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Bribery a plus for small business in South Korea?

Tom Fox | July 7, 2016

It is such a simple argument against anti-corruption laws, you wonder why the Chamber of Commerce did not think of it first. In South Korea, where the country is trying to put into law sweeping anti-bribery legislation, there is a backlash coming from small-business owners. Yet it is not the small-business owners who want to engage in bribery and corruption to obtain business. It is the small-business owners who say their businesses will suffer if the country outlaws expensive dinner and expensive gift-giving, as it would dampen domestic consumption of these items. What a brilliant argument: Bribery increases business!

As reported in the Financial Times, the law would prohibit meals for government employees of more than $26USD, gifts of more than $43USD and condolence money of more than $86USD. Penalties for government officials who receive such gratuities in excess of these amounts could include a jail term of up to three years and a fine of up to $26,000USD.

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