Take an in-depth look at the business environment of Korea and compare it to that of Canada.
The Canadian physical environment based on the geographical position of the country is regarded as the second largest globally due to geographical features and the total area covered. Canada constitutes at least forty one percent of the continents area. It is located in the northern part of North America and the southern coast of United States. It spreads to the west of North Pacific Ocean, north of Arctic Ocean, and east of North Atlantic Ocean. Canada is therefore a vast and diverse nation bordering different seas. As a result, it is larger than United States and China. Canada hosts more than thirty five million people as revealed during the 2015 census with the highest population density being among regions in the south. Major Canadian urban cities include Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal Hamilton, and Brampton among others. They record average high temperatures ranging from 21 oc to 28 oc in July. These temperatures however increase in July up to 82/63. Conversely, average low temperatures range from 0/-9 oc to -23/-31 oc in January (Joseph, 2012).
The physical geographical conditions of the country spreading at least three million square miles include boreal forests, ice especially in the northern Arctic regions, Rocky Mountains, flat Canadian prairies, lakes, rivers, and panoplies of eight regions encompassing vast maritime terrains. The nation’s coastline is considered the world’s largest as it is more than two hundred kilometres equivalent to one hundred and twenty five thousand and five hundred and seventy miles. Due to diverse environmental conditions, the country records varying temperatures. For example, the west coast of British Columbia records differing temperatures from the subarctic climate in the North. This is because the northern Canada snows most days of the year due to Polar climatic conditions. Conversely, landlocked areas record warm summer continental climatic conditions except the Southern Ontario that has hot summer humid continental climate zone. Western Canada records semi-arid climatic conditions prompting Vancouver Island to be classified as a cool summer Mediterranean climate (Joseph, 2012).
The Korean area is located east of Asia. The Korean population exceeds fifty million individuals. The nation’s physical environment extends for several kilometres southward from the northeast part of the Asian continental. Korea however lacks formidable land or sea barriers along its borders. As a result, it occupies the central position within the East Asian region. Korea has served as a social, cultural, and economic bridge between the mainland and the surrounding regions such as the Japanese archipelago. For example, it transmits both Indian Buddhist and Chinese Confucian cultures, arts, and religions. Conversely, the region is exposed geographically. This is because the region is at a vulnerable position easy for stronger neighbours to invade (Seo, 2013).
Korean area extends to the south near Japanese islands of Kyushu and Honshu. The area also extends to the west bordering Korea Bay, Yellow Sea to the north and Korea Strait to the south. The Korean coastline extends for more than eight thousand kilometres. Coupled with a large number of successive mountain ranges, early European visitors asserted Korea resembles a sea in a heavy gale. The climatic conditions in Korea are divided into four seasons namely winter, summer, spring and autumn. Winters are long, dry and cold while summers are short, humid, and hot. Conversely, autumn and spring are short with temperatures ranging between -5 oc to 2.5 oc in January. In July, the temperatures range between 22.5 oc and 25 oc. The general country is therefore able to receive rains to sustain agricultural activities annually although precipitation amounts vary from one year to the other. The country records serious droughts once in every eight years within rice producing parts with annual precipitation occurring in June and September (Seo, 2013).
Physical environmental issues allied to Korean area include air, water, and noise pollution as well as natural hazards, degradation from land use and volcanism. As a result, the nation has established various organizations to address such environmental issues. For example, Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM) is the nation’s largest environmental organization addressing environmental issues ensuring emission of carbon dioxide reduces. There are several major urban areas in Korea such as Daegu, Gwangju, Ulsan, Seongnam, and Changwon among others. In 2010, Korea conducted a census to determine population levels. The census revealed that major urban cities are inhabited by more than one million citizens (Seo, 2013).
During the 2011 census, the total population count in Canada was recorded at over thirty three million individuals. This accounts for at least 0.5% of the global population. In December 2012 however, it was estimated that the population had increased. Thus, it was estimated at around thirty five million in 2015. The ethnic origins comprising Canadian nationality include French, Germans, English, Dutch, Italians, Scottish, Irish, Ukrainian, and Chinese in differing rates. They are located in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Newfound and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island regions. The largest population is located in Ontario at 38.39% occupying a total land area of 1,076,395 km2. Canadian is the largest ethnic group occupying more than fifty percent of Quebec area. Conversely, Hungarian and Jewish are the smallest ethnic groups occupying Ontario and Saskatchewan at less than three percent. There are two official languages spoken in Canada namely English and French. The rest include Chinese, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, and German as well as Mandarin and Cantonese (Statistics Canada, 2013).
According to World Bank, the population rate in Canada has an average of 20.4% growth rate. The country released a report in 2011 identifying age groups between male and female within the Canadian population. The report indicated that, Canada records a higher number of male than female individuals between the ages of zero and thirty nine years old. Between the ages of forty and above, there are more female than male Canadians. The differences between the genders however range between one and eight percent depending on the age group. For example, the highest number of males and females is found among individuals aged between forty five and forty nine years old. It is however asserted that the country is populated by individuals aged between fifteen and sixty four years. Females also record a higher life expectancy than male. The main religion found in Canada is Christianity at over eighty percent. This comprises of Catholic and protestant believers. Protestants include Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Methodist, Jehovah’s Witness, Presbyterian, Adventist, Salvation Army, Anglican and United Churches of Canada as well as Mennonite and Mormon among others. The other religions include Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist in less than five percent each. Canadians record more than ninety percent literacy levels. They possess socio-economic and socio-political skills ensuring the country grows and develops. As a result, a vast number of Canadians is able to gain employment and afford to meet healthcare needs (Statistics Canada, 2013).
Korea has been considered among global nations with homogenous ethnic populations due to the wide variety of Asian peoples who migrated to the country. In 1990s, the number of indigenous minorities such as South, Southeast, and Westerner Asians as well as Japanese and Chinese was negligible. More so, they adopted the temporary residence as most Koreans believe nationality should equate to citizenship with a membership in a single homogenous race or ethnic group. The Korean identity is based on the language and race elements. Multiracial and multiethnic nations are therefore considered as either odd or contradictory. Since Korea was established in 1948, the population has been growing robustly. In 2015, it was recorded that Korea’s average population exceeds fifty million individuals. It comprises of ethnic groups from China, United States, Japan, Canada, Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia as well as Thailand, Mongolia, Taiwan, Australia, and United Kingdom among others. The highest and least ethnic groups are from China and United Kingdom respectively (Seo, 2013).
The largest age structure in Korea comprises of a higher number of female than male individuals aged between twenty five and fifty four years. The smallest age structure ranges between fifty five and sixty four years. It also records a higher number of female than male members. On average however, Korea comprises of a higher number of male than female individuals across the diverse age structures. This is because the sex ratio across the age structures indicates more males are born than female. The literacy levels among Koreans with regards to the number of people above fifteen years able to read and write is rated over ninety seven percent. Female and male members record lower literacy levels at ninety six and ninety nine percent respectively (Seo, 2013).
With regards to education, a large number of Koreans possess social, economic, and technical skills. They however record high emigration rates from the nation due to socioeconomic reasons. They acquire education and skills before seeking employment opportunities in other regions such as China and Hawaii in United States. The nation’s economy however has been expanding prompting citizens to gain business acumen. As a result, the country comprises of business executives, construction workers, and technical personnel striving to ensure business opportunities are identified and seized effectively and efficiently. Consequently, foreign students have been seeking employment opportunities in Korea which has been encouraging citizens living abroad to return. A large number of citizens are therefore able to acquire education, gain employment and afford to assess high quality healthcare services. The vast majority of the Korean population speaks using the Korean language. The government however also considers the Jeju language mainly utilized within the Jeju province as the minority language. Religions in Korea range from Buddhism at more than twenty percent, Protestantism at over eighteen percent and Catholicism at over ten percent while the rest are recorded below two percent. The largest religious group is however recorded at over forty six percent comprising of non religious individuals (CSIS, 2007).
