Free trade agreements create competitive advantages so Canadian exporters can tap new markets in leading global economies like Japan and South Korea and create jobs for the middle class. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement are among the agreements that now provide Canadian farmers and producers with preferential market access to an estimated 1.5 billion consumers in more than 50 countries around the world.
The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, returned from a successful trade mission to Japan and South Korea, where he promoted Canadian canola exports and other agricultural products alongside industry representatives and trade ministers from Alberta and Saskatchewan.
In Japan, Minister Carr met with his counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister Responsible for Economic Revitalization, to discuss opportunities generated by the CPTPP. Minister Carr also visited companies involved in the agri-food sector, such as Costco Wholesale Japan, Nisshin Flour Mills, NYKK Oilseed, Mitsubishi and Itochu.
The Minister laid the foundation for an arrangement with Costco Wholesale Japan to increase the amount of Canadian high-quality products and nutritious agri-food items sold through the company’s extensive network of 26 stores.
Minister Carr and other G20 ministers concluded the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy in Tsukuba, Japan, with a statement that included a strong call for open markets and urgent World Trade Organization (WTO) reform. On the margins of the G20 meetings, Minister Carr discussed trade and investment opportunities with key counterparts, and hosted a meeting with some of the members of the Ottawa Group on WTO reform to further advance rules-based trade under the WTO. After meeting with Ruhsar Pekcan, Turkey’s Minister of Trade, Minister Carr also signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a Canada-Turkey joint economic and trade committee.
In South Korea, Minister Carr had a productive meeting with his counterpart, Yoo Myung-hee, Minister responsible for Trade to discuss future trade opportunities and their shared commitment to World Trade Organization reform. Minister Carr engaged with the local business community on canola and market diversification and met with top South Korean buyers of canola oil. The Minister also signed a joint statement with Lotte Mart, a leading South Korean retailer of food and beverage products, to expand their trade partnership with Canada.
“This successful trade mission to Japan and South Korea was a great way for government, provinces and industry to come together and find ways to increase sales for high-quality Canadian canola and other great agricultural products in these key markets. We can see that our trade agreement with South Korea and our new agreement with Asia and Pacific countries, including Japan, are creating new opportunities for Canadian producers and businesses looking to diversify into new markets so they can grow and create jobs for the middle class.”
– Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification
“We were pleased to host Minister Carr and his agriculture delegation, including canola exporters, which reaffirms the close relationship between Canada and Lotte Mart. With this joint statement, Lotte Mart will be able to introduce more quality Canadian products in our stores.”
– Young-Pyo Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Lotte Mart
Canada’s canola oil exports to Japan enjoy preferential tariff treatment under CPTPP. Japan’s tariffs on canola oil will be progressively eliminated by 2023.
Japan is Canada’s third-largest trading partner in agriculture and food.
Turkey is an important commercial partner for Canada, with over $3.6 billion in bilateral trade in 2018.
South Korea is the third-most-valuable market for Canadian canola oil exports. South Korean imports of canola oil from Canada in 2018 were more than double the value of imports in 2014, the year before the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement came into effect.