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Minister Fast Leads Trade Mission to South Korea with Over 100 Canadian Business Delegates

Now on a level playing field with global competitors, Canadian businesses are eager to seize new opportunities created by the coming into force of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement

February 5, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Minister Ed Fast will lead a multi-sector, five-day trade mission to South Korea, starting on Sunday, February 8, 2015, with over 100 Canadian delegates. He will be joined by Senator Yonah Martin and members of Parliament Chungsen Leung and Peter Braid.

During a meeting today with Cho Hee-yong, South Korea’s Ambassador to Canada, and in the lead up to his departure for South Korea, Minister Fast announced the appointment of Eric Walsh as Canada’s new ambassador to South Korea.

The Canadian delegation will experience first-hand the expanded opportunities available since the coming into force, on January 1, 2015, of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA). Nearly 90 percent of Canada’s current exports to South Korea are now duty-free. The delegates will benefit from the on-the-ground support of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, jointly with Canada’s export agencies: Export Development Canada and the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

The CKFTA is a landmark agreement—Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region—that strengthens trade and investment ties and increases the prosperity of both nations. The agreement will generate new jobs and greater opportunities for Canadian businesses by providing them with a strategic gateway to the wider dynamic and growing Asia-Pacific region.

Quick Facts

  • Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and South Korea was approximately $11.4 billion in 2014.
  • The CKFTA is projected to increase Canadian merchandise exports to South Korea by 32 percent and boost Canada’s economy by approximately $1.7 billion.
  • Tariff elimination under the agreement is advantageous for Canadian businesses because average South Korean tariffs are three times higher than Canada’s (13.3 percent versus 4.3 percent).

Quotes

“The landmark Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement launched a new era for bilateral relations between our two countries. The agreement will create jobs and prosperity across Canada by creating new opportunities and opening markets throughout the dynamic Asia-Pacific region. Our government is committed to supporting companies as they seek to boost their exports, and trade missions are just one of the tools we are providing to help Canadians succeed.

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Eric Walsh as Canada’s new ambassador to the Republic of Korea. I have every confidence that Mr. Walsh will help raise our partnership with South Korea to the next level.”

– Ed Fast, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

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