British Columbia commends the Government of Canada for reaching a free trade agreement with South Korea.
South Korea is one of the province's priority markets and by improving trade, economic and government-to-government relations with our South Korean partners, it will promote economic growth and job creation here in B.C.
"British Columbians gave us a mandate to strengthen the economy. A free trade agreement with South Korea will directly result in economic growth and jobs in B.C.," said Premier Christy Clark. "This deal will hopefully be the first in a series of trade agreements, creating new opportunities with our other priority markets in Asia."
The provincial government has long been advocating for the federal government to work quickly to conclude negotiations for this long-overdue agreement. In recent years, South Korea has signed free trade agreements with many of the province's key competitors - the European Union, the United States and Australia - putting British Columbia at a significant disadvantage and eroding B.C.'s market share.
"With our competitive advantages and with a level playing field, we know that B.C. can compete and win in South Korea and the Asia Pacific," said Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy. "And those benefits will be realized as we continue to diversify our international trade and open new markets for our businesses, workers and investors."
Now that Canada has reached an agreement with South Korea, British Columbians can be assured that this deal will provide clear advantages for B.C. companies doing business in this key market. Local exporters will have improved, real market access opportunities, especially in the forestry, natural gas, seafood and agri-foods sectors.
In the coming weeks, the Government of British Columbia will review the deal in detail for additional opportunities and any potential impacts.
- This is Canada's first free trade agreement with an Asian country.
- South Korea is Canada's seventh-largest trading partner - and British Columbia's fourth-largest, with over 50% of Canada's exports to Korea originating in B.C.
- The provincial government has operated a Trade and Investment Representative Office in Seoul since 2008.
- Last fall, Premier Christy Clark led her second trade mission to South Korea to deepen British Columbia's relationship, meet high-level decision-makers, and advance B.C.'s efforts to develop the liquefied natural gas sector.
- South Korea has the second-largest LNG industry in the world, behind Japan.
Office of the Premier
Ministry of International Trade