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Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Guide to Building Trust, Inspiring Respect, and Creating Long-Lasting Business Relationships by Sharon Schweitzer, Bob Waisfisz, Liz Alexander

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Chapter 13South Korea

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My father's biggest achievement was to motivate the South Korean people, to show them we could become prosperous if we worked hard. He taught me to love my country, and serve my country.

—Park Geun-hye

Introduction

Although South Korea1 is known as the “land of the morning calm,” you might question the calm of this Asian Tiger, one of four, along with Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, considering how rapidly the country has globalized and grown economically. Many interviewees made reference to the fact that things happen fast in Korea, as expressed in the phrase palli palli or “faster, faster.” This is “the most wired country in the world,” and has led the digital revolution as a pioneer of TV on mobile devices. K-dramas evolved into the “Korean Wave” as Korean pop (K-Pop) culture spreads across the globe. Korea tweets at twice the world average and the blogging community places second behind China worldwide.2

Korea's rise technologically and economically has been remarkable, and the country holds some surprises for the business traveler. First, as far as belief systems and practices are concerned, Korea is a predominately Christian country. It is one of only seven countries with a population of 50 million-plus to have a GDP of $20,000 per capita. Korea is the 12th-largest economy in the world.3

One observation from author and founder of CEO International, ...

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