Republic of Korea
Capital: Seoul HDI: 0.891 (15th)
Language: Korean GDP (PPP): $1.781 trillion
Currency: South Korean Won
Population: ~ 49.1 million
South Korea has rapidly transformed into a high-income and advanced economy since the 1960s and has become the world’s 5th largest exporter. The country has also become one of the most fully developed democracies in East Asia in a short amount of time, and the government has put in tough protections for civil liberties. The economy is the 13th largest in the world and its economic stability allowed it avoid recession during the 2008-2009 economic crisis. South Korea excels at innovation; high-tech companies such as Samsung, Hyundai-Kia, and LG dominate the global market and R&D spending by the government is highest globally. The country has been ranked as the 4th easiest place to do business and has one of the most educated workforces in the world.
Korea, South Economy Profile
Korea’s economy will struggle this year given challenging external and domestic conditions. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP to expand 3.0% in 2015, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast. Panelists project GDP growth of 3.4% in 2016.
Korea Economic Outlook
While a weak external sector will restrain growth this year, there are glimmers of hope that domestic dynamics will solidify and minimize the overall slowdown. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP to expand 2.5% in 2015, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. The panel sees growth accelerating to 2.9% in 2016.
Industry Trends & Business Climate
South Korea Risk – globalEDGE – Michigan State University
he Korean economy will remain at two speeds with the dynamic industrial conglomerates – the chaebols– but also a low-productivity service sector.
Establishing a Presence
Business Types – Starting a Business in South Korea
The Korean Commercial Act provides for two main types of business organisations – private businesses and corporations. Corporations are divided into four sub types:1. Private businesses. 2. Corporations (corporations are divided into four sub types: a. General Partnership, b. Limited Liability Partnership, c. Joint Stock Corporation, and d. Limited Liability Corporation
Business Registration Requirements – Registration Procedures | South Korea
Establishing and registering a private business subject to the Foreign Investment Promotion Act requires: Foreign investment notification, Deposit of investment capital (foreign exchange bank), Business registration and Foreign invested company registration
Business Registration Requirements – Starting a Business in Korea
This site provides a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Korea
Business Types – PLC – Establishing a business in South Korea
This site discusses the available business vehicles and their applicable formalities
Official Site of Korea Tourism Org.: Tax Refund
Value-added tax (VAT) 10%. Guide to reimbursement
Income Taxes Overview – South-Korea
Most foreign employees are required to pay Korean income taxes, which are generally withheld and paid by the employer.
South Korea Sales Tax Rate | VAT
The Sales Tax Rate (VAT) in South Korea stands at 10 percent.
South Korea Corporate Tax Rate
The Corporate Tax Rate in South Korea stands at 24.20 percent. Corporate Tax Rate in South Korea averaged 27.38 percent from 1997 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 30.80 percent in 1998 and a record low of 22 percent in 2011. Corporate Tax Rate in South Korea is reported by the National Tax Service, South Korea.
Korea, Republic of – Taxes on corporate income
The basic Korean CIT rates are 10% on the first 200 million Korean won (KRW), 20% for the tax base between KRW 200 million and KRW 20 billion, and 22% for the excess.
South Korea Personal Income Tax Rate
The Personal Income Tax Rate in South Korea stands at 38 percent. Personal Income Tax Rate in South Korea averaged 35.91 percent from 2004 until 2014, reaching an all time high of 38 percent in 2012 and a record low of 35 percent in 2005. Personal Income Tax Rate in South Korea is reported by the National Tax Service, South Korea.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea-Visa
This site provides comprehensive information for foreigners who want to visit or live in Korea, including guide on immigration to the Republic of Korea. Visitors who plan to stay in Korea for longer than 90 days must obtain a visa before entering Korea.
Korea Visa & Passports | Official Korea Tourism Organization
Foreign nationals entering Korea are generally required to have a valid passport and a Korean visa assigned by overseas branch of Korean embassy or consular offices.
Work Permits – South Korea Guide: Work visas
Anyone who is planning to work during their stay in South Korea is legally required to apply for a visa.
Work Permits – Visas and Work Permits | South Korea
Information on the requirements for foreigners coming to South Korea to work: visas, work permits, residence permits, foreign registration cards, and immigration offences
Korea Transportation :The Official Korea Tourism Guide
Information on all forms of public transportation
Getting around South Korea on local transport
Catching local transport in South Korea – transport tips on getting around South Korea like a local.
Telecom/IT – South Korea – Major Telecom Operators
An overview of the major telecom operators in South Korea
Telecom/IT – SK Telecom (SKT
Mobile phone service provider, also conducts research and development.
