CANADA - Canada and the Republic of Korea have concluded negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement that will significantly boost trade and investment ties between the two countries, creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country.
The Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s first with an Asian market, will create thousands of new jobs in Canada and provide Canadian businesses and workers with a gateway to Asia, enhancing their global competitiveness. It will also level the playing field for Canadian companies competing with Korea’s other trading partners, including the United States and the European Union, who already have free trade agreements with Korea.
Canadian consumers will benefit from a greater variety of goods at lower prices, as the Free Trade Agreement will cover virtually all aspects of Canadian-Korean trade: goods and services, investment, government procurement, environment and labour cooperation, and other areas of economic activity.
The Agreement eliminates tariffs and reduces non-tariff measures that hinder market access for Canadian exporters and investors in Korea, bringing transparency and predictability to the business environment. Once the Agreement is fully implemented, Korea will remove duties on 98.2 per cent of its tariff lines, covering virtually all of Canada’s imports.
The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will benefit a wide range of sectors, including industrial goods (e.g. chemicals and plastics, information and communications technology, aerospace, metals and minerals, etc.), agricultural and agri-food products, wine and spirits, fish and seafood, and wood and forestry products. The Agreement will also benefit Canada’s world-class services sector and strengthen opportunities and protection for two-way investment.
"Our Government recognizes the importance of opening new markets for Canadian goods, services and investment which is why we launched the most ambitious trade agenda in Canadian history. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will create jobs and open the door to the lucrative Asia-Pacific market for Canadian businesses. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement not only reflects the input of all sectors of the economy, provinces and territories, it will deliver significant benefits for Canadians from coast to coast to coast,” commented Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will create jobs and opportunities for Canadians across the country. Not only will it benefit Canadian consumers, it is good news for farmers, the aerospace industry and the chemicals sector, to name a few. Canadian businesses, investors and consumers in every province stand to benefit significantly from the increased market access that the Agreement will provide,” Mr Harper concluded.
For the fisheries sector, the trade agreement will diversify export markets by eliminating prohibitive tariffs on fish and seafood entering Korea. The Provincial Government has reserved its right to enforce minimum processing requirements for fish and seafood destined for the Korean market.
“Achieving tariff-free access to the Korean seafood market should strengthen the provincial fishing, aquaculture, and sealing sectors in the coming years by creating even more international demand for Newfoundland and Labrador’s world class products. It has been important in the past to enforce the province’s minimum processing requirements for Asian markets, and I am pleased to note that our minimum processing requirements will be maintained within the terms of this exciting new trade agreement,” said Keith Hutchings, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
TheFishSite News Desk