Meals, Clothing Code & Gifts

Gifts are important. Always take a supply of small, suitable gifts to distribute to key contacts

Always wrap gifts

Gift giving is an endemic part of Korean business life, and should not be confused with notions of bribery and corruption

When you plan to give a gift to several people within an organization, be sure to give a gift of greater value to the senior person

A gift of money should be put in an envelope. Cash is popular for weddings, holidays ,birthdays, funerals, etc…

When visiting a family, suitable gifts include crafts from your home region

Use both hands when giving or receiving a gift

Gifts should not be too lavish but should always be of good quality

Alcohol, especially good single malt whiskey and brandy is always an appreciated gift

Do not open the gift in front of the giver

It is polite to seem to refuse the gift a couple times before accepting

Giving gifts to acquire favors or build relationships is a common practice in the workplace, and reciprocity is expected

Good gifts for a first trip include office items with your company logo or something that is commemorative of your home region

Whenever a person receives a gift, it is customary for the recipient to give another gift of similar value in return at a later time.

The conservative convention of dark suit, shirt and tie are still very much the norm in Korea with smart business suits or dresses being favored by women

Good quality accessories are very much valued – so long as they are not overly ostentatious

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