Labor Rules and Regulations – Employment and employee benefits
A Q&A guide to employment and employee benefits law in South Korea.
Social Insurance – Employment and employee benefits in South Korea
This site provides a high level overview of the key practical issues related to unemployment benefits
Labor Rules and Regulations – Korean Labor Law for Foreign Companies
Korean labor law for Foreign Employers
Social Insurance – South Korea – Social Security
Must have at least 6 months of coverage during the last 18 months, be registered at an employment security office, and be capable of and available for work. Unemployment must not be due to voluntary leaving, misconduct, a labor dispute, or the refusal of a suitable job offer.
Cost of Living in South Korea
Cost of living information includes price indices for rent, food, utilities, transportation, restaurants, clothing and more
Cost of Living in South Korea
The cost of living for expats in South Korea is generally quite low, but this can vary from city to city. The main areas of expenditure are housing and education
Business Etiquette – Business Practices and Etiquette
The dos and don’ts of business etiquette in South Korea
Business Etiquette – Doing Business in Korea: Business Etiquette
Developing an understanding of Korean culture and its influence on business practices is essential to your firm’s success in Korea.
Safety – South Korea | SafeTravel
There are no significant security issues in South Korea but normal safety and security measures should be taken to ensure personal safety. – See more at: https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/south-korea#sthash.mCNLgEor.dpuf
Climate – South Korea – Climate
Part of the East Asian monsoonal region, South Korea has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. The movement of air masses from the Asian continent exerts greater influence on South Korea’s weather than does air movement from the Pacific Ocean. Winters are usually long, cold, and dry, whereas summers are short, hot, and humid.
Climate – Weather & Climate in Korea
Travelers heading to Korea should be aware of its distinctive weather patterns. Winters can be especially harsh, summers bring torrential rains and spring and fall see the occasional yellow dust storm fly in from across the Yellow Sea.
Education – NCEE » South Korea: System
School for all children between the ages of six and fifteen is free. Senior high schools, for students aged fifteen to eighteen, do charge tuition fees in order to supplement government funding, but these fees do not appear burdensome enough to prevent students from attending. School funding is very centralized, with local school systems deriving 80% of their revenue from the central Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) budget.
Education in South Korea – WENR
Free state-run education is available for the children of all Swedish residents, regardless of nationality. Schools are run by local authorities but follow a national curriculum and are subject to government inspections.
Holidays and observances in South Korea
Schedule of national holidays and observances
Holidays – Official Site of Korea Tourism Org.: National Holidays
Koreans officially follow the Gregorian calendar, even though there are a few holidays that are based on the lunar calendar.
Safety – Korea, South – Bureau of Consular Affairs
US Department of State – Go to Safety and Security for updates from the South Korean government
Demographics – Korea, South Demographics Profile
Demographic information includes population, quality of life, health, sports, technology, energy and the environment
Demographics – Korea, South – The World Factbook
Features a map and brief descriptions of geography, economy, government, and people
Import/Export Regulations – South Korea customs
Listing of free, prohibited and restricted IMPORTS.
Import/Export Regulations – Exporting products in South Korea
EXPORTS from Korea are not subject to any restrictions. Export permission» and Export approval» are necessary but they only concern goods internationally recognized as being subject to such restrictions (weapons, nuclear energy, missiles, toxic waste etc.). Exports to North Korea also need an official approval.
Trade Agreements – Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Since the establishment of the FTA Roadmap in 2003, the Republic of Korea (ROK) has actively pursuing FTAs with its key trading partners. So far, FTAs with Chile, Singapore, EFTA, ASEAN, India and Peru, EU and US entered into force.
Trade Agreements – Korea – Export.gov
The United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement entered into force on March 15, 2012.
Housing and Rentals
Accommodation in South Korea
The range of housing options in South Korea is very limited, and prices can be obscene. The silver lining, however, is that most Korean employers, especially in the ESL world, organise accommodation for their employees as part of their employment contract.
South Korea Housing & Rentals
Finding a nice place to live is always difficult. South Korea is no exception – getting the right accommodation can be hard, especially in large cities.
South Korea Travel Guide | Fodor’s Travel
Korea is a country well-suited to travel, a place where people are welcoming to strangers. While cities like Seoul and Busan are strikingly modern, parts of the countryside seem strangely untouched by the past century.
South Korea – Lonely Planet
Split by a fearsome border, the Korean Peninsula offers the traveler a dazzling range of experiences, beautiful landscapes and 5000 years of culture and history.