is being late for an appointment, telephone and let them know what time you expect to arrive.
  3. The exchange of business cards is often done towards the end of meetings, however be prepared to exchange business cards near the outset of the meeting.
  4. Most of them expect to shake hands with business associates.
Business Hour
Shops are generally open from 9.00am to 5.30/6.00pm from Monday to Saturday, some close early on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Visiting this Country

Business Visa Rules for UK
The following documents are required :
  1. Valid/signed passport (valid 6 months; with at least one blank visa page).
  2. One visa application form completed and signed.
  3. Two passport size photographs.
  4. Employment letter.
  5. Bank statement.
  6. Proof of departure - computer generated flight itinerary on travel agent letterhead (for tourist visa applicants only).
  7. Business cover letter addressed to the British Embassy. Letter should state exact nature of business which will be conducted, length of intended stay, and also include business contact information in the UK.
Public Holidays
Festival Date Detail
New Year's Day January 1  
  January 2 Scotland Only
St Patrick's Day March 17 Northern Ireland only
Good Friday    
Easter Sunday    
Easter Monday    
May Day   First Monday in May
Spring Bank Holiday Monday following final Sunday in May  
Tynwald Day July 5 Isle of Man
Battle of the Boyne July 12 Also known as "The Twelfth". Northern Ireland only
August Bank Holiday Last Monday in August England and Wales
August Bank Holiday First Monday in August Scotland
Christmas Day December 25  
Boxing Day December 26  

Travel Tips
  1. Tipping is common in UK. Maid expect $2.50 per day, Room Service $1 to $20 from bringing ice and glasses to meals, Bellhop $2 and Doorman $1 per bag.
  2. Know the duty charges while shopping. Sometimes the duty rate is very small but after buying the article you need to pay duty on your return. Take receipt of purchase if the article is valuable imported goods.
  3. Carry extra batteries and film while travelling because it might not be always available or it can cost more.
  4. Tape your name and address inside the luggage. Put the phone number of a friend inside it too.
  5. Make two photocopy of the passport, credit cards and other valuables. Leave one at home and pack other in your luggage, separate from the original.
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