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SEOUL'S

GENERAL & INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT


ENGLISH
SEOUL'S GENERAL & INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT
SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT
SEOUL'S
GENERAL & INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT
SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT
Contents
Living Environment 34
NaturalEnvironment 35
ConvenientLiving 38
MedicalFacilities 43
Education 46
Culture/Leisure 49
PublicTransportationSystem 53
Broadcasting 55
TelecomNetwork 56
ComparisonofEverydayLifein
KoreawithOtherMajorAsianCountries
57
Facilities for Foreign
Residents and Travelers
58
Accommodations 59
SeoulGlobalcenter 60
Other 62
General Status of Seoul 06
GeneralStatusofSeoul 07
BusinessEnvironment 11
WorkforceandWages 16
LaborRelations 19
LandPricesandRent 20
Logistics 22
Tax 25
ProtectionofIntellectualPropertyRights 26
PublicUtilityCosts 28
ForeignInvestmentIncentives 29
StatusofForeignInvestorsinSeoul 32
CompetitivenessofSeoul 33
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General Status of Seoul
General Status of Seoul
Seoul, an International Metropolis
Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, is a main
gateway to and logistics hub of Northeast Asia,
whose production accounts for one-third of the
worlds total output. The city is ideally situated for
day-long business trips, as there are 51 megacities
with a population of more than one million within a
3-4 hour flight.
The capital of the Baekje and Joseon dynasties, as
well as the Korean Empire, Seoul boasts a proud
and rich 2,000-year history. It hosted the 1986 Asian
Games, the 1988 Summer Olympic Games and the
2002 World Cup.
Seoul Republic of Korea
Area 605 km 100,032 km
Population 10,528,000 50,062,000
Location Northwest Korea Northeast Asia
Language Korean
Currency Won (USD1 = 1,108 won, average exchange rate 2011)
System of government Presidential System
Economy
Asias 4th and the worlds 15th largest economy
High growth potential
Main industries: shipbuilding, semiconductors, petrochemicals,
electronics, automobiles and steel
Strong IT infrastructure and cutting-edge information and
communications network
Sources: World Bank, OECD (2010), etc.
General Status of Seoul
SEOUL'S GENERAL & INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT / SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT
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According to a survey by Strategy Analytics, Inc., a U.S.-based global research and consulting firm, about 95%
of Korean households have high-speed Internet connection compared with Singapore and the United States
where 88% and 60% of the households, respectively, are connected to the Internet.
Strategy Analytics praised Seouls Internet network by reporting that Seoul and the surrounding capital area
whose population now exceeds 20 million people, has turned into a huge wireless Internet hotspot where
anyone can easily get access to wireless Internet service.
World-Class Competitiveness
Korea ranks 15th in the world in terms of GDP(USD 1.2 trillion). The Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP)
of Seoul stands at USD 237,698 million(per-capita GRDP : USD 23,672), accounting for 23.4% of the countrys
GRDP.
GDP and GNI
GLOBAL CITIES
INDEX : 8th
A.T.Kearney and Foreign
Policy Magazine 2012
WORLD CENTERS OF
COMMERCE INDEX : 9th
Mastercard 2010
LABOR
PRODUCTIVITY : 1st
OECD 2011
GLOBAL
E-GOVERNMENT : 1st
UN Survey 2008, 2012
1 1 9 8
8 7 9 3
Economic
Competitiveness : 3rd
Newsweek 2011
Global City
Competitiveness Index : 9th
Chinese Academy of
Social Sciences
Global Power City
Index (GPCI) (2011) : 7th
Mori Memorial
Foundation, Japan
Ease of Doing
Business Index: 8th
World Bank 2012
GDP and GNI of Korea
Source: Bank of Korea
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Spanning 605km
2
, Seoul occupies 0.6% of Korea (100,032km
2
). The city has 436 communities (dong) in 25 autonomous
districts (gu). The population of Seoul stands at 10.25 million(as of the end of 2011), which accounts for 20.5% of the
countrys population of 50.06 million. The population of the Greater Seoul area-Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi
Province-comes to 22.49 million, i.e. 44.9% of Korea's population.
Despite its high population density, Seoul boasts large green spaces(166km
2
), which account for 27% of the
metropolitan area and the result of concerted efforts to create larger green areas. The Seoul Metropolitan
Government aims to expand its green spaces from the present 16km
2
to 19km
2
per person by 2030 under a basic
plan formulated to foster a pleasant environment. The government's green efforts include planting a forest in
Yongsan, encouraging building owners to form green spaces on their rooftops and expanding park green areas by
3,300km
2
.
Population and Area Business Environment
Sovereign Credit Rating
Koreas sovereign credit rating stands at an A after a continued rise following a drop due to the foreign
exchange crisis of 1997. The countrys credit rating by world-famous rating agencies is as follows.
Opening of Capital Market
After the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Korea opened its financial market, which led to a dramatic increase in
foreign investment.
National Credit Rating
2009 2010 2011 2012. 03
KOSPI 32.65 32.95 32.87 33.84
KODAQ 7.37 10.17 7.89 7.94
Foreign-Owned Share of Korean Stock Exchanges
Source: Korea Exchange (2012)
(Unit: %)
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Population of Seoul by Ward
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Dec.2011
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Apr.2010
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Foreign-Owned Share of Major Korean Corporations
Source: Financial Supervisory Service (April 2011)
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Trade Volume
With a steadily growing trade volume, Korea became the worlds 9th largest trading nation in 2011.
Seouls exports totaled USD 50,544 million that year, accounting for 10% of Koreas total exports.
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012.03
Exports 284,419 325,465 371,489 422,007 363,534 466,384 555,214 134,934
Imports 261,238 309,383 356,846 435,275 323,085 425,212 524,413 133,264
Increase in Trade Volume (after customs clearance)
1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Exports 136,164 132,313 143,685 172,268 150,439 162,471 193,817 253,845
Imports 144,616 93,282 119,752 160,481 141,098 152,126 178,827 224,463
(Unit: million USD)
Source: Korea International Trade Association (2012)
Progress of FDI
Status of FDI in Republic of Korea
The financial crisis that hit Asia in late 1990s led Korea to start seeking FDI. Korean's total inbound FDI
between 1998 and 2012 is 6.4 times the amount attracted in the 1962 to 1997. FDI did show a decline in 2005,
but rose in subsequent years, including in 2010.
(Unit: million USD)
Source: Ministry of Strategy and Finance(2012)
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Amount 11,288 9,095 6,471 12,796 11,566 11,247
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012.03
Amount 10,516 11,712 11,484 13,071 13,674 2,346
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Economic Prospects for Korea
Korea is one of the OECD countries showing the fastest and strongest recovery from the recent global recession
through expansive fiscal policies and strong exports. The country showed a gradual weakening in the effects of fiscal
expenditure from 2010, though it expects to grow by 3.7% in 2012 amid an improvement in inventory accumulation
and exports, a recovery of domestic consumption and a drop in the unemployment rate.
Korea and Free Trade Agreements
The Korean government is pushing ahead with FTAs as part of an effort to proactively open doors and liberalize
trade. This stance provides favorable conditions for foreign investors through the protection of investors
rights and the expansion of markets.
FTAs in effect
FTAs signed and negotiations completed
FTAs under negotiation
Major Foreign-Invested Companies
Europe
Asia
North America
(Unit : %, billion USD)
Source Economic growth rate Infation Current account balance
Ministry of Strategy and Finance 3.7 3.2 16
IMF 3.5 2.9 25.9
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Workforce and Wages
Labor Supply
In Seoul there are about 400 technical colleges,
universities and graduate schools. The total number
of courses opened in these institutions exceeds 7,000,
and high-caliber talents are nurtured there to become
leaders in a variety of specialized fields. The institutions
offer 351 graduate and Ph.D. courses attended by more
than 130,000 students, of whom more than 80,000
graduate every year. According to an assessment of
Korean universities conducted by JEDI(Joongang
Education Development Institute) in 2012, Seoul is
home to 14 of the top 20 universities in the country,
suggesting that the level of the citys workforce is the
highest in the country.
