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:
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.
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.
hours: Monday-Friday 9.00 am - 6.00 pm, Saturday 9.00 am
- 1.00 pm.
The organisations below can provides commercial advice:
Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry
PO Box 25
Telephone number: (2) 316
Fax number: (2) 771 3267
Korea Trade Centre
39 St James’s Street
Telephone number: (020) 7491 8057
Fax number: (020) 7491 713