PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 November, 2009, 12:00am

Reciprocity is the key to a fair relationship and China is not alone with its concept of 'guanxi'. The Yiddish word blat, meaning a piece of paper, became widespread in the Soviet Union, where informal agreements with shadowy Communist Party members were used for gain. It was used to gain admission to universities, conducting business deals, and blat relations proliferated in the bureaucratic inefficiency of the Soviet Union.

The Arabic term wasta in Middle Eastern culture is based on the use of influence or connections to get things from good jobs to bypassing red tape. Wasta has been a way of life for decades and it has become synonymous with wholesale nepotism, with many, and often unqualified, family relations working within the same firm.