South Korea Assignment 1 Facts South Korea is a sovereign state, which locates in the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is also called the Republic of Korea. Its neighbors are China, Japan, North and the East China Sea to the south. South Korea’s territory covers a total area of 99,392 square kilometers and has a population of almost 50 million. The capital and largest city is Seoul. South Korea is a developed country with a very high standard of living and high economic growth rate. It is Asia’s fourth largest economy and the world’s 12th largest economy.
The economy is export-driven, with production focusing on electronics, automobiles, ships, machinery, petrochemicals and robotics. Society ; Culture South Korea shares it’s traditional culture with North Korea, which is truly conservative and family-oriented. In Korean Confucian tradition, inherited from the ancient China, the father is the head of the family and it is his responsibility to provide food, clothing and shelter, and to protect all the family members. Everyone else in the family should show absolute respect to him and follow his orders unconditionally.
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Members of the family are tied to each other because they believe that the actions of one family member reflect on the rest of the family. Like most Asian countries, Korean interpersonal relationships operate on the principle of harmony. It is important to maintain a peaceful, comfortable atmosphere at all times. You shouldn’t show any unpleasant look even if you are angry at or disagree with someone. If you break the “harmonious relationship” with someone, you may cause them to lose dignity, and lose face in front of others.
Especially during the business meetings, people should keep smiling and always agree with each other’s opinions by nodding and clapping. This means you have been always supportive to each other and make the society in a harmonious condition. In most Asian countries, losing dignity means losing everything. So when you travel to Asian countries, you should pay extra attention on your behaviors and watch what you say to them. Etiquette & Customs Speaking of Meeting Etiquette. There are a couple of things that should be paid attention to.
Usually, South Koreans shake hands after bowing to each other. The person of lower status bows to the person of higher status, yet it is the most senior person who initiates the handshake. During shaking hands, Koreans will greet each other to show their good relationships. Besides, if you are going to a business meeting as a stranger, you should wait to be introduced to others and exchanged business cards with them. And make sure that you say good-bye and bow to each person individually when you leave a social gathering. Dining Etiquette is also really important in Korea.
If you are invited to a South Korean’s house, you should at least bring some small gifts such as drinks, snacks or meat. The host will usually refuse your gifts at first but they don’t really mean to turn you down, it’s just a Korean way of being polite. So don’t feel like they don’t appreciate your gifts and being sad or upset about it. They will happily accept your gifts at last. There is a really essential point to mention while being as a guest—Always remove your shoes and put them neatly before entering the house. Korean people regard the orderliness of their house as a big deal.
Besides, make sure that you will try whatever food the host gives to you and always compliment their cooking skills. It somewhat represents the harmony of the visit. Lastly, remember to send a thank you note the following day after being invited to dinner. Business Etiquette and Protocol Relationships ; Communication Like most Asian people, South Koreans prefer to do business with people whom they have a personal connection with. For example, you will be sure to get the deal or contract if your father knows the CEO of this company.
On the contrary, it will be hard to do business in Korea if you don’t have a good social circle. So building up personal relationships always comes first. Moreover, relationships are often developed through informal social gatherings that involve a considerable amount of drinking. Koreans usually say that the possibility of being successful in business area is up to how much you can drink and once the businessmen who you want to get the deal from were drunk, they will sign up the contract for you.
Hence, rumors goes that the secretary of the CEO often has a high tolerance of alcohol and one of their essential duties is to make others drunk first. Additionally, according to Korean tradition of valuing manners and harmony, you should never insult or criticize someone in front of others. Business Meeting Etiquette Here lists some points that you should pay attention to while having a business meeting: . Appointments are required and should be made 3 to 4 weeks in advance. . You should arrive on time for meetings as this demonstrates respect for the person you are meeting. The most senior South Korean generally enters the room first. . It is a good idea to send both an agenda and back-up material including information about your company and client testimonials prior to the meeting. . The main purpose of the first meeting is to get to know each other. . Meetings are used to understand a client’s needs and challenges. They lay the foundation for building the relationship. . Do not remove your jacket unless the most senior South Korean does so. . Have all written materials available in both English and Korean. Dress Etiquette
Last but not least, Business attire is conservative due to Korean old-fashioned concept. Men should wear dark-colored, conservative business suits with white shirts. Women should dress conservatively and wear subdued colors such as Black and navy. Men should avoid wearing jewelers other than a watch or a wedding ring. Reference: 1. Report for Selected Countries and Subjects: http://www. imf. org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2010/02/weodata/weorept. aspx 2. Kwintessential. com: http://www. kwintessential. co. uk/resources/global-etiquette/south-korea-country-profile. html