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British Columbia Exporters Entering Korean Market Meet with Major Buyers

November 13, 2014 – Burnaby, British Columbia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, British Columbia (B.C.) Ministry of Agriculture, and B.C. Ministry of International Trade

This week, on both sides of the Pacific, B.C. and South Korea are learning about each other’s agrifoods and seafood markets and the economic benefits of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA).

In Burnaby, the Ministry of International Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture are promoting the sectors at a sold-out agrifoods export seminar that brings together South Korean buyers and B.C. agrifoods companies. In Seoul, South Korea, Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat has been promoting B.C. agrifoods and seafood while on her trade mission to Asia, including South Korea.

The South Korea Export Opportunity seminar in Burnaby allows B.C. companies to meet with two major industry buyers from South Korea – E-Mart, South Korea’s first and largest hypermarket, and Korea NZ Corp., an importer of globally-sourced seafood and experienced buyer of international agrifoods.

The two buyers are delivering presentations on the South Korean agrifoods import market and the opportunities for B.C. exporters. The Ministry of International Trade will present on the benefits of the CKFTA, which is expected to go into effect in 2015. This seminar is the first event organized by the B.C. government that engages businesses on the CKFTA to ensure they are aware of its benefits.

Quick facts

  • $23 million in agrifoods products and $5.8 million in seafood products were exported from B.C. to South Korea in 2013.
  • South Korea is B.C.’s fourth largest export market.
  • More than half of all Canadian goods exports to South Korea come from B.C.
  • The CKFTA is expected to increase B.C.’s seafood export competitiveness by removing South Korean tariffs on agrifoods and seafood products. B.C. exporters will benefit from duty-free access to nearly 70% of seafood products and the elimination of tariffs on 87% of agrifoods tariff lines. Average South Korean tariffs are three times higher than Canada’s, so tariff elimination will be particularly beneficial for B.C. businesses exporting to South Korea.
  • While on her trade mission, Wat is meeting with South Korean companies to promote B.C.’s competitive advantages and the opportunities the CKFTA will bring. As part of the trade mission, business-to-business meetings between South Korean seafood companies and three B.C. companies also took place in Seoul, Korea. This is the first trip to South Korea by a Minister of International Trade from a Canadian jurisdiction since the CKFTA was signed on Sept. 22, 2014.
  • The South Korea Export Opportunity seminar is funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that focuses on innovation, competitiveness and market development for the Canadian agricultural and agrifoods sectors.

Quotes

“We greatly appreciate that Korea recognizes the quality, safety and amazing taste of Canadian food and beverages. The new Free Trade Agreement between our two countries is a great opportunity for both Canada and Korea to expand our valued trade even further.”

– Gerry Ritz, Federal Agriculture Minister

“The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will have many benefits for B.C. companies and is expected to increase Canadian exports to South Korea by over 30%. It’s encouraging to see B.C. agrifoods businesses meeting with influential South Korean buyers at this seminar so they can take advantage of the opportunities the agreement will bring once it goes into effect.”

– Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade

“B.C. foods are in demand around the world because we produce innovative, safe and great-tasting products, and the opportunities the Canada Korea Free Trade Agreement present are huge. The B.C. government continues to work with stakeholders and officials on both sides of the Pacific to make sure B.C. companies are ready to build or expand their exports to Korea, and keep our economy growing.”

– Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture

Additional links

Contacts

Jeff English
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada

Media Relations
Ministry of International Trade
250-356-5613

Robert Boelens
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250-356-1674
Robert.Boelens@gov.bc.ca

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