Canada-Korea FTA Means Better Access to South Korean Market for Canadian Wheat
The new Canada-Korea FTA will level the playing field for Canadian wheat and other agricultural products.
(Calgary, Alberta) – The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA), announced today by the Government of Canada will give Canadian agricultural products better access to the South Korean market and allow Canada to level the playing field with our largest competitors.
"It is important for the agriculture industry that we have the same trade opportunities as our major competitors for wheat," says Kent Erickson, Chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission. "Canada has been at a tariff disadvantage, compared to our United States (U.S.) competitors, who have seen reduced or eliminated tariffs."
The CKFTA, which has been in the works for the past decade, will include the immediate removal of all tariffs on Canadian wheat imports. Without the FTA in place, Canadian agricultural exports to South Korea have faced high tariffs, which averaged 52.7% in 2012 and resulted in a decrease of agricultural exports to Korea.
"In addition to opening up the market for Canadian wheat in South Korea, the CKFTA will help expand free trade with other countries in the Asian-Pacific regions," explains Erickson. "We know there is opportunity for the Asian-Pacific region to have significant economic growth for Canadian imports, including wheat."
From 2010-2012, Canada exported an average value of $273 million of wheat to South Korea.According to the Korea Flour Mills Industrial Association, South Korea has eight flour milling companies and 11 plants, with an annual capacity of 3,082,500 tonnes. With Koreans consuming more wheat and animal protein, there is tremendous opportunity to grow this market for Canadian wheat. Once ratified, the CKFTA could boost Canada’s economy by $1.7 billion, and allow Canada to remain the topfive agri-food exporter in the world.
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The Alberta Wheat Commission is a producer-directed organization representing the interests of and serving as a single voice for all of Alberta’s 11,000 wheat producers. www.albertawheat.com