The Canadian government is formally known as Her Majesty’s Government. It is a federal government administration. It is a collective of institutions known as the Queen in Council. It was established as a Federal Constitutional Monarchy at a confederation through the Constitution Act of 1867. The Canadian Crown therefore acts as the core or basic building block of the Westminster Style Parliamentary Democracy. It lays the foundation for executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the Canadian government to perform according to the unwritten and written statutes, conventions, and court rulings of the Canadian constitution. The Canadian government is therefore under the constitutional monarchy ensuring the role played by the reigning sovereign is practical and legal. The monarch is vested with all the powers of the state. The queen in council is therefore the executive. Queen Elizabeth II is the current executive sovereign exerting powers in Canada. She acts on the advice of the Privy Council consisting of former members of parliament, Supreme Court chief justices and elder statesmen (Tidridge, 2011).
The colonial background of the Canadian government can be traced over twelve million years ago when native Canadians originated from Asia comprising of twelve tribes. Currently, Canada hosts one tribe known as Inuit which was given the Inui Nunavut Territory in the northeast to settle by the government in 1999. The first people to explore Canada were referred to as Norse invaders. They originated from Scandinavian Peninsula. In 1000 CE, they built a town in order to establish trading relations with Inuit within the northeast coast of Canada. Five hundred years later, Europeans returned to Canada. In 1608, New France which was later renamed to Quebec was founded by French colonists. As the population continued to grow, people began to move inland. They commenced business activities including making hats from animal fur as they were keen in trapping animals. These activities were profitable prompting more people to settle on the St Lawrence River. French farmers, missionaries, and merchants also took part in the trading activities. Consequently, they built forts on British land prompting the 1754 French and Indian War to erupt. Both parties fought in attempts to gain control of the Canadian territory and fur trade until the British conquered forcing France to sign the Treaty of Paris in 1763. In 1774 however, the British allowed French to remain in Quebec with respect to controlling rules enacted under the Quebec Act of 1774. Eventually however, Canadians fought for independence in order to control the government and unity of provinces. In 1931, Canada gained independence from Great Britain under the Statue of Westminster. In 1982, a new constitution was drafted asserting that Canada uses two official languages namely French and English. Consequently, the country modeled a government after the British which led to the constitutional monarchy (Tidridge, 2011).
There are several political parties at federal level connected provincially. Most of them have similar names with shared membership. These parties include Liberal Party of Canada founded in 1861 under liberalism ideology. Conservative Party of Canada (II) was founded in 2003 under economic liberalism and conservatism ideologies. The most recent political parties founded in 2015 include Alliance of the North, Canada Party (II), and The Bridge Party of Canada. They were founded under social conservation and non-partisan ideologies (David, 2011). Canada has been experiencing women suffrage for a long period of time. Women in Quebec suffered most political suffrage as legislators and religious leaders were untied in denying them the right to vote until 1940. Although women in Manitoba had commenced voting in 1916 at provincial levels, several female citizens could neither enjoy nor practice this right. They however did not suffer from violence and suffrage campaigns as well as lack of peace, elegance, humour, and persistence in comparison to British counterparts. Currently, women and men enjoy equal rights to ensure issues affecting the country such as corruption and violation of human rights are addressed and resolved (Elections Canada, 2014).
United Nations among other regional and international organizations have been documenting issues allied to human rights and corruption in Canada (Yves, 2015). The reports affirm that, corruption is the main negative effect leading to violation of human rights. This is because corruption on political, social, economic, and cultural levels has led to development of multiple cases violating human rights. The government faces challenges in delivering various services allied to education, welfare, and health. Consequently, social, cultural, political, and economic developments are hindered. This leads to creation of discriminations with regards to access of public services as authorities are driven by personal interests. As a result, bribes are offered rendering persons experiencing socioeconomic and socio-political disadvantages to suffer (Janet, 2009).
Political stability in Canada can be reviewed based on the fact that majority provincial governments differ from federal governments. Federal and provincial governments under Canadian constitution have gained sufficient power to influence socioeconomic developments. In 2015, Canada was considered among the most global stable economies by Forbes Global 2000 List and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Group of Seven. This is because the country has ensured economic, social and political institutions are well developed to provide a safety net protecting citizens from inequities and inadequacies. In 2013, it was ranked as the eighty fourth country based on political stability due to absence of terrorism and violence. Coupled with government effectiveness according to Worldwide Governance Indicators, Canada’s political stability has ensured the country relies on tourism, oil, gas, automobiles, and the high-tech sector for growth and development (Smith, 2010).
The Government of the Republic of Korea is divided into executive, legislative, judicial, and electoral branches. Executive and judicial branches are placed at the national level. Local governments undertake semi-autonomous roles under executive and legislative bodies. Although executive and judicial branches operate on national and local levels, Korean constitution determines the structure of the government. Since the government was formed in 1948, the country has practiced a presidential system rather than monarchy as witnessed in Canada. Just like in Canada, the chief executive is also relatively independent tasked in appointing executives in legislature and passing impeachment resolutions. The colonial background of Korea can be traced over half a million years ago in 1800 BC. The Korean empire was however discovered after China and Japan signed several treaties including that of Shimonoseki and 1905 Protectorate. In November 1905, Korea was declared a protected State allowing scholars and intellectuals to establish organizations, institutions and associations to enjoy the independence (Aurel, 2008).
There three major political parties namely Saenuri Party, Justice Party, Minjoo Party of Korea, and People’s Party. Saenuri is currently the ruling party although it was formed under shared political ideologies allied to conservatism, liberalism, and progressivism as the opposing parties. The ruling and opposing parties have been ensuring suffrage mainly experienced by women is addressed and resolved. For several years, women in Korea were denied the right to vote and stand for election. The situation however has been changing as women can now vote and vie for elections across major regions in Korea (Aurel, 2008).
The country’s political stability has been enhancing as issues allied to political suffrage continue to be resolved. This is despite economic risks allied to weakening of the Japanese yen coupled with security concerns associated with North Korea Social and economic statuses. Global Political Risk Index asserts that, Korea scored seventy four out of one hundred points in relation to political stability. The country however records incidences of corruption and violation of human rights to widespread of illegal and antisocialist activities. They are reported across rural and urban areas as well as high to lower elite social classes as citizens are keen on achieving and fulfilling personal interests. These incidences however have not deterred the country to pursue socio-political and socioeconomic growth, development, and sustainability (UNHR, 2016).
Canada and Korea are endowed with natural resources. In Canada, they include natural gas, petroleum, forests, minerals, and energy. In Korea however, they are few as the country’s urban areas have been expanding leading to deforestation and destruction of other natural resources. Thus, the country’s main natural resource is mainly minerals such as coal, graphite, iron ore and tungsten among others (Bae, Joo & Kim, 2012). Canada’s Gross National Product has been increasing. In 2015, it was recorded at 1,967,628 CAD million from 1,949,884 CAD million. In average, it is estimated at 103, 9948.69. Conversely, Korea’s Gross National Product in 2016 was recorded at 38, 0795.60 KRW billion from 37, 4495.40 KRW billion. This affirms Korea records high socioeconomic and socio-political growth rates than Canada (Kim & Kim, 2005).
In 2012, major industries in Canada produced more than two million Canadian dollars through industrial goods. The other industries were tasked in producing agricultural and agrifood products, fish and seafood, metals, and minerals as well as forestry and value added wooden goods. As a result, the industries are able to export several products to Korea. These products include zinc and copper ores, aluminum, uranium, unwrought nickel, fertilizers, and Bituminous coal. Thus, major industries in Canada include textile and apparel industries as well as pharmaceutical, commercial fishing, and automobile industrial firms. Conversely, major industries in Korea are involved in mineral extraction (GOC, 2015).
Canada has been focusing on creation of job opportunities. As a result, it launched a trade plan ensuring the country has concluded free trade agreements in seven years across nine countries. More so, over twenty eight nations across European Union are bound to open markets giving Canadians business accessibilities. This will ensure the country records a higher number of customers which will lead to creation of more job opportunities (GOC, 2015). In order to take advantage of economic opportunities due to lack of trade barriers with European Union nations and other countries, Canada has expanded trade to Asia. This has benefited local workers, business ventures and industries across Canada. Conversely, Korea lists United States and United Kingdom as major trading partners due to lack of barriers. This ensures the relationship is utilized in expanding economic integration and investments (WTO, 2015).
