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Last updated : Nov 2009
Korea South Business
Korea South Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com
Economy

Korea (Republic) is 1 of the so-called ‘tiger economies’ of the Pacific Rim, which underwent rapid growth and industrialisation from the 1960s onwards and forged a main presence in world export markets.

The Republic of Korea’s strength came from 4 major areas:

 shipbuilding
 steel
 comestic demand
 tourism dominates the service sector, which is still fairly small but received a boost from the success of the 2002 World Cup football competition, which Korea (Rep) co-hosted.

When compare with the North which has comprehensive coal and mineral deposits, the South is pretty poor in natural resources, nevertheless there have been current offshore discoveries of natural gas which should help to decrease the country’s dependence on imported energy.

The financial crisis which struck Asia during 1997 had a severe effect on the Korea Southn economy. It raised huge concerns about the long-term viability of the chaebol – the big conglomerates that form the foundations of Korea (Rep)’s industrial economy – and the stability of the finance sector, which had assumed increasing importance. In the beginning of 1998 the economy was saved from further damage by a US$60 billion financial rescue package put together by the IMF which kick-started a powerful recovery by the Korea Southn economy.

The economy is currently accelerating again after settling down. The growth in 2002 raised to 6.3% on the back of an increment in investment and exports, even though a fractional deceleration was expected in 2003/4. Unemployment and inflation for 2002 were 3.1 and 2.8%. The government has successfully handled the essential structural weaknesses of the financial sector, but has yet to tackle the chaebol. Korea (Rep)’s major trading partners are China, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the USA. The gradual thaw in relations with the North has also seen an increase of economic links.

Business Etiquette

A businessman is expected to be smartly dressed with a suit and tie. The English language is widely spoken in financial and official areas. Appointments should be made in advance and business cards are normally used. The right hand should be used when giving and receiving things particularly business cards. February and June are the Best months for business visits.

Office hours: Monday-Friday 9.00 am - 6.00 pm, Saturday 9.00 am - 1.00 pm.

Commercial Information

The organisations below can provides commercial advice:

Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
PO Box 25
45 4-ga
Namdaemun-ro
Chung-gu
Seoul 100-743

Telephone number: (2) 316 3114
Fax number: (2) 771 3267
e-mail: trade@kcci.or.kr
website: http://english.korcham.net/

Korea Trade Centre
5th Floor
39 St James’s Street
London
SW1A 1JD
UK

Telephone number: (020) 7491 8057
Fax number: (020) 7491 713
e-mail: kotra@kotra.co.uk
website: www.kotra.or.kr/london