Education
Annual Number of Graduates by Level of Education
Colleges Universities
Masters degree
courses at
graduate schools
PhD courses at
graduate schools
Number 10 37 351 351
Students 64,142 434,021 117,286 26,339
Departments 435 2,124 3,032 1,431
No. of graduates Total
High schools Common High School: 477,470 Vocational High School: 156,069 633,539
Colleges/Universities Technical Colleges: 190,033 Universities: 279,603 469,636
Graduate/Post-graduate Masters degree: 77,328 / Ph.D.: 10,542 87,870
Source : Annual Report on Education Statistics 2012 (Gyoyuk Tonggye Yeonbo), Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
Science and Engineering
Colleges Masters degree courses at graduate schools
Freshman Freshman
Science Engineering Science Engineering
2006 19,065 65,067 43,998 79,482
2007 18,006 64,161 44,067 80,528
2008 17,222 60,605 43,736 81,266
2009 16,889 58,046 46,372 82,640
2010 17,955 57,798 47,030 85,152
Source : Annual Report on Education Statistics 2012 (Gyoyuk Tonggye Yeonbo), Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
Source: Statistics Korea(2009)
Labor Costs
The table below gives the official minimum wage rates (per hour) in some OECD countries, showing that the
minimum wage in Korea is relatively low.
Monthly Minimum Wages by Country
Average wages
USA U.K. Canada Australia France Japan Portugal Korea
Amount 1,257 1,507 1,325 1,597 1,443 944 618 797
Subdivision of occupation Monthly average wage
Business executives 4,601.9
Professionals 4,675.3
Offce workers 2,315.0
Employees in service sectors 1,367.3
Machinery operators 2,324.5
Manial laborers 1,353.5
(Unit: USD)
(Unit: USD)
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The Four Insurance Programs subsidized by corporations in Korea are relatively less burdensome than in the
neighboring countries, as shown below:
The Labor Standards Act contains provisions regarding standard working hours-8 hours per day and 40 hours
per week-and stipulates that employees should not be forced to work beyond the standard working hours set
by the law. Working hours include the hours used for work preparation, waiting, education and tidying up
workspace.
Korean labor law contains provisions on employees leaves of absence.
Social Security Insurance Premium
National pension
Industrial disaster
insurance
Employment
insurance
Health insurance
Rate to be borne by
the employer
4.50% 0.6%~35.4% 0.55% 2.90%
Source: The four major social insurances
Labor Unions
2007 2008 2009 2010
No. of unions 5,099 4,886 4,689 4,420
No. of union members 1,687,782 1,665,798 1,640,334 1,643,113
Rate of labor union membership 10.83 10.60 10.00 9.83
Source: Ministry of Labor
Total number of labor-management disputes 2008 2009 2010 2011
No. of union members 108 121 86 65
The number of disputes of Seoul 17 24 18 14
Source: Ministry of Labor (www.molab.go.kr)
Working Hours
Standard working hours
Overtime
Day Week
Common 8 hours 40 hours
Up to 12 hours per week under mutual agreement
(or 16 hours for three years after the effectuation of the revised law)
Source: Invest KOREA (Guide to investing in Korea)
Social Insurance Premiums to Be Paid by Foreign Investors
Statutory Contract
Content No. of days Content No. of days
Holiday
Weekly holiday
(paid)
One day per week (when no
work days are missed)
Public holidays,
company
anniversary,etc.
The question
whether employees
should be paid for
leave can be settled
via labor-manage-
ment negotiations.
Labor day (paid) May 1
Leave
Annual paid
holiday
15 days for 1 year of
nonabsence(1 day added for
each 2- year period of
consecutive work after
the initial year)
Leave for
summer vacation,
family occasions,
reward, etc.
Menstrual leave
(Unpaid)
1 day per month
(Only when requested)
Source: Invest KOREA (Guide to investing in Korea)
Koreas New Labor Policy
The Korean government implemented a no work, no pay system that bans wage payment of full-time
union officials from July 2010. It also plans to introduce the time-off system for the participation of
full-time union officials in labor-management joint activities such as bargaining, negotiation, grievance
handling, occupational safety, etc. At the same time, trade union pluralism, which allows the simultaneous
independent existence of several unions covering the same constituency, will also be introduced to
workplaces from July 2012.
Labor-Management Disputes
Labor disputes in Korea now stand at just 65 a year. With a low ratio of manufacturing companies, Seoul has
only about 14 disputes a year.
Labor Relations
Labor Unions in Korea
In Korea, there were 4,420 labor unions as of the end of 2010
and 55 industrial federations or unions, though there has been
a decrease in the number of labor unions and their members
since 2007.
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Land Prices and Rent
Korea offers varying degrees of land prices and rents concerning office spaces, depending on the area. Seoul
and its vicinity maintain a high level of land prices and rents. The Gangnam Finance Center building in Seoul
offers office rental at USD 26.6/m
2
, the highest level in the country.
Land Prices and Rent
Many businesses wishing to invest in manufacturing or information technology (IT) and biotechnology (BT)
choose to move into an industrial complex. Information on land prices in industrial complexes is as follows.
Land Prices in Industrial Complexes
Source: FEMIS, Korea Industrial Complex Corp.(2010)
(Unit : USD/m
2
)
Location Land prices Name of industrial complexes
Seoul 4,007 Seoul Digital
Gyeonggi
province
983.3 Sihwa
Gangwon
province
77.3 Bukpyeong
Jeolla
provinces
South 157.4 Yeosu
North 168.5 Gunsan
Gyeongsang provinces
South 698.3 Changwon
North 205.8 Gumi
Region Average price Average rental rates
The greater
Seoul area
Urban center in Seoul 1(Gangnam) 11,471 22.3
Urban center in Seoul 2(Myeong-dong) 6,477 25.7
General business district in Seoul(Yeouido) 6,121 18.4
Other areas
Regional city(Daejeon) 2,864
4.7~13.9
Regional metropolitan city(Gwangju) 1,842
Regional metropolitan city(Busan) 2,686 4.5~10.1
Source: DaumReal Estate/Naver Real Estate (as of September 2011) and Office Market Report (as of the 2nd quarter, 2011)
(Unit : USD/m
2
)
(Unit : USD)
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Logistics
Marine Transportation
Koreas main seaports are in Busan, Incheon, Gwangyang, Yeosu, Gunsan, Jeju, Mukho, Pohang and Mokpo.
Busan Port is Koreas largest seaport and located on one of the worlds most important sea routes, one that
links Asia with North America, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America.
Also one of the five busiest container ports in the world, Busan handled 9,316,000 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent
Unit) in 2011(April to July), an increase of 13.5% from the 8,250,000 TEU handled in 2010.
Gwangyang Port, located at the center of Koreas southwestern coast, is the countrys second busiest container
port operating 16 container berths. Gwangyang Port is neighbored by Yeosu Port, home of the 2012 World
Expo, and Gwangyang Steelworks, which produces 17.4 million tons of steel products every year.
Incheon Port has developed rapidly thanks to the Incheon International Airport, which has grown into the
worlds second busiest airport by cargo traffic, and its proximity to Seoul and Incheon, which is fast turning
into one of the regions highly-advanced metropolises.
(Unit: ten thousand TEU)
2009 2010
Busan port 1,197 1,418
Gwangyang port 181.1 206.6
Incheon port 157.8 188.7
Air Transportation
There are 15 commercial airports in Korea, with those in Incheon, Gimpo, Gimhae, Jeju, Daegu, Cheongju,
Yangyang and Muan offering international flight services. Located at the center of Northeast Asia, Incheon
International Airport has a geographical advantage to grow into an international logistics hub. The airport has
also been very successful in creating an efficient and dynamic business environment via the construction of a
comprehensive logistics system and simplified customs clearance, and by developing the AIRCIS (Air Cargo
Information System) which is highly regarded among international customers. Incheon International Airport
has been designated the Worlds Best Airport for seven consecutive years (2005-2011) in Airport Service
Quality by Airports Council International. In 2010, it was listed as the worlds second busiest airport, handling
2.6 million tons of international cargo traffic.
Airport Operation Overview (20062010)
Source: The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs
&
**
*%
&*
&'%
&%%
Incheon Port
157.8188.7
Gwangyang Port
181.1206.6
Busan Port
1,1971,418
Source: Incheon International Airport Corporation
U.S.A. (New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, etc.)
