Local firms spent more than 9 trillion won (US$8.8 billion) last year on business-related entertainment, government data showed Monday, indicating they continued to spend heavily to treat clients despite the slumping economy.
According to the National Tax Service, the firms are estimated to have spent more than 9 trillion won last year on entertainment expenses, which refer to those covering meals, drinks and other treats aimed at facilitating business deals.
The estimate is larger than the 8.77 trillion won reported in 2012. It is also much larger than the 7.05 trillion won in 2008, the data showed.
Entertainment expenses have been on the steady rise for the past decades except for a brief span when the government had toughened related regulations.
In 2004, the government enforced a rule requiring companies to keep relevant records proving whether entertainment spending exceeding 500,000 won was connected to their actual business.
The rule was scrapped in 2009 as concerns mounted that it could hurt overall business activity. (Yonhap)