In 2014, Canada signed a new free trade agreement commencing trading activities in Asia. Korea being ranked among globe’s top performing and large economies will therefore provide Canada with business and employment opportunities. More so, exports have increased to Korea and other trading partners with free trade agreements. Consequently, sales have increased while providing consumers with more choices at affordable prices. Lack of trading barriers between Canada and Korea will also ensure the nations to achieve a competition advantage across global markets while tapping to unrealized investment potentials to enhance job opportunities. Korea is Canada’s third largest trading partner in Asia ensuring the investment relations lead to tremendous growth. This has been facilitated by the diplomatic relations maintained between Canada and Korea for more than fifty years. The two nations however have been facing trading competition from United States and other European Union nations (M&C, 2010).
Balance of payments refers to sum of transactions taking place between a country and foreign trading partners. With regards to Canada and Korea, the trading nations have recorded high balance of payments after signing the Free Trade Agreement. This is because they import and export various goods and services ensuring financial assets grow and expand in each country. While signing the Free Trade Agreement, provisions discussing issues allied to tariffs, non-tariffs, standards of measure, and currency were formulated. Thus, exports to Korea are bound to decrease if the Canadian dollar appreciates as products and services from the country will be rendered too expensive by Korean consumers. Lower interest rates in Korea on the other hand will increase investments, output, and aggregate demand creating employment opportunities. It is therefore evident that Canada and Korea retain individual currency values while sustaining the trading relationship (WTO, 2015).
Canada’s household debt has been increasing annually since 1961. Metrics however indicate the debt levels are not excessive to ensure the burden of servicing them is low. Canadian debt issues have therefore existed in the country to ensure wealth is created while increasing household assets and net worth values. As a result, lowering interest rates has slowed debt growth rates since recession. Canada’s debt issues are therefore similar to those experienced in United States but below European nations (GOC, 2015).
Transportation facilities in Canada are described as the best developed on a global platform. This is because they sufficiently fulfill the requirements required for a country to engage in high tech international business activities. The country’s transportation system is a blend of firms owned by private and government sectors. As a result, Canada hosts more than thirty six kilometres of railways and two transcontinental systems. The Freight Carrier Canadian National was privatized in 1995. Consequently, the government provides passenger services through VIA. More than nine hundred kilometres of road are either paved or expressways. This ensures all major cities are served by well developed and inexpensive public and private transportation systems subsidized by local and provincial governments. More so, trucking and rail systems are properly integrated with American distribution networks enabling more than four hundred tons of goods to be transported across the nation’s highways. As a result, Canada is able to export to United States while ensuring more than one thousand airports are functioning effectively and efficiently although some lack paved runways. Three thousand kilometres of navigable waterways allow vessels to sail across the Atlantic to various ports such as Vancouver in the West Coast (Karl & Dustin, 2007).
Canadian’s communication facilities comprise of state of the art telephone systems supported by satellite and earth based relay centres. Five under water cables across Atlantic and Pacific oceans coupled with seven hundred and fifty internet providers ensure all major cities have high speed internet capabilities. Consequently, internet costs in the country are considered among the lowest in the world enabling more than eight million internet users to utilize communication systems to achieve social, economic, and political growth (Karl & Dustin, 2007).
Korean transportation facilities are also advanced and modern. They have been expanding since 1960s. Private and public sectors have played a key role of financing and constructing operational infrastructures. The country is still pursuing a twenty year plan of ensuring airports, railways, roads, and mega-resorts are constructed under high-tech power generating facilities. More than sixty four thousand kilometres of roads are paved and over one thousand miles considered being expressways. North-south and east-west highways provide roads for the growing number of vehicles in the country including private cars, buses and trucks. The government however has been expanding the highways to ensure land transportation services are enhanced. A railway extending more than six kilometres with standard gauge tracks some of which are electrified ensure export and import business activities are undertaken effectively. In 1999, Korea had one hundred and three airports with paved and unpaved runways. The country has however added more including an international airport as well as ports and harbours in order to meet its growing economic needs (WTD, 2016).