Europe (Britain, Germany, France, Italy)
Source: Korea Airport Corporation
&
**
*%
&*
&'%
&%%
&
**
*%
&*
&'%
&%%
Beijing / Shanghai
20/36
Tokyo
44
U.S.A.
47
Gwangju
7
Yeosu
9
Busan
36
Ulsan
8
Pohang
4
Europe
16
Oversea Airline Routes (fights/day) Gimpo Airports Domestic Airline Routes (fights/day)
Aviation
182,007214,835
Passenger(person)
28,191,11633,478,925
Air Cargo(ton)
2,336,5722,684,499
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Rail
There are two types of train system: traditional
speed rail (Mugunghwa, Saemaeul) and high-speed-
rail (KTX: Korea Train Express). KTX has the highest
ticket price followed by Saemaeul and Mugunhwa.
KTX opened in 2004, making Korea the fifth country
in the world after Japan, France, Germany and
Spain to operate the bullet train. KTX connects
through Korea with the Gyungbu line (Seoul and
Busan), Honam line (Seoul and Mokpo) and Gyunjun
line (Seoul and Masan). It passes through major
cities including Daejon, Daegu, Busan and Gwangju
at a maximum speed of 350km/h. Economically, with
the construction of a high-speed rail between Seoul
and Busan, passenger capacity rose 3.4 fold and
cargo capacity rose by 7.7 times.
Expressway
Koreas total road network is 105,565km of two-
lane paved roads as of 2010, consisting of 3,859km of
expressway, 13,812km of national highway, 18,878km
of metropolitan roads and 18,179km of provincial
highways. There are currently 29 expressways
including the Gyeongbu (Seoul- Busan) Expressway,
Koreas first.
Number of Vehicles on Major Highways (Unit: million vehicles)
&
**
*%
&*
&'%
&%%
Gyeongbu Line
371
West Coast Line
121
Gyeongin Line
51
Beltway around Seoul
301
Yeongdong Line
184
Centerline
130
Source: Korea Highway Corporation
Source: Korea Institute of Public Finance (KIPF, 2012)
(Unit: USD)
Category Segment Rate
Income tax
Corporations
180,505 or less 10%
180,505 ~18,050,541 20% (+18,051)
18,050,541 or more 22% (+3,592,058)
Individuals
10,830 or less 6%
10,830~41,516 15% (+649.8)
41,516~79,422 24% (+5,252.7)
79,422~270,758 35%(+14,350.2)
270,758 or more 38% (+81,318)
Residence tax
Corporations
Per capita rate of corporation: 10% of corporate tax
Per income capita: 10% of income tax
Individuals
Per capita rate of individual business: 45
Per capita rate of individual: According to tax rate determined by
regulation under 9
VAT 10% of supply price (0% for exports)
Import duties
Basic customs duties: 8%
Average customs duties for industrial products: 6.9%
For agricultural produce or products in protected sectors: 18~50%
Tax
In terms of tax as a share of GNP, Korea (19.3%) ranks 5th from the bottom among OECD countries.
(The average share of tax as a proportion of GNP for OECD countries: 24.8%)
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IPR Disputes in Korean
In 2010, there were 466 cases of legal disputes between local and foreign companies. 387 of them, or 83.0%,
dealt with trademark issues. Foreign companies filing suits against local companies made up 274 cases
(58.8%), which is slightly higher than local companies filing suits against foreign companies (192 cases,
41.2%). But regarding IP and utility model rights, local companies filed 4.9 times more suits than their foreign
counterparts.
International Patent Applications
According to 2010 PCT International Applications by Country of Origin published by the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO), the total number of PCT applications filed in 2010 was 162,900, 4.8% higher
than the previous year. The total number of PCT applications filed by Korea was 9,686, an increase of 1,651
(20.5%) over the previous year. The figure accounted for 5.9% of the worlds total patent filings, making Korea
home to the fifth largest number of applications filed in the world.
2010 statistics revealed that the top applicant was the United States, with 44,855 filings, followed by Japan,
Germany, China and Korea.
Trial Request between Domestic and Foreign Company
Claimant Claimee Right 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Domestic
company
Foreign
company
Patent 88 73 70 72 58
Utility
model
- - 8 2 1
Design 6 - 5 - 3
Trademark 107 147 137 105 130
Total 201 220 220 179 192
Foreign
company
Domestic
company
Patent 14 55 37 21 12
Utility
model
5 5 3 1 -
Design 11 2 7 - 5
Trademark 281 300 353 226 257
Total 311 362 400 248 274
Source: KOREAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE
International Patent Applications
Source: PCT Yearly Review 2010 (WIPO)
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Number of patents 4,690 5,919 7,063 7,913 8,026 9,639
Rate of increase 31.6 26.2 19.3 12.0 1.4 20.1
Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
Korea has a well-organized system for the protection of intellectual property rights, including the provision
of news updates on patent-related disputes in major countries. The central and local governments, jointly
with prosecution services and the police, have conducted crackdowns on intellectual property rights
violators. As a result, Korea was excluded from the watch list of the USTR in 2009 (At present, the watch list
includes China, Russia, and Argentina).
28
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Public Utility Costs
Koreas basic utility infrastructures, such as water, electricity and gas, are well established. The customer
satisfaction index score in electricity, in particular, has shown consistent improvement [Satisfaction rate:
65.5%(2008)69.4%(2009)73.7%(2010)76.7%(2011)]. All the index factors, such as electricity safety, supply
stability, accurate billing, payment convenience, etc., showed improvement. As for gas, overall satisfaction
was at 74.3% which is higher than in the electricity industry and one of the highest rankings in the service
sector. Water utility service satisfaction also showed improvement in all criteria, such as water quality, supply
and reliability.
Foreign Investment Incentives
Public Utility Charges (Seoul, 2010) (Unit: USD)
Public
utilities
Utility charges
Note
Category Usage amount Standing charge Energy charge
Electricity
Family use
(Low-High Voltage)
- 8 2
kwh
- 5 -
147 137 105
Industrial use
220 220 179
55 37 21
5 3 1
Gas
Family use 0.66
m
VAT excluded
Offce use 0.71
Industrial use 0.65 ~ 0.64
Water
Unfltrated water 0.20
m Clean water 0.37
Precipitated water 0.28
Oil 1.80
l
Gasoline price
includes surtax.
LPG 1.01
l
Butane gas for
automobiles
includes surtax.
Source: KEPCO, Opinet, Korea Gas Corporation, and Korea Water Resources Corporation (2011 average exchange rate applied, USD 1= KRW1,180)
In Korea, incentives offered to foreign investors are divided into those offered by the central government
and those offered by a local government, depending on the provider. By type, they are divided into land
support, tax support, cash grant and other support.
Supportive Measures for Foreign Investors Taken by the Seoul Metropolitan Government
Requirements and details of reduction/exemption Cases of application
Tax reduction /
exemption
Requirements: Foreign invested company
Businesses in standalone type foreign investment zones (Tourism)
Industry support service & high degree technology business
Details of reduction/exemption
Income tax:
100% for 5 years after income creation 50% for next 2 years
Acquisition &Registration tax:
100% for 10 years after establishment 50% for next 5 years
Property tax: 50%
100% for 5 years after income creation 50% for next 2 years
Individual foreign investment
zone: Stanford Hotel
Foreign invested company:
Amkor Technology Korea,
TaeguTec etc
Cash grant
Businesses providing industrial services; hi-tech businesses;
businesses building new facilities or expanding existing facilities in
parts/material sectors
Employing a large number of employees (50~300)
Employing permanent research employees (5 or more)
Up to 50% of the FDI amount
Solvay Chemical
USD 1.8 million to be paid
(USD 1.0 million by the Seoul
Metropolitan Government +
USD 0.8 million by MKE)
Training subsidy/
employment
subsidy
The foreign investment ratio shall be over 30%
Regular worker should be over 20 ( R&D: Over 10)
USD 902 per person for 6 month
Limited to a total of USD 180 thousand per company
A total of USD 2.3 million
paid to 34 businesses
(2005~2011)
SME fostering
fund
Businesses providing industrial services; hi-tech businesses;
businesses engaging in knowledge-related services in manufactur-
ing (Up to 8 years/up to USD 1,739 thousand)
A total of USD 3.6 million
paid to 18 businesses (2011)
Support for
fostering
environment
conducive to
foreign investors
Business/operational expenses
Projects for the formation of foreigners villages
Construction of infrastructure facilities designed to foster an environment
suited to foreigners everyday lives
Construction and operation of facilities related to improvement of the FDI
environment
21 kindergartens and
schools for foreigners
Bio medical
fund
Prestigious bio businesses (domestic and foreign)
A total of USD 9.6 million
paid to 6 businesses(July.
