Free Trade Agreement Brings Opportunities for B.C. Companies

Free Trade Agreement Brings Opportunities for B.C. Companies

January 8, 2015 Posted by

Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat and a delegation of BC seafood businesses met with Korean companies and stakeholders in business-to-business meetings in Korea

The new year brings exciting opportunities for British Columbia companies interested in the Korea market and the beginning of a new trade relationship with the North Asian country.  On Jan. 1, 2015, the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) officially went into effect. The agreement is the first of its kind for Canada with an Asian country and has a special significance for British Columbia, with half of Canada's exports to South Korea originating from British Columbia.

As B.C. and Canada have been competing with other countries that already have free trade agreements with South Korea, such as the United States, Australia and the European Union, this agreement will now put the province on a more equal footing.

South Korea is B.C.'s fourth-largest trading partner, and with this trade agreement now in effect, exports of goods and services are expected to increase substantially and positively impact B.C.'s forestry, seafood, agri-foods and processed foods sectors.

For the seafood sector the benefits from the agreement will be significant with the removal of South Korean tariffs on fish and seafood products, which currently average 16.5%. Nearly 70% of fish and seafood tariff lines will be duty free within five years, and all remaining duties will be eliminated by 2026.

Promoting British Columbia’s vibrant seafood sector was one of the key objectives of International Trade Minister Teresa Wat’s recent trade mission to Asia which included a visit to South Korea. She was accompanied by the a B.C. seafood delegation during her visit to the country.  The delegation had the opportunity to meet with South Korean companies to explore business opportunities and discuss how they can work together to capitalize on the advantages of the CKFTA. These meetings, along with other events, were organized by British Columbia’s South Korea Trade and Investment team located in Seoul.

For more information on opportunities in the Korea market or to speak to a Trade and Investment representative, visit our website.

Read more about the benefits relating to the CKFTA:
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