Minister Fast Leads Trade Mission to Korea

February 16, 2015

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Minister Fast Promotes Benefits of Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement and New Era in Canada-Korea Partnership

Seoul, South Korea

International Trade Minister Ed Fast recently got back from a trade mission to South Korea where he was joined by the more than 100 trade mission delegates participating in the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement Forum in Seoul, organized by the Federation of Korean Industries and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea.

Minister Fast, jointly with his counterpart Yoon Sang-jick, South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, addressed the forum and highlighted the enhanced opportunities in the bilateral trade and investment relationship since the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) entered into force on January 1, 2015. Producers, exporters and consumers all stand to benefit from the agreement, including its removal of tariffs in the industrial goods, agriculture and agri-food and fish and seafood sectors.

Minister Fast also met with Cho Tae-yul, South Korea’s Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. The two ministers reviewed the development of the Canada-Korea Strategic Partnership announced recently by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye, which will build stronger relations in key areas of common interest.

Increased collaboration in energy and science, technology and innovation was also discussed, with the negotiation of a new Canada-South Korea science, technology and innovation (STI) agreement now under way. South Korea is a partner of choice for Canada in science, technology and innovation, as the two countries share complementary strengths in areas such as information and communications technologies, automotive products and biotechnology.

Minister Fast led a multi-sector trade mission to Seoul and Busan, South Korea, from February 8 to 13, 2015, with over 100 Canadian delegates. He is joined by Senator Yonah Martin and members of Parliament Chungsen Leung and Peter Braid.

Quick Facts

  • With the CKFTA now in force, nearly 90 percent of Canada’s current exports to South Korea are duty-free, and virtually all bilateral trade will become duty-free over time. The CKFTA is projected to increase Canadian merchandise exports to South Korea by 32 percent and boost Canada’s economy by $1.7 billion.
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper released Canada’s updated science, technology, and innovation strategy in December 2014. The strategy was developed to ensure that Canada remains well positioned in the global arena with respect to research excellence, talent and wealth. The STI agreement will provide a mechanism whereby government, university and private sector researchers, as well as industry and other key Canadian stakeholders, can collaborate and leverage the latest Canadian and South Korean R & D and technological advancements in strategic sectors.
  • South Korea is a priority market under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.

Quotes

“Minister Yoon and I held very positive and forward-looking discussions about the Canada-South Korea bilateral relationship. I am confident that we are poised for a significant expansion in our trade and investment ties with South Korea, as evidenced by the many Canadian companies and business associations that have joined me here to seek new business with partners in South Korea.

“During President Park’s visit to Ottawa last September, our leaders welcomed the recent deepening of our bilateral relationship. During my meetings, I underlined Canada’s commitment to elevating the profile of our relationship to new heights.

“We also discussed the agreement on science, technology and innovation cooperation. Negotiations are now under way on this agreement, which will facilitate collaboration between government and industry and among researchers in both countries and leverage the latest research developments in strategic sectors.”

– Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade