Thursday 23 May 2013

Culture impacts business


Experiencing UK culture by young people makes them more interested in doing business and looking for work opportunities in the UK – shows a report by the British Council.

  • 53% of young educated Poles who have experienced British culture are interested in doing business with the UK
  • 65% of them are interested in visiting UK as a tourist

In all countries, people who have been involved in activities including learning English, experiencing UK arts, or studying for UK qualifications, have a greater interest in doing business with the UK than those with no significant experience of UK culture.

The British Council’s Culture Means Business report draws on research by Ipsos MORI and YouGov in ten key overseas economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Poland, Pakistan, Thailand and Turkey). Researchers spoke to more than 10,000 educated young people (16-34) - the potential business leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

On average across all the countries, the level of interest is 11 percentage points higher among people who have been involved in cultural relations with the UK than those who haven’t - 44% versus 33%. Polish respondents also note significant difference: 53% versus 46%. Young Poles are also interested in visiting UK as a tourist (65%) and, in less numbers, in studying in the UK (36%) [1].

- If you really want to do business with a country, you need understand its culture. This doesn’t mean only knowledge of language, but also other elements: history, arts and business culture – said Andy Williams, Director British Council Poland. – In everything we do, we aim at bringing UK closer to Polish people: we invite British artists, organise high quality English language courses, offer examinations services for certificates indispensable for studying in the UK, and we share our knowledge.

Many business leaders already understand the impact culture can have, as is shown by their track record of support and sponsorship for the UK’s arts, cultural and educational sectors. Furthermore, research by Dutch economist Dekker from 2007 suggest that if two countries have high mutual trust levels, they are more likely to have strong economic ties. [2]

You can download the full report at: 

[1] The research is based on responses from online panellists in: China, India, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Thailand, Spain, Turkey and Russia, and face-to-face interviews in Pakistan.  Respondents are aged 18-34, with a minimum of secondary level education and were asked whether they had taken part in a list of cultural activities that involve interaction with the UK (e.g. been involved in links or joint projects with a school(s) in UK when at school; participated in a leadership/skills/professional development programme run by a UK Institution; studied at a college or university in UK)

Data are weighted on an estimated level of cultural interaction with the UK derived from the incidence of cultural interaction in each panel.

Ipsos MORI online fieldwork (Brazil, Thailand, Spain, Turkey, Russia) was conducted between 6 September and 5 October 2011. In Pakistan fieldwork was conducted face-to-face between 23 November and 14 December 2011.

YouGov fieldwork (China, India, Poland, Saudi Arabia) was conducted in March 2010.

[2] Dekker P. (red.), Diverse Europe – Public opinion and the European Union, 2007. 

Notes to Editor

For more information, contact:

Karolina Szlasa

Tel. 664 920 232

About the British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. It was created in 1934 and represents the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the domain of cultural and educational relations, with special consideration of teaching English language.

We work in more than 100 countries, and our 7000 staff. In Poland we are present since 1938, promoting prominent British achievements in science, education and society, and arts, enabling partner relations between Polish and British institutions.

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