2011)
R&D-related
cash support
Provision of research expenses on a selective basis for domestic
university research institutes launching research institutes in Seoul
jointly with world-famous counterparts
The Promotion of Industrial Education and Industry Academic Cooperation Act
A total of USD 11 million
paid to Fraunhofer Research
Institution over 5 years,
A total of USD 18 million
paid to Bell Laboratories
over 5 years
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Public Utility Costs Creating Business Environment
Administrative Support
Qualifcation criteria & contents Area/Case(Industry)
Government
owned land
lease/sale
Target: FIZ, manufacturer investing more than
USD 5 million, industry supporting services and
high-tech industry investing more than USD 1 million
Lease Cost: More than 1% of land cost
100% reduction possible under conditions
Individual foreign investment
zone: Stanford Hotel
Foreign-invested company:
Amkor Technology Korea,
TaeguTec etc
Requirement: DMC R&D Center, Hi-Tech Industry Center
Lease Cost: DMC R&D Center
(more than 1% of asset evaluation price)
DMC Hi-Tech Industry Center
(more than 4% of asset evaluation price)
DMC: Hi-Tech Industry
Center (7 locations)
R&D Center (1 location)
Contents Area
Contents area
Financial support & rent reduction
Legislation on Developing Financial Hub by Attracting
Financial Institutes and Clustering (Effective on 2012.4.1)
Yeouido
(Financial Center)
Procedure
simplifcation service
Exemption on DMC tenant selection process
(MOU signed company)
DMC Hi-Tech
Industry Center
Relieve building-to-
land ratio & foor area
ratio
Seoul City Planning Commission can relieve the
ratio within certain range
Current status and future plan
Education
(School)
Foreign kindergartens & schools: 21
English speaking:13, Germany:1, France:2, Japan:1, Non-OECD:4
Plan: Establish DMC Dwight School(Sep. 2012), relocate Korea Mongolia school(2013)
Rental house
Rental Housing: 225 households
Sangam DMC Ville: 175, multicultural rental house: 50
Plan: Additional 178 (June. 2012)
Global center
Global Center(1), Global Village Center(7), Global Business Center(COEX, IFC Seoul),
Global Culture & Tourism Center(1), Global Migrant Center(7), Multicultural Family
Support Center(23), Multicultural Multinational Nursery School(12)
Plan: Global Center(Dec. 2012), International Culture Exchange Center(2014)
Hospital
Foreigner-dedicated medical facility (15), equipping local health center to treat
foreigners(25)
Emergency medical support system: Seoul Medical Information Center (1339)
Provide information on foreign language speaking medical treatment centers
English
environment
120 Foreign Language Service (Dasan Call)
Public transportation: Foreign language announcement system (subway, bus),
foreigner tour taxi (354)
Global real estate (158): translation, provide contract in English/Japanese/Chinese
Foreign language service
Public service reservation system, cultural performance reservation
Foreign broadcasting( tbs e-FM DMB World), road & pedestrian signs in foreign languages
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Status of Foreign Investors in Seoul
In 2009 and 2010, the FDI cases attracted by Seoul accounted for 41.68% and 42.25%, respectively, of Koreas
total FDI cases. As for FDI amount, Seoul accounted for 38.29% of the total investment in Korea in 2009, down
16.4% from the preceding year. In 2010, the figure stood at 20.49%, down 17.8% year-on-year. These figures
indicate that small and medium-sized cases of FDI are increasing in Seoul.
By sector, FDI in Seoul is focused on the service sectors. By investment size, a majority of FDI is small invest-
ments (less than USD 1 million). By type, greenfield-type FDI has taken the lead. By country of origin, most
investors are from the United States, Japan and China, with Chinese investment in Korea showing a noticeable
increase.
Land for factories is slightly more expensive in Seoul than it is in other major Asian cities. Office rent in Seoul
is the lowest among the cities. Wages rank near the regional average.
Competitiveness of Seoul
7.6%


2009
IT
2010
BT


SW
73.1%
41.37%
0.42% 6.44%
4.76%
8.97%
16.74%
0.11%
17.19%
5.05%
53.16%
75.25%
61.04%
91.03%
1.12%
17.35%

/
9,584
34.7%
29.9%
19.3%

35.4%
M&A-typeGreenfield-type USAPakistanJapan
ChinaOthers
7.6%


2009
IT
2010
BT


SW
73.1%
41.37%
0.42% 6.44%
4.76%
8.97%
16.74%
0.11%
17.19%
5.05%
53.16%
75.25%
61.04%
91.03%
1.12%
17.35%

/
9,584
34.7%
29.9%
19.3%

35.4%
Electricity and gas
Manufacturing
Service
Agriculture, dairy
farming, fishery and
mining
More than 100 million 1 million~USD 10 million
USD 10 million~USD 100 million Less than USD 1 million
(Unit : USD)
Source : Survey by the Korea Business Centers of KOTRA(2011)
Seoul Singapore Beijing Hong Kong Tokyo
Price for sites to be used for
factories(m
2
)
983.3 153.2~765.3 165~248 321~487 1,135.5
Offce rental
rates(m
2
)
22.3~26.6 95.9 33.32 94.4~127 55
Monthly wage 2,388.4 2,487.1 333.3 1,688 2,818.40
No. of university graduates
(per 10,000 people)
118 77 42 34 50
Incentives Offered for Investors by Country
Business Type Country
Industry Size
Korea Singapore China Japan
Offered
for
Hi-tech
businesses
Those investing
a large amount
Businesses contributing to the
technological advancement of the
industrial structure via the adoption
of new technologies or work
processes, or enhanced productivity
Regional headquarters
for multinationals
N/A
Tax
reduction /
exemption
Tax reduction or
exemption for
5~7 years
Exemption from income tax on
proft earned from business
activities
Export duties and VAT
are exempted when ex-
porting goods produced
by an FDI business
N/A
Land
support
Rent reduced
by 50~100%
N/A
Paying 30% of offce
rent in the frst year
Paying a subsidy
for the frst 3 years
Paying a subsidy of
USD 146.4/m
2
in the
case of purchasing a
building
N/A
Cash
grant
Not less than
5% of the
investment
amount
Providing fnancial support in the
event an R&D center is built
Paying expenses associated with
intellectual property rights and
human resources
N/A N/A
Other
support
Employment
subsidy
Education /
training subsidy
Paying operation / R&D-related
training expenses in the case of
a newly installed facility
It is possible to apply for
a subsidy concerning
directors vehicles and
housing from the City of
Beijing.
No separate incentives
are offered to foreign
investors, but some
local governments
provide incentives.
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Natural Environment
Seoul is home to beautiful natural scenery, mountains
including Namsan and Bukhansan and the Han River,
which flows through the heart of the city. The past
coexists with the present in Seoul, as do modern
buildings with such traditional royal palaces as
Gyeongbokgung and Deoksugung.
Climate
Korea is located at a northern latitude of 3733', a temperate climate region, and eastern longitude of 127
at the edge of the eastern Asian continent. Korea is a little colder than other cities with similar latitude. The
annual average temperature of Korea is at 12.2. The average temperature in August reaches 25.4 and the
average temperature in January falls to -2.5. Continental high pressure idity prevail in the summer, bringing
an annual temperature difference of 30. The annual precipitation level is 1,344.4mm, and the monsoon
season lasts.
