Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
With a GDP of over $1 trillion, the Republic of Korea (commonly known as South Korea) is a high-growth and rapidly advancing market of strategic importance for Canada. Canada and South Korea enjoy strong relations based on 50 years of diplomatic engagement, close personal ties and an important trade and investment relationship. South Korea is Canada’s 7th largest merchandise trading partner and our 3rd largest in Asia, after China and Japan. Canada-South Korea two-way merchandise trade is robust, nearly reaching $10.1 billion in 2012.
A bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea could deliver significant commercial benefits across many sectors of the Canadian economy. In addition to generating benefits for Canadian consumers, an FTA with South Korea would better enable Canadian companies to tap into global value chains, take advantage of increased export opportunities, and employ South Korea as a strategic base for expanding their presence in Northeast Asia.
Update on Negotiations
Canada and Korea met for a thirteenth round of negotiations toward a Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) in Ottawa, March 25-28, 2008. The negotiations were well-advanced, but reached an impasse on a limited number of issues.
The resumption of Canadian beef exports to Korea in early 2012 was an important development in the bilateral relationship and created positive momentum. Building on this momentum, Canada and Korea have been actively engaged in discussions with a view to concluding in the FTA negotiations. Discussions continue between Canadian and Korean officials in order to identify the best way forward. Canada’s objective remains to conclude in the near term a high-quality agreement that promotes Canadian interests.
On November 19, 2004, the Prime Minister of Canada and President of the Republic of Korea announced that the two countries would begin talks to explore the feasibility of negotiating a free trade agreement. On July 15, 2005, the Canadian and South Korean trade ministers formally announced the launch of bilateral free trade negotiations.
Canada and Korea are established trade and investment partners. In 2012, Canadian merchandise exports to Korea were valued at $3.7 billion, while Canada's merchandise imports from Korea were $6.4 billion. Canada's exports of services to Korea amounted to $788 million, while services imports from Korea were valued at $376 million in 2010, the latest year for which this data is available. In 2011, Canadian foreign direct investment (FDI) in Korea was $365 million, while Korean FDI in Canada was over $6 billion.
- Date Modified: