Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement: a Gateway to Asia-Pacific

Canada and South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, have concluded negotiations on a new free trade agreement that will take effect on January 1, 2015. Although exporters are the ones who benefit most from such agreements, chances are investors will not get left out.

Based on the Agreement summary released so far, the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement—Canada’s first with an Asian market—sets out transparent and predictable rules that contribute to a more secure and stable investment environment, including a new dispute settlement process, a “negative list” approach for listing reservations, and clauses on national treatment. The Agreement should help improve our investment climate, making Greater Montréal even more appealing and welcoming to South Korean investors.


Canada lost some of its market share in South Korea after the Asian country signed free trade agreements with the European Union in 2011 and the U.S. in 2012. Once in force, the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will once again give Montréal products preferential access to the South Korean market. The deal is a great opportunity for us to promote our key sectors, including pork, aircraft equipment and medical devices, to our South Korean partners and the entire Asia-Pacific region, which could in turn lead to increased South Korean investments in Greater Montréal.

In the past few years, South Korea has built a strong reputation as an economic and trade partner, as shown by the recent agreements it signed with two major players—the European Union and the U.S. Montréal International seized the opportunity and sent a team to South Korea last month to highlight the benefits of setting up shop in the Montréal area.

Kim Somers, Analyst
Economic Research Division

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