Factor
Unit
\
M
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Average
temperature
() -4.8 1.9 4.6 11.2 17.2 21.9 25.1 25.2 21.1 13.8 11 0.7
Precipitation (mm) 5.6 63.5 22.9 110.9 123.1 279.6 491.5 282.5 71.4 51.3 102.8 17.6
Precipitation day (Day) 4 5.4 3.7 10.4 10.7 11.4 19.4 17.7 7.8 5.9 10.4 6.3
Sunshine duration (hr) 214.6 165.6 248.3 213.2 177.1 173.9 114.2 109.5 180 201.5 128.4 172.6
Source: Korea Meteorological Administration (2011)
Living Environment
SEOUL'S GENERAL & INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT / SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT
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Tap Water
An analysis of Seouls tap water by U.S.-based water-
testing labs STL and WECK found that it is safe to
drink. The city provides citizens with information
on water quality on a real-time basis via mobile
phones and the Internet (http://arisu.seoul.go.kr).
Arisu, Seouls tap water, was branded potable after
thorough water-quality testing and analysis on 145
factors as recommended by the WHO.
1) STL: An organization designated for the quality testing
and analysis of water provided to the U.S. Forces
2) WECK: A water quality testing and analysis lab authorized
by the State of California
Crime Rates
Korea forbids the carrying of guns and drugs, which
makes Seoul relatively safer than other cities.
According to UN statistics on the crime rate per
10,000 population in recent years, Asian countries
including Indonesia, Japan and India saw an increase,
while Korea saw a decrease of 25%.
Largest Increases in Asian Prison Population(1997~2007)
Source: INTERNATIONAL STATISTICS on CRIME AND JUSTICE, UN(2011)
(Unit: %)
(Unit: %)
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(
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(mm)
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(mm)
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Largest Decreases in Asian Prison Population(1997~2007)


Source: INTERNATIONAL STATISTICS on CRIME AND JUSTICE, UN(2011)
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Convenient Living
Convenient Living
Yeongdeungpo-gu is where foreign companies
are concentrated and the most populous place
for registered foreign workers. The next
largest district is Geumcheon-gu and Guro-gu,
respectively.
Hannam-dong where consulates are clustered
and the French village and Japanese village are
also favored by foreigners. These areas are
well-furnished with shopping facilities including
big marketplaces and department stores as well as
schools, hospitals and other facilities.
Global Villages in Seoul
French Village (Seorae Village: Bangbae-dong
and Banpo 4(sa)-dong, Seocho-gu)
A French residential-commercial community has
developed around the premises of a French school.
Various cultural events and administrative services
in the French language are provided through a
dedicated administrative support system from the
local gu and district office.
Japanese Village
(Little Tokyo: Ichon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu)
As one of the oldest foreign villages in Seoul, Little
Tokyo is well established and equipped with a wide
variety of community facilities such as educational
institutes, religious facilities and businesses.
Japanese is spoken at nearly all of the facilities
and services are provided specifically for Japanese
residents.
Korean-Chinese Village (Yenbian Street: Garibong-dong, Guro-gu)
Many Korean-Chinese people have settled in Garibong-dong, Guro-Gu, Seoul, constituting a Chinese
community. A business community has developed along a 500 m-long street, where both Korean and Chinese
are spoken.
Islamic Village (Seoul Central Masjid: Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu)
An Islamic business area is formed temporarily on weekends as Islamic believers attend religious services
in the mosque on Friday afternoons.
Chinese Village No. 1 (Little Chinatown: Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu and Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu)
A Chinese community has developed around the Chinese junior and senior high schools in Yeonhui-dong,
Seodaemun-gu, Seoul. It is a residential-commercial China town where many Chinese restaurants have
formed a Chinese business town.
Chinese Village No. 2 (Chinese Street: In front of the Chinese Embassy in Myeong-dong, Jung-gu)
A cultural village has developed in the Chinese business district around Hanseong Chinese Elementary
School across the Chinese Embassy. This is the area where local residents can experience Chinese culture in
downtown Seoul that have formed in various parts of Seoul.
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Home Rentals
Costs to rent a home in Seoul are usually lower than in other major Asian cities, and the city offers a great
variety of home styles including studio apartments (known locally as officetel), apartments, and one-room
studios. Rental rates can vary depending on the region, as suggested in the following table.
Mongolian Village (Mongol Tower: Beorumul-gil, Gwanghui-dong, Dongdaemun-gu)
This building is also known as a "Mongolian island floating in Seoul," as many Mongolians from various parts
of Seoul and its suburbs gather here to exchange information. Korean is virtually non-existent here.
Italian Village (Club Italia: Francisco Cathedral at Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu)
A cultural community based on religious bonds has developed here, although few Italians reside in Seoul.
Diverse cultural events are held by the Italian Cultural Center around a Catholic church that holds mass every
Sunday for Italians and also runs its own kindergarten.
Philippine Village (Sunday Market: In front of Hyehwa Cathedral at Hyehwa-dong, Jongno-gu)
"Little Manila" comes together in front of Hyehwa Cathedral every Sunday, as the church pulls together the
community based on strong religious beliefs. Many truck-mounted stalls sell products from the Philippines.
(Referenced Literature: "Seoul Policy Focus" by the Seoul Development Institute)
Apartment Rental
Studio Apartment Rental
Area
Apartment rental
Deposit Monthly rent Brokering commission
Gwanak-gu 4,656~195,534 461~1,490
Trade Price
Supremum(0.3-0.5%): Calculated price
cannot exceed the limit of KRW 200,000
-300,000 / (USD186-279.3)
In cases where trade price exceeds KRW
300 million(USD 279,335): Deliberate with
agent within 0.8% of trade price
Yongsan-gu
Hannam-Dong
18,622~93,112
652~9,311
Itaewon
4,656~93,112
466~3,724
Yeongdeungpo-gu 18,622~148,979 186~1,397
Guro-gu 46,556~139,667 186~4,283
Gangnam-gu 9,311~605,225 466~9,311
(Unit: USD)
Source: Budongsan 114, Onnara Real Estate Information Portal, and Seoul Search Portal
(2010 average exchange rate applied, US$1 = KRW1,180)
Note: 1) Standard Area: 90-120m (32 Pyeong = 105m)
2) Area: exclusive area + residential common area + other common area + underground parking area
Source: Budongsan 114, Onnara Real Estate Information Portal, and Seoul Search Portal
(2010 average exchange rate applied, US$1 = KRW1,180)
Note: 1) Standard Area: 90-120m (32 Pyeong = 105m)
2) Area: exclusive area + residential common area + other common area + underground parking area
Area
Studio apartment rental
Deposit Monthly rent Brokering commission
Gwanak-gu 27,933~74,489 140~1,583
Trade Price
Supremum(0.3-0.5%): Calculated price
cannot exceed the limit of KRW 200,000
-300,000 / (USD186-279.3)
In cases where trade price exceeds KRW
300 million(USD 279,335): Deliberate with
agent within 0.8% of trade price
Yongsan-gu 9,311~46,556 559~2,607
Yeongdeungpo-gu 4,656~93,112 279~1,117
Guro-gu 4,656~27,933 186~652
Gangnam-gu 9,311~46,556 466~2,514
(Unit: USD)
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Taiwanese:2.3%/2,323 Mapo-gu
Yeongdeungpo-gu
Yongsan-gu
Gangnam-gu
Guro-gu
Seodaemun-gu
Taiwanese: 1.%/1,2
American: 13.8%/1,771
American: 1.0%/2,0
0hinese: 17.2%/33,102
0hinese: 13.7%/2,383
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Current Status of Foreign Residents in Seoul
Nationality of Foreign Residents in Seoul (Unit: person)
Source: Official Website of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (www.seoul.go.kr)
As of 2008, there are 255,000 foreigners from 152 countries living (staying more than 91 days) in Seoul, which is
about 2.4% of the population. This is a fivefold increase in 10 years, from 51,000 in 1998. Of the 255,000 foreigners
registered in Seoul, a majority of them live in Yeongdeungpo-gu 35,438 people (13.9%). Guro-gu and Geumcheon-gu
follow, with 27,901 people (10.9%) and 17,924 people (7.0%), respectively. As for the location with the least number of
foreigners, Dobong-gu has the fewest, with 2,762 people (1.1%), and Gangbuk-gu follows with 3,480 people (1.4%).
