Seoul has grand ambitions for its role in international commerce. But the task confronting the torchbearers of this goal is formidable and there is plenty of work to do in both the political, economic and diplomatic levels before it could be termed a global city. A recent survey “of 1,700 managers in 71 Fortune 500 companies in Asia graded Seoul last among five cities (the others were Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo) in five of eight categories: globalization status, foreign-exchange controls, labor-market flexibility, work permits and immigration, and prestige” (Shin & Timberlake, 2004). This reality check is a stark reminder of the hard work required of the city administrators in order to propel Seoul into the international stage.
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South Korea: Ethnic enclaves become “global villages”
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