Harper Government Launches Cross-Country Benefits Blitz

Minister Fast says deeper trade with South Korea, a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, will create new jobs and opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country

March 13, 2014 - London, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Minister Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, announced that starting today, Harper government ministers and members of Parliament will meet with workers, businesses and other key stakeholders to highlight the benefits the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will bring to every region in Canada. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Park Geun-hye of South Korea announced the conclusion of negotiations on this new free trade agreement.

To kick off the blitz, Minister Fast today visited a number of businesses in Southern Ontario that stand to greatly benefit from this historic free trade agreement, including Trudell Medical International. The Minister also held a round-table discussion with members of the London Chamber of Commerce.

The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will make Ontario’s exports more competitive in the Korean market by levelling the playing field for Ontario businesses that are competing against exporters from countries that already have preferential access.

Ontario’s exports to South Korea from 2010 to 2012 were worth an annual average of $548.5 million. Top benefits for Ontario include increased market access for key sectors including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, medical devices, clean technology, food processing, information and communications technologies, life sciences, and metals and minerals. Upon the Agreement’s entry into force, 88 percent of tariff lines will be duty-free.

The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is a landmark achievement: it is Canada’s first free trade agreement in Asia, one of the fastest growing and most dynamic regions in the world. South Korea is not only a major economic player and a key market for Canada; it also serves as a gateway for Canadian businesses into the Asia-Pacific region.

Quick Facts

  • When the Agreement comes into force, over 95 percent of South Korean tariff lines for industrial products in Ontario will be subject to immediate duty-free access.
  • From 2010 to 2012, Ontario’s exports of industrial goods to South Korea were worth an annual average of $470.6 million.
  • South Korea is an important economic partner for Canada, with an economy of $1.1 trillion and a population of 50 million.
  • The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement is projected to boost Canada’s economy by $1.7 billion and increase Canadian exports to South Korea by 32 percent.
  • Canadian businesses will benefit from the same access to the South Korean market as their competitors, notably those from the United States and the European Union.

Quotes

“Our government is committed to expanding trade with new and emerging markets in Asia to benefit Canadian workers, businesses and industries across the country. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement demonstrates our commitment to giving Canadian investors and exporters the tools they need to compete—and win—benefiting all Canadians from the jobs and opportunities that are created at home.”

Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade

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Contacts

Shannon Gutoskie
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
613-992-7332

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
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