Seouls foreigners have 152 nationalities. The Chinese, including Korean-Chinese, account for 192,618 people (75.5%).
Americans follow with 12,821 people (5.0%), then the Taiwanese with 8,818 people (3.5%), Japanese with 6,840 people
(2.7%) and Vietnamese with 4,652 people (1.8%). 40 percent of the 152 countries represented in Seoul have less than
10 registered foreigners.
Looking at living preferences by country of origin, most Chinese (including Korean-Chinese) live in Yeongdeungpo-gu
(17.2%, 33,102) and Guro-gu (13.7%, 26,383). Americans prefer Gangnam-gu (16.0%, 2,046) and Yongsan-gu (13.8%,
1,771). The Taiwanese live in Seodaemun-gu (26.3%, 2,323) and Mapo-gu (16.4%, 1,442). The Japanese like Yongsan-gu
(23.0%, 1,574) and Gangnam-gu (10.0%, 683). The Vietnamese settle down in Seongdong-gu (8.2%, 382) and Filipinos
choose Yongsan-gu (15.2%, 573).
Medical Facilities
Seoul Global Center
The Seoul Global Center(http://global.seoul.go.kr) is open 24 hours a day to offer medical services to foreign
residents in Seoul.
Medical Referral Service(MRS) provides foreign residents in Seoul with information on medical institutions
that can offer them better medical services. (Telephone: 82-10-4769-8212, 82-10-8750-8212)
International SOS
International SOS provides English, Japanese and French-speaking foreign residents with professional
emergency services regarding rescue, evacuation and repatriation in the event of an emergency. The
services are offered on a members only basis. For more detailed information, please visit the website,
www.internationalsos.co.kr.
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Medical Services
The country has 38 general hospitals where foreign citizens can receive medical
services. 12 are located in Seoul and provide round-the-clock service for foreign
citizens. At the Seoul Foreigner Support Center, volunteers are ready at all times
to assist foreign citizens requiring medical service.
Institution
Number of bed
hospitals
Number of
doctors
Website
Seoul National University Hospital 1,786 1,279 www.snuh.org
Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital 717 130 www.schuh.ac.kr
Korea University Anam Hospital 895 541 anam.kumc.or.kr
Gangnam Severance Hospital 804 492 gs.iseverance.com
Kyung Hee University Medical Center 1,110 - www.khmc.or.kr
Severance Hospital 2,062 1,290 www.severance.or.kr
Samsung Medical Center 1,916 1,248 www.samsunghospital.com
Cha General Hospital 400 - kangnam.chamc.co.kr
Asan Medical Center 2,680 1,403 www.amc.seoul.kr
Seoul St. Marys Hospital 1,332 - www.cmckangnam.or.kr
Jaseng Hospital of Oriental Medicine 691 280 www.jaseng.co.kr
Hanyang University Hospital 840 700 ih.hyumc.com
Migrant Medical Center 29 - www.mwhospital.com
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Medical Institutions in Seoul Offering Exclusive Services for Foreign Residents
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8
9
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13
Health Insurance for Foreign Nationals in
Seoul
The countrys national health insurance system is
run for all people. Foreign citizens and ethnic Koreans
staying in the country are also legally required to
subscribe to the insurance system if they are employees
of a business falling under a given category or public
employees, including teachers. Foreigners who have
subscribed to the national health insurance may
receive medical services at any hospital or clinic. A
medical insurance subscriber pays 20% of the medical
charge in the event of hospitalization or 30~50% as an
outpatient.
Health Insurance for Foreign Nationals in Seoul
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Seoul Gyeonggi province Busan Other areas Total
Schools based in
the USA or the UK
10 7 2 7 26
Chinese schools 3 2 2 11 18
Japanese schools 1 - 1 - 2
Others 5 - 1 - 6
Total 19 9 6 18 52
Source : MKE
Education
Educational Facilities
There are 52 foreign schools in Korea. 26 are from the United States or the United Kingdom, while 18 are
Chinese schools and the other 8 are Japanese, Turkish, Mongolian or Norwegian.
Educational Facilities for Foreigners
International Schools
International Schools in Seoul
Location School name Founder Nationality School level Telephone
Gangnam-gu
Japanese School in Seoul Seoul Japan Club(SJC) Japan K, P, M 82-2-572-7011
Seoul Academy
International School
Private USA K, P, M 82-2-554-1690
Korea International School Private USA K, P, M, H 82-2-561-0509
Gwangjin-gu
Korea Kent Foreign School Private USA K, P, M, H 82-2-2201-7091
International Mongol School NasumCommunity Mongolia P, M 82-2-3437-7078
Nowon-gu Asia Pacifc International School
Overseas Chinese
Board of Directors
USA K, P, M, H 82-2-907-2747
Seodaemun-
gu
Seoul Chinese Middle and
High School
Private Taiwan M, H 82-2-324-0664
Seoul Foreign School
SeoulForeignSchool
Managemen Foundation
USA &
Britain
K, P, M, H 82-2-330-3152
Seocho-gu
Rainbow International School Private USA P 82-2-571-2917
Lycee Francais de Seoul Private France K, P, M, H 82-2-535-1158
Yongsan-gu
Yongsan International School
of Seoul
Seoul International
Christian School
USA K, P, M, H 82-2-797-5104
Francisco School Private USA K 82-2-798-2195
Global Christian School Christian Foundation USA K, P, M, H 82-2-797-0234
Centennial Christian School Christian Foundation USA K, P, M, H 82-2-772-9275
International Preschool Private USA K 82-2-795-8418
International German School Private Germany K, P, M 82-2-792-0988
Jongno-gu Lycee International Xavier Private France M, H 82-2-396-7688
Jung-gu
Namsan International School Private USA K, P, M 82-2-2232-2451
Overseas Chinese Primary School
Overseas Chinese
Board of Directors
Taiwan K, P 82-2-776-3893
Yeongdeungpo
-gu
Yeongdeungpo Chinese Primary
School of Korea
Overseas Chinese
Board of Directors
Taiwan P 82-2-2678-5939
Mapo-gu DMC USA The Dwight School Private USA K, P, M, H -
Source: Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education
K: Kindergarten, P: Primary School, M: Middle School H: High School
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
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11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
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Yongsan International School of Seoul
(Constructed in 2006)
DMC Japanese School in Seoul
(Constructed in 2010)
Dulwich College Seoul
(Constructed in 2010)
DMC USA The Dwight School
(To be constructed d in 2012)


48
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Annual Educational Spending
Annual tuition for foreign school is relatively expensive. It is similar to about two years tuition fee of Koreas
private university. Seoul Foreign School(American) located in Seoul, Seodaemun-gu is the oldest school which
opened in 1978. It is one of the representative foreign schools in Korea with about 1,500 students enrolled.
Source: Seoul Foreign School, Korea Kent Foreign School
Seoul foreign school Korea Kent foreign school
Kindergarten 10,982 13,967
Primary School 22,513 14,619
Middle School 23,228 15,363
High School 27,875 16,481
Culture/Leisure
Perfomance
Historical records show that drinking, singing and
just letting loose and having fun have always been
a part of Korean culture. This might help explain
Korea's love for the cultural arts.
Various venues in Seoul are used to host large-
scale performances and events. Some of the annual
events and festivals include world-renowned artists
and performers. For events involving local artists,
subtitles in various languages are provided for
foreigners.
Seoul City Online Performance Reservation Service(www.visitseoul.net)
This is the one-stop online reservation system for foreigners to browse, book and pay for tickets for performances
and movies. International calling cards are available as well.