Korea’s communication facilities are ranked among the best, fastest, modern, and fast growing on a global platform. In 1999, there were more than twenty million functional telephone lines. Cellular lines have also been increasing as technology advances and socioeconomic needs increase. As a result, internet users and providers have been increasing prompting Korea to be ranked third globally among nations with effective and sufficient communication facilities. The functional transportation and communication facilities have therefore played a major role in ensuring Korea is ranked among top performing nations on social, economic, and political growth and development (WTD, 2016).
Korea and Canada have experienced diverse factors influencing the nations’ abilities to achieve social, economic, and political growth. Based on this comparison report however, it is evident Korea provides more opportunities to engage in business than Canada. This is because the country’s physical environment, government, transport and communication facilities ensure the population are able to achieve economic growth and development domestically and internationally. Korea also records a fast rate of economical growth than Canada as it hosts the most vibrant manufacturing powerhouses aimed at eradicating poverty, illiteracy, and malnutrition. More so, it spends a bigger percentage of Gross Domestic Product on research and developments than Canada ensuring the nation’s economic opportunities increase and expand. Thus, Korea has ensured its geopolitical position is utilized to gain geographical, investment, economic, and social advantages. Both nations however indicate they are keen in ensuring citizens are provided with sufficient socio-political and socioeconomic opportunities.
Aurel, C. (2008). Electoral Politics in Southeast and East Asia- Korea. Constitutional Political Economy.
Bae, J. S., Joo, R. W., & Kim, Y. S. (2012). Forest Transition in South Korea: Reality, Path and Drivers. Land Use Policy, 29(1), 198–207.
Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). (2007). The Aging of Korea: Demographics and Retirement Policy in the Land of the Morning Calm. Global Aging Initiative.
David, R. B. (2011). Unnatural Law: Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy. UBC Press.
Elections Canada (2014). Registered Political Parties and Parties Eligible for Registration. A Report by Elections Canada.
Government of Canada (GOC). (2015). Bilateral Relations: Canada-Korea Relations. Government of Canada, International Report.
Janet, M. (2009). A History of Human Rights in Canada: Essential Issues. Canadian Scholars’ Press.
Joseph, A. D. (2012). Landscape Evolution in the United States: An Introduction to the Geography, Geology, and Natural History. Weigl Educational Publishers.
Karl, M. R., & Dustin, G. (2007). The History of Transportation. Canadian Encyclopaedia.
Kim, E. G., & Kim, D. J. (2005). Historical Changes and Characteristics of Rehabilitation, Management and Utilization of Forest Resources in South Korea. Journal of Mountain Science, 2(2), 164–172.
McKinsey and Company (M&C). (2010). Global Themes: South Korea- Finding its Place on the World Stage. McKinsey Quarterly Review.
Seo, B. (2013). Social Cohesiveness and the Physical Environment of Korean Public Housing Communities in Seoul. The University of Hong Kong.
Smith, D. E. (2010). The Crown in Canada and the Constitution: Sustaining Democracy? Present Realities and Future Options. Kingston, Queen’s University
Statistics Canada (2013). Estimated Population of Canada, 1605 to Present. Statistics Canada Review.
Tidridge, N. (2011). Canada’s Constitutional Monarchy: An Introduction to Our Form of Government. Toronto, Dundurn Press.
United Nations Human Rights (UNHR). (2016). Human Rights and Anti-Corruption. United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.
World Telecommunication Development (WTD). (2016). Korea, South – Infrastructure, power, and communications. International Telecommunication Union and World Telecommunication Development Report.
World Trade Organization (WTO). (2015). Global Affairs Canada: Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) Overview. The Final Free Trade Agreement Summary.
Yves, E. (2015). Canada Corruption- Lax Laws Are Turning Foreign Bribery Into a Canadian Value. The Huffington Post.