Canadian delegates seek to unlock Asian meat market opportunities

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Free trade agreement International trade Japan Beef Pork

Canadian meat sectors hope to unlock potential in Korea
Canadian meat sectors hope to unlock potential in Korea
Canadian agriculture minister Gerry Ritz is to lead a trade mission to the Republic of Korea, in a bid to unlock opportunities in the pork and beef markets, among others.

The 30-strong delegation of agriculture associations and companies will visit the country this week, following the conclusion of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) negotiations, last month.

During the mission, the delegation, which includes those from the Canadian beef and pork industries, will meet with key Korean associations and industry representatives to help leverage and differentiate Canadian products relative to competitors in the market.

The CKFTA is Canada’s first free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to the Canadian government, it will benefit the country’s beef and pork producers, providing preferential treatment and allowing Canada to compete with other beef and pork exporting countries in Korea.

The agreement will see the phasing-out of duties of up to 25% for fresh/chilled/frozen pork over five to 13 years; and duties that range from 40-72% for fresh/chilled and frozen beef cuts, as well as some processed beef, will be eliminated over 15 years.

Canadian meat exporters welcomed the deal, announced on 11 March. Jean-Guy Vincent, chair of the Canadian Pork Council, said last month: "The absence of a free trade agreement with Korea was causing substantial and growing prejudice to the Canadian pork industry, due to the tariff rates since all of our key competitors in South Korea have FTAs in place."

According to the Canadian government, its share of South Korean fresh, chilled and frozen pork imports dropped from 14.2% in 2010 (before the implementation of the KORUS and Korea-EU free trade agreement) to 8.9% in 2013 – a loss in export value of $22m. Over the same period, the US and EU market share increased by 10.2%.

Ritz said: "The Canada-Korea FTA holds tremendous potential for Canada’s agricultural exporters. With negotiations now complete, this mission will help build important industry-to-industry agricultural trade ties needed to gain a competitive edge in the lucrative Korean market."

Following the visit to Korea, Ritz will travel with industry representatives to Japan to advance Canada’s agricultural trade interests through meetings with key Japanese government officials, agriculture associations, and industry players.

Related topics Meat

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