Major Performance Facilities
Source: Living in Korea
Website Telephone
Seoul Arts Center www.sac.or.kr 82-2-580-1300
Sejong Center for Performing Arts www.sejongpac.or.kr 82-2-1544-1887
The National Theater of Korea www.ntok.go.kr 82-2-2280-4114
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Major Theaters
Source: Living in Korea
Theater Website Telephone
www.cgv.co.kr 82-2-1544-1122
www.megabox.co.kr 82-2-1544-0600
www.lottecinema.co.kr 82-2-1544-8855
Source:LivinginKorea
Details Website
Hangang Yeouido Spring
Flower Festival
A festival that signals the start of spring with
fully blooming fowers that create
a spirit of harmony.
www.ydp.go.kr
Seoul Fringe Festival An independent art festival. www.seoulfringefestival.net
Seoul Wow Book Festival
A cultural festival where you can enjoy various cul-
tural activities along with a variety of books.
www.wowbookfest.org
Gandong Prehistoric
Culture Festival
A local cultural event where you can experience the
daily lives of ancestors.
culture.gangdong.go.kr
Seoul Drum Festival
A drum festival A drum festival sure to move
visitors through percussion.
www.seouldrum.go.kr
Seoul World Fireworks
Festival
The night skies above the Hangang River Park are
ablaze with color as the spectacular Seoul
International Fireworks Festival gets underway.
www.bulnori.com
Namsangol Hanok
Village Seoul Dano
Festival
A festival that falls on May 5 on the Lunar
calendar and presents reenactments
of a wide range of traditional folk events.
hanokmaeul.seoul.go.kr
Traditional Cultural Performances
Traditional Korean performances are at their best
when the performers and members of the audience
interact to create an entertaining and lively show.
Traditional musical performances or non-verbal
performances require stage setups quite different
from those of the West. Making an impact globally are
b-boys, who have won international awards and whose
dynamic and spectacular dance moves are noted
by fans around the word. As such, many nonverbal
performances continue to be produced. They are
especially popular among foreigners because without
a working knowledge of Korean, they can still easily
enjoy the shows.
Movies
There are 257 small and large movie theaters in Seoul. The list below shows the representative multiplex
cinemas in Seoul.
Festivals in Seoul
Most theaters, if not all, show foreign films with Korean subtitles, but for those interested, there are theaters
that show Korean films with English subtitles. The following is a list of theaters screening Korean films with
English subtitles.
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Major Royal Palaces
Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung
and Deoksugung are major royal palaces from the
Joseon Dynasty. As they are all located north of the
Hangang River (Gangbuk) and relatively close to each
other, touring the four royal palaces is a great way to
discover the history of Seoul. Furthermore, City Hall,
Gwanghwamun and Insa-dong are all nearby, which
makes for easy access and offers plenty to do before
or after a palace tour. Jongmyo is another site worth
visiting. It is where the ancestors of royal families
are enshrined, and where tranquility and serenity
prevail despite noisy downtown surroundings.
Jogging / In-line Skating / Bicycle roads
All parks in Seoul are great for jogging. The most popular and well-paved of the group are the courses lining
the grounds of the Han River. If you are an in-line skating enthusiast, Hangang Park in Ichon District has an
In-line Skating Plaza (Tel. 82-2-790-6385).
The length of bicycle roads near the Han River measure 36.9 km from Gaehwa-dong, Gangseo-gu to Amsa-
dong, Gangdonggu. The asphalt and concrete-covered roads are designated for bicycle riders, which means
they can enjoy the view and ride without worries. Riders can also use Hangang Park sports facilities, popular
tourist destinations and places of cultural significance as bicycle courses.
Source: Living in Korea
(Unit: USD)
Website Telephone
Gyeongbokgung www.royalpalace.go.kr 82-2-3700-3900
Changdeokgung www.cdg.go.kr 82-2-762-8261
Deoksugung www.deoksugung.go.kr 82-2-771-9951
Changgyeonggung http://cgg.cha.go.kr 82-2-762-4868
Jongmyo http://jm.cha.go.kr 82-2-765-0195
Subway Fare
Transit one-time card Cash
Adults
~10km: 0.95
1.04 10~40km : 0.10/5km
40km~ : 0.10/10km
Adolescents 0.65 0.94
Children 0.41 0.47
Public Transportation System
Korea has well organized subway and bus system. The Seoul subway has lines 1 through 9 and runs between
Seoul and other metropolitan areas such as Gyungbu, Gyungin, Gyungwon, Ansan, Gwacheon, Ilsan, Bundang
and Jungang. So the entire metropolitan area is connected by subway, where announcements are made in
Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese.
Bus routes are available via the Internet and city traffic map. Seouls bus information can be searched in
real time on the Internet or with the mobile phone. And some buses provide English announcements. To
improve accessibility, speed, efficiency and comfort, Seoul introduced four types of buses and made massive
improvements in 2004. In place is a transportation card system with a unified fare system and transfer
discount system. As for the bus fare, within a 10km radius, basic fare is applied and transfer is free.
Public Transportation Fare
Koreas public transportation fare is set very low
and the majority of people use them. As for taxis, the
first 2km are set at a basic fare of USD 2.2. After the
2km, USD 0.1 is charged for either 144m traveled or
35 seconds. A surcharge of 20% is added between
midnight and 4 a.m.
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Express Bus
In Seoul, there are four intercity bus terminals: Dong Seoul, Nambu, Sangbong and Seoul Terminal. The intercity
bus network connects the capital with almost all major and minor cities across Korea, with frequent services mak-
ing reservation unnecessary.
Rail
Koreas high-speed rail service, KTX, links Seoul with Busan, Koreas second largest city and located at the south-
eastern end of Korea, within two and half hours. Other major rail services linking Seoul with other Korean cities
include the Saemaeul and Mugunghwa trains.
Air
Seoul has two airports, Gimpo International Airport and Incheon International Airport. Gimpo Airport is a hub of
Koreas domestic flights, connecting the Korean capital with its regional centers-Gwangju, Gunsan, Daegu, Busan,
Yangyang, Yeosu/ Suncheon, Ulsan, Wonju, Jeju, Jinju/Sacheon, Pohang and Cheongju. The airport provides inter-
nationals services as well for passengers traveling to and from Seoul and five Asian cities(Tokyo, Osaka, Beijing,
shanghai and Taipei). Incheon International Airport serves great choice of destinations around the world, and is the
base for two major Korean airliners, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines. A total of 62 airlines across the world operate
flights to Incheon International Airport.
Source: www.naver.com
Transit Card Cash
Adults Adolescents Children Adults Adolescents Children
Main route bus 0.95 0.65 0.41 1.04 0.94 0.41
Metro bus 1.63 1.23 1.08 1.76 1.62 1.08
Broadcasting
Koreas public broadcasting stations are KBS, MBC
and SBS. Recently, the modes of broadcasting have
expanded to cable, satellite, Internet and DMB with
a variety of channels becoming available. Especially
with the development of the Internet, viewing past
shows has become widely accessible, as has giving
feedback on an issue and providing information from
a program.
Arirang TV and Radio provides Korean news and
information in English. There is also AFN (1530AM,
102.7FM) and TBS eFM (101.3 FM), a 24-hour English
radio station.
(Unit: USD)
Seoul City Bus Fare
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Comparison of Everyday Life in
Korea with Other Major Asian Countries
Seoul Singapore Beijing Hong Kong Tokyo
Apartment
rental
rates
559~2,607 4,440 512~878 2,597~5,844 3,289~
Medical
system
The national
medical insur-
ance system is
open to foreign
citizens sub-
scriptions.
All people should
subscribe to
Medisave.
Foreign citizens
are not allowed
to subscribe
to the national
medical insur-
ance system.
There is no
national medi-
cal insurance
system, but they
can use national
hospitals at rea-
sonable rates.
The national
medical
insurance system
is available.
Trans-
portation
system
Well-developed
public transpor-
tation system
Well-developed
public transpor-
tation system
Large number
of subway trains
and intra-city
buses
Well-developed
network of
public transpor-
tation (subways,
intra-city buses,
and trams)
Well-developed
network of public
transportation,
but charges are
very high.
Taxi: 2.2 Taxi: 2.3 Taxi: 1.54 Taxi: 2.58 Taxi: 9.4
Subway:
0.84/10km
Subway: 0.69
(basic charge)
Subway: 0.31/
section
Subway: 0.45/
section
Subway: 2.2/
section
Intra-city bus:
0.84
Intra-city bus:
0.69/section
Intra-city bus:
0.15 (basic
charge)
Intra-city bus:
0.32/section
Intra-city bus: 2.6
(basic charge)
Number
of foreign
schools
(per 10,000
foreigners)
52 30 18 50 50
Source: Survey by the Korea Business Centers of KOTRA
(Unit: USD)
56 57
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Telecom Network
Korea is noted as an information technology (IT)
powerhouse. The countrys high-speed Internet
penetration rate stands at 89.8%, the highest level
among OECD countries (2011). The country has
a well-developed telecom system, including the
Internet and mobile phone, but telecom charges are
a little higher than those in other major countries.
