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News Release: Business Council of British Columbia points to benefits of Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement

March 10, 2014 (Vancouver, BC) - The Business Council of British Columbia today welcomed the Government of Canada’s announcement that negotiations to establish a bilateral free trade agreement with South Korea have been successfully concluded.

“The federal government has worked long and hard to secure a free trade agreement with South Korea,” said Greg D'Avignon, President and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia.  “We applaud the Prime Minister, International Trade Minister Fast and his senior officials for their efforts to get this significant agreement over the finish line.”

“South Korea is one of the largest and most prosperous of all emerging economies.  It is a priority market for Canada, and is particularly important for British Columbia,” said D’Avignon.

“British Columbia’s merchandise exports to South Korea have doubled since 2004, and we expect to see additional growth thanks to the improved market access provided by this agreement,” said Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer of the Business Council.  “Among the BC industry sectors expected to benefit from the agreement with South Korea are wood products, pulp and paper, energy, mining and metallic minerals, and agri-food.  Other B.C. sectors that should gain from the development of stronger two-way commercial ties with South Korea are tourism, post-secondary education, clean technology, and tradable service industries such as engineering, environmental services, and some parts of financial services.”

“We believe this agreement will afford advantages for British Columbians that wish to do business in the Korean market,” added Mr. D’Avignon.  “Concluding this free trade agreement with South Korea will also ensure that Canadian companies are no longer placed at a competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis American businesses in the Korean market because of the previously implemented US-South Korea FTA.”

The Business Council also supports the Government of Canada’s efforts to conclude trade agreements with other Asian commercial partners and to make sure that Canada is part of the evolving negotiations taking place under the rubric of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  

The Business Council of British Columbia, now in its 48th year as the premier business organization in BC, is a non-partisan organization made up of 250 leading companies, post-secondary institutions and organizations from across BC’s diverse economy which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the province.  

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 Media Contact:

Cheryl Maitland Muir
Business Council of British Columbia
cheryl.muir@bcbc.com 
604-812-5965