Luxembourgian business culture
Did you know about business culture in Luxembourg? Watch this video animation to find out some interesting facts:
Business Culture in Luxembourg is characterised by: business communication, business etiquette, business meeting etiquette, internship and student placements, cost of living, work-life-balance and social media guide.
Geography & Population
Luxembourg is located in Northern Europe and is bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. Luxembourg forms part of the main urbanization and development axis of Europe known as the ‘Blue Banana’, which stretches from the West of England to Milan. The northern part of the country forming part of the Ardennes is known as the ‘Oesling’ and is dominated by hills and low mountains. The southern part of the country called the ‘Gutland’ is more densely populated. It is also more diverse and can be divided into five geographic regions: the Luxembourg plateau, Little Switzerland, the Moselle valley, the Valley of the Seven Castles and the Red Lands. The south west is part of the Luxembourg-Lorraine mining basin, once one of the most productive iron and steel manufacturing regions worldwide.
Luxembourg is the smallest country in the European Union with a population of about 650,000 in an area of 2,586 square kilometres. The national language is Luxembourgish, which is a blend of Dutch, old German, and Frankish elements that is spoken by the majority of the native population. French and German are also official languages.
Luxembourg has a moderate continental climate, characterized by mild winters and cool summers. The high peaks of the Ardennes in the north provide shelter from the rigorous north winds. Rainfall is plentiful with precipitation throughout the country averaging about 75 cm annually.
As Luxembourg is in Central Europe it uses Central European Time and adheres to CET (UTC+1) during the winter and CEST (UTC+2) during the summer.
Luxembourg’s high-income market economy features moderate growth, low inflation, and a high innovation level. According to the nominal value of GDP, Luxembourg ranks in 94th place globally; however GDP per capita is around $80,000, which ranks the country in 2nd place in the entire world. Luxembourg plays host to many European Union institutions like the Commission of the European Community, the Court of Justice of the European Communities, the European Statistical Office (EUROSTAT), the Publications Office and the General Secretariat of the European Parliament.
Free movement of goods is allowed between Luxembourg and member states. The political government of Luxembourg consist of a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, whereby the Prime Minister of Luxembourg is the head of government and legislative power is vested in the Chamber of Deputies who are elected to 5-year terms.
- Capital: Luxembourg
- Total Population: 509,074
- Ethnic Origins: Luxembourgers are an ethnic group, citizens of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Other ethnic groups which live in the country are Portuguese (13.3%), French (4.5%), Italian (4.3%) and German (2.3%)
- Official Language: Luxembourgish, French, German
- Religion: 87% Roman Catholics, the others mostly Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Muslims
- Type of State: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
- Territorial division: 2 provinces.
Xenophobia: being a foreigner in Luxembourg
In general, people are very friendly and very hospitable in Luxembourg. True to their motto: “we want to stay as we are”, the Luxembourgish insist on distinguishing themselves as an individual nation, while nevertheless being close to others within the European sphere.
Primary education lasts for six years and at the age of 12, children will proceed to either a general or technical secondary school to complete a further seven years of study. A “Diplôme de Fin d’Etudes secondaires” is awarded at the end of this period. Higher education in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg comprises of the following: the first/second academic year at all faculties; short-term (2 years) education in Economic Sciences orientated towards pre-service training; four-year technological education; three-year pedagogical/social education; third cycle studies offered at the Centre Universitaire. Classes are taught in French and German. Foreign language teaching has a predominant position in education in Luxembourg. More than three quarters of the pupils, (75.5%) learn two or more foreign languages and the remaining ones learn one foreign language.
The University of Luxembourg offers degree programmes at undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral level within three faculties: the “Faculté des Sciences, de la Technologie et de la Communication”, the “Faculté de Droit, d’Economie et de Finance” and the “Faculté des Lettres, des Sciences Humaines, des Arts et des Sciences de l’Education”.
Other issues such as transport infrastructure
Luxembourg’s airport, Findel Airport, is located 4 miles east of the city on the road to Grevenmacher. Luxair is the national airline, and flies to 21 European destinations. Luxembourg operates an extensive rail network, serving all European destinations. It is one of the most convenient, and cost effective methods of transportation in reaching the capital. Although, it has suffered from some difficulties, due to competition with road transport. Taxis are widely available, but are an expensive option. A 10% tip is usual for taxi drivers. Travel time from the airport to the city centre is approximately 15 minutes.
In order to avoid insulting your Luxembourgian counterparts, and, disrespecting their beliefs and ideals note that:
- The Luxembourgians are very proud of their independence and the fact that they are a separate country in their own right.
- Be aware of their unique culture and language; do not assume that everyone is an expatriate from another country.
- Do not criticize the Grand Duchy; Luxembourgers are proud of their heritage and history.
- Always be punctual for business and social meetings as lateness is considered very rude.
- Politeness and respect for hierarchy is very important in Luxembourg; never be disrespectful or rude, or you will lose all possible chances of succeeding in your business dealings.
Understanding and respecting these issues will make a significant contribution to understanding Luxembourgian culture and building and maintaining strong business relationships.
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