Harper Government Highlights Benefits to Alberta of Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Minister of State Uppal says deeper trade with South Korea, a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region, will create new jobs and opportunities in Alberta

March 19, 2014 - Sherwood Park, Alberta - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism) and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Sherwood Park, today met with members of the Sherwood Park Chamber of Commerce to highlight the many benefits the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will bring to businesses and workers in Alberta. Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Park Geun-hye of South Korea announced the conclusion of negotiations on this new free trade agreement.

The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will make Alberta exports more competitive in the South Korean market by levelling the playing field for Alberta businesses that are competing against exporters from countries that already have preferential access. The province stands to benefit significantly from preferred access to the South Korean market. South Korea is already Alberta’s fifth-largest export destination.

The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will benefit businesses and workers in some of Alberta’s key export sectors, including agriculture and agri-food products, forestry and value-added wood products, and industrial goods, and provide access to new opportunities in the South Korean market.

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

  • From 2010 to 2012, Alberta exported goods and services worth an annual average of approximately $628.2 million to South Korea.
  • During the same period, Alberta’s exports of industrial goods to South Korea were worth an annual average of $296.5 million.
  • Over 95 percent of South Korean tariff lines for industrial products will enjoy immediate duty-free access.
  • Alberta’s agricultural exports to South Korea were worth an annual average of $205.7 million from 2010 to 2012, led by wheat, pork, canola oil, unroasted barley malt and tallow.
  • The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will eliminate tariffs on 86.8 percent of agricultural tariff lines.
  • 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

“The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will create new jobs and give businesses in Edmonton and Sherwood Park greater access to new markets in South Korea for their products and services. This agreement will greatly benefit our local economy.”

Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism) and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Sherwood Park

“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—in the global marketplace to create jobs and opportunities across our country.”

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

Joe Kanoza
Minister’s Office
Minister of State for Multiculturalism
613-954-1064

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