CANADA - The final approval of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) will boost trade for the Canadian meat sector according to the Canadian Meat Council.
The CKFTA was signed on 22 September by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Korean President Park Geun-Hye.
Implementing legislation received Royal Assent in Canada on 26 November and was ratified by the Korean National Assembly on 2 December.
"We congratulate the governments and legislatures of both countries for their expeditious consideration of the long-awaited Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Ratification of the CKFTA allows Canadian meat processors and Korean importers to plan for the future with certainty," said Canadian Meat Council President Henry Mizrahi.
"Canada’s meat processors appreciate the strong support and personal involvement of Prime Minister Harper, International Trade Minister Ed Fast, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Ritz throughout the negotiation and ratification processes," added Mr Mizrahi.
"Canadian exports of beef and veal tumbled from C$234 million in 2011 to C$84 million in 2013 as our competitors gained preferential access to the critical Korean market,” said Canadian Meat Council Executive Director Jim Laws.
"Implementation of the CKFTA will allow the Canadian beef and pork sectors to begin the process of reclaiming our share of the important Korean market," added Mr Laws.
Characterised by an economy that ranks fifteenth in the world, a population of 50 million mostly middle income consumers, and an import demand that exceeds C$2 billion for beef and pork products annually, the South Korean market is highly coveted by all of the globe’s major meat exporting nations.
For countries without trade agreements, South Korean import tariffs are 40 per cent for chilled and frozen beef, 22.5 per cent for chilled pork and 25 per cent for frozen pork.
In the case of countries with free trade agreements, these tariffs are reduced progressively until they reach zero.
Canada’s meat processing industry includes some 400 federally registered establishments, providing safe, high quality protein for Canadian consumers as well as adding jobs and contributing to economic activity in both rural and urban communities across Canada.
With annual sales of C$23.6 billion, beef exports of $1.3 billion, pork exports of C$3.2 billion and 65,000 jobs, the Canadian meat industry is the largest component of this country’s food processing sector.
The Canadian Meat Council has been representing Canada’s federally inspected meat processing industry since 1919.
TheMeatSite News Desk