In Singapore status is quite important. Everything and everyone has to have a title. I find that I get asked for my business card quite often. I’ve been asked by taxi drivers, shop owners, even random people that I strike up conversations with in elevators.
Before my company made me a business card, it was quite embarassing and awkward when people asked me for mine and I would have to explain to them that I didn’t have one yet. Usually people present you with their card first, expecting to get one in return.
Even presenting business cards is done with a certain bit of ceremony. A business card is presented to you facing you and with two hands. And if they are really trying to impress you, they’ll even bow their heads ever so slightly.
Another interesting fact is that they are called name cards here, and not business cards.
Being the rude American that I am, I totally botched this a number of times. Giving cards with one hand, having them face weird angles, and calling them business cards instead of name card.
If you’re coming here for work, make sure you bring a stack of cards. You never know when you’ll get asked for one.