Doing Business Abroad South Korea
Terri Morrison
  • Korean men greet each other with a slight bow and sometimes a handshake.
  • Indicate respect by supporting your right forearm with your left hand.

  • The family name (surname) is listed first. For example, Kim Hyong Sim would be Mr. Kim. Sim is his first name; do not use it until invited to do so.
  • Married women retain their maiden names.

  • Punctuality is expected from foreigners, however Koreans might be 30 minutes late themselves.
  • Schedule meetings from 10-11 a.m. and 2-3 p.m.

  • A respectful rapport between individuals is vital. Do not become "chummy."
  • Find out who is negotiating for the other side, and match the rank of the persons represented. Status is very important.
  • Triangles have negative connotations – do not use them in your presentations.

  • Refill your neighbor's cup and soy sauce bowl when empty; expect the same. If you do not want more, do not empty your glass.
  • Avoid discussing politics, Japan, and your host's wife.

Do You Know:   True or False?

Squinting, or tipping the head back while drawing air in through the teeth, can mean "no."
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A random drawing will be held to award five correct respondents with a free copy of Dun & Bradstreet's Guide to Doing Business Around the World.

For information on Terri Morrison's books, database and seminars, visit or call 610-725-1040, fax 610-725-1074.

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