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Seoul, Republic of Korea – The Business Council of Canada (BCC) and the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) today announced a new strategic partnership to connect business leaders from both their countries, promote bilateral economic ties, and enhance co-operation as partners in the Indo-Pacific region. The announcement was made during a weeklong visit to the Republic of Korea by BCC President and CEO Goldy Hyder.

“Amid rising global volatility and protectionism, we must prioritize economic ties with likeminded countries such as Korea that share our firm commitment to both rules-based trade and democratic values,” said Mr. Hyder. “Advancing people-to-people ties between Canadian and Korean business leaders is an essential component of a successful economic relationship.”

Tae-shin Kwon, Vice Chairman and CEO of FKI, thanked the Business Council of Canada for supporting Korea’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and agreed to continue working together to make Korea’s ascension a success. “Considering the mutually complementary industrial structures of our two countries, we would have liked to have seen more co-operation between our business communities in the past,” said Mr. Tae-shin Kwon. “That’s why FKI and BCC have agreed on a new partnership to spur collaboration, especially in high-tech industries such as mobility, cleantech, energy, and IT.”

As a first step in formalizing their partnership, the BCC and FKI commissioned reports by the Asia Institute of the Munk School at the University of Toronto, led by Deanna Horton, and Lee & Ko Global Commerce Institute, led by former Trade Minister Tae-ho Bark, respectively outlining areas of opportunity for strengthened Canada-Korea trade and investment ties. These reports helped inform the BCC and FKI’s shared priorities:

  • Advocating for the Republic of Korea’s accession to the CPTPP on an urgent and expedited basis.
  • Promoting opportunities for Canadian and Korean businesses in key sectors – mobility, cleantech and energy, IT and communications technology, e-commerce, and professional services.
  • Organizing regular trade missions, exchanges, virtual events, and other forms of high-level engagement between Canadian and Korean business leaders.

Following the implementation of the 2015 Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) and the 2017 Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Agreement, the combined value of bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries has risen to USD$13.2 billion (2021).