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Minister Ritz Grows Agricultural Trade Relationships in Key Asian Markets

Minister Ritz Leads Delegation to Create New Export Opportunities in the Republic of Korea and to Increase Agricultural Trade Ties with Japan

TOKYO, JAPAN -- (Marketwired) -- 04/17/14 -- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has completed a successful agricultural trade mission to Korea and Japan. In Korea, he led a delegation of more than 30 agriculture associations and companies to seize on the opportunities for agriculture trade, following the announcement, on March 11, 2014, that Canada and Korea had concluded negotiations for the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA).

The Minister and delegation met with key Korean import interests to boost agriculture trade ties following the conclusion of the CKFTA negotiations. While in Korea, Canada's high-quality products were also showcased during a cooking demonstration and Exporter Cafe, for a large number of Korean importers. Minister Ritz and industry representatives also secured commitments to increase sales of wheat, pork and processed foods from a number of importers.

Minister Ritz held numerous meetings with key agricultural trade interests in Japan and held a bilateral discussion with Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi. He used this meeting to underscore the importance of making progress in negotiations for both the Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Minister Ritz also promoted increased Japanese imports of Canadian beef and pork, and investment into Canada's agri-food sector. He assured his agricultural counterpart and importers of Canada's efforts in addressing challenges related to transportation infrastructure and timely grain export shipments. Importers from both Japan and Korea expressed appreciation for the concrete measures the Government is taking to ensure Canada's reputation as a reliable shipper.

Quick Facts


--  As Canada's first free trade agreement in Asia, the CKFTA holds
    tremendous potential for Canada's agricultural exporters. With Canada's
    annual agri-food and seafood exports to Korea already worth an average
    of $691 million from 2011 to 2013, Canada ranks as Korea's 12th-largest
    supplier of agri-food and seafood products. The CKFTA will enhance this
    trade relationship.

--  Canada currently ranks as Japan's third-largest supplier of agri-food
    and seafood products, with our annual exports to Japan reaching $4.1
    billion in 2013.

--  A fifth round of Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement
    negotiations recently took place March 24 to 28, 2014, in Japan.


Quotes

"Our Government is pleased to help Canada's hard-working agricultural exporters make important trade ties in two key Asian markets, Korea and Japan," said Minister Ritz. "With the recent conclusion of negotiations towards a Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, our visit successfully set the stage for our exporters looking to increase their competitiveness in this lucrative market."

- Gerry Ritz, Agriculture Minister

Associated Links

- Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement webpage: http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/korea-coree/index.aspx?lang=eng

- Minister Ritz to Lead Agriculture Trade Mission to the Republic of Korea Following Conclusion of Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

- Minister Ritz in the Republic of Korea to Promote Canada's High-Quality Food

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Contacts:
Jeff English
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

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