Phone
subscription fee
Basic monthly
charge for phone
Mobile phone
subscription fee
Basic charge for
mobile phone
Internet
installation fee
Basic internet
charge
55.9 2.3~4.9
KT 22.4
SKT 36.9
11.2 Additional
0.02 paid
per 10 seconds
0~27.9 29.2~38.9
Source : KT, SKT
(Unit : USD)
59
Facilities for Foreign Residents and Travelers
SEOUL'S GENERAL & INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT / SEOUL METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT
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Accommodations
Accommodations
(Unit: USD)
Source : hotel.com
Area Hotel Website
Minimum
charge
Jung-gu
Westin Chosun Seoul http://www.echosunhotel.com/ 284
Millennium Seoul Hilton http://www.hilton.co.kr/ 295
The Plaza Hotel http://www.hoteltheplaza.com/ 244
Shilla Hotel http://www.hotelshilla.net/ 258
Hotel Lotte http://www.lottehotel.com/ 267
Grand Ambassador Seoul http://grand.ambatel.com/ 241
Yongsan-gu Grand Hyatt Seoul http://www.grandhyattseoul.co.kr/ 230
Gwangjin-gu Sheraton Grand Walkerhill Seoul http://www.sheratonwalkerhill.co.kr/ 209
Seodaemun-gu Grand Hilton Seoul http://www.grandhiltonseoul.com/ 189
Seocho-gu JW Marriott Seoul Hotel http://www.jw-marriott.co.kr/ 248
Gangnam-gu
Hotel Ritz-Carlton Seoul http://www.ritzcarltonseoul.com/ 550
Grand Intercontinental Seoul http://www.grandicparnas.com/ 266
Park Hyatt Seoul http://www.parkhyattseoul.co.kr/ 325
COEX Intercontinental Seoul http://www.iccoex.com/ 243
Renaissance Seoul Hotel http://www.renaissance-seoul.com/ 243
Imperial Palace Hotel http://www.imperialpalace.co.kr/ 224
Novotel Ambassador https://novotel.ambatel.com/ 171
Gangseo-gu Mayfeld Hotel https://www.mayfeld.co.kr/ 152
Geumcheon-gu Novotel Ambassador https://novotel.ambatel.com/ 143
Yeongdeungpo-gu
Hotel Lexington https://www.lexingtonhotels.com/ 118
Conrad Seoul To be opened in Dec. 2012. -
60
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List of Global Village Center
Website Telephone
Itaewon/Hannam Global Village Center http:// global.seoul.go.kr/itaewon 82-2-796-2459~60
Yeoksam Global Village Center http:// global.seoul.go.kr/yeoksam 82-2-3453-9038~9
Ichon Global Village Center http:// global.seoul.go.kr/ichon 82-2-796-2018~9
Seorae Global Village Center http:// global.seoul.go.kr/seorae 82-2-2155-8915~6
Yeonam Global Village Center http:// global.seoul.go.kr/yeonnam/ 82-2-6406-8151~3
Yeongdeungpo Multicultural Village Center http:// global.seoul.go.kr/yeongdeungpo 82-2-2670-3800~7
Seongbuk Multicultural Village Center http:// global.seoul.go.kr/seongbuk 82-2-920-2462~4
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Comprehensive Multilingual Counseling Services
Available Languages-Korean, English, Japanese,
Chinese, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Tagalog and Russian
Counseling service about living in Seoul : education,
housing, medical service, transportation, consumer
services and banking
Counseling on matters related to life issues, profes-
sional consulting service: labor, legal issues, taxes,
real estate, etc.
On-site consulting services are provided on Wednes-
days or Sundays in areas densely populated by
foreigners.
Education and Exchange Program
Korean Language Class
Life information seminar for newly-arrived residents
Information fair that provides foreign residents with
information on living in Seoul
Seoul Town Meeting(A venue for collecting opinions to
improve the lives of foreign residents in Seoul)
Comprehensive Administrative Services
Immigration Branch Office(Extension of stay and the
issue of various certificates)
Drivers License Information on tours in Seoul
Banking(Opening a bank account, obtaining a credit card)
Signing up for a mobile phone
Consulting services on taxation and national pension
Business Support
Business consulting service, general consultation on
establishing foreign companies, taxation, accounting
and law
Business start-up school
Meeting foreign business people, mentoring programs
Incubation for foreign-invested companies
Location_3F, Korea Press Center, 124
Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul
Seoul Global Center, One-Stop Administrative Services for Foreign Residents of Seoul
As part of an effort to improve living conditions for foreigners, the Seoul Metropolitan Government launched
the Seoul Global Center in 2008, offering comprehensive and in-depth services to help foreigners adjust to
living in Seoul, free of charge. Foreigners can also use the Seoul Global Village Centers conveniently located
at seven foreign resident communities across the city.
Seoul Global Center http://global.seoul.go.kr Tel.82-2-2075-4130
Yeouido Business Center http://global.seoul.go.kr/yeouido Tel.82-2-6137-9830
Gangnam Business Center http://global.seoul.go.kr/bizsupport Tel.82-2-6001-7248
62
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Source: Guide for Foreign Residents in Seoul
Source: Guide for Foreign Residents in Seoul
Other
Real Estate Agents
International Moving
BBB (Before Babel Brigade) Interpretation Service
BBB (Before Babel Brigade), a charity organization, provides free, 24-hour interpretation services via telephone
for foreign residents and tourists in Seoul who need help. The telephone number is 82-2-1588-5644.
The list below shows real estate agents in Seoul who provide helpful information and services for foreign
investors seeking office space or a plant site.
The list below shows international moving companies that provide fast and reliable services.
Real Estate Agents by Ward
International Moving Companies by Ward
Ward Agent Name Telephone Language
Yongsan-gu
Nara Relocation 82-2-792-1413 English/Japanese
IRE Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-798-9888 English
Yongsan Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-792-7111 English/French/Spanish
ARM Real Estate Agent 82-2-790-1833 English/Japanese
Dreamland Housing Certifed Real Estate
Agency
82-2-794-0811 English
Reamko Realty Corporation 82-2-749-9959 English/Italian
UN Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-792-2558 English
Green Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-749-8070
English/Japanese/
Chinese/German/French
Orient Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-796-4400 English
Seoul Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-742-0400 English
Gangdong-gu Lee Jik Sun Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-470-8946 English/Japanese
Geumcheon-gu Cheongho Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-808-8920 English/Japanese/Chinese
Seocho-gu
Jeongwon Certifed Real Estate Agent 82-2-521-8555 English/Japanese
Posco Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-525-0024 English
Mirae Certifed Real Estate Agent 82-2-585-8949 Japanese
Songpa-gu Corea Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-400-1310 English
Yangcheon-gu New-Seoul Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-2651-2244 English/Japanese
Yeongdeungpo-gu Richensia Certifed Real Estate Agency 82-2-784-5655 English /Arabic
Area Name Telephone
Yongsan-gu
Isa World Itaewon 82-2-790-3774
Allied Pickfords 82-2-796-8703
Crown Relocation 82-2-796-5717
Seodaemun-gu
Seonwo Express 82-2-365-0424
Seodaemun Express 82-2-3141-2400
Gangnam-gu
Gana Pack & Relocate 82-2-402-1212
Daehan Express 82-2-514-2424
Seocho-gu
Hyosung Moving 82-2-1600-2455
Isa Tema Park 82-2-573-3651
Asia Tigers Transpack Korea 82-2-3489-2500
Pyeongchang-dong
Good Morning Express 82-2-3217-1485
Seongdo Transport 82-2-379-9000
Sinyeong-dong/Gugi-dong
Mujigae Express 82-2-396-9999
Myeongseong Express 82-2-3941-3000
Seongbuk-dong Yujin Moving 82-2-926-2404
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Line 5
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Incheon Line
Bundang Line
Jungang Line
Gyeongui Line
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Gyeongchun Line
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64
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Seoul Metro Map
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