Citing the government’s commitment to Canadian farmers and farm families, Minister of International Trade Diversification, Jim Carr, is headed to South Korea and Japan. The trade mission will also include Jeremy Harrison, trade and export development minister for Saskatchewan, along with Tanya Fir, trade and tourism minister for Alberta.
“This trade mission to Japan and South Korea is part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing effort to sell high-quality Canadian canola and other agricultural products to alternative markets,” says Carr. “We are focused on opening doors, providing on-the-ground support so that companies can compete and succeed on the international playing field, and creating business-to-business connections for Canadian producers, companies and provinces looking to expand into these thriving Asian markets.”
During the trip, ministers will be promoting the export of Canadian canola, as part of their commitment to tap into alternative markets and find new customers for Canadian agricultural products.
“This mission shows private and public-sector actors in Japan and Korea that Alberta is open for business,” Fir adds. “Market access and diversification is a critical issue for Alberta’s farmers, ranchers and food and forestry manufacturers, and I’m proud to be part of this mission to promote our world-class agricultural and forestry sectors, and open more doors for Alberta producers and processors so they can continue to grow and succeed here at home.”
First stop will be Tokyo, where the group will meet with Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister Carr’s counterpart on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), to discuss export opportunities created by the agreement in both countries. The federal trade minister will also address the Japanese Grain Importers Association and engage with representatives in the oilseeds industry, further building on Canada and Japan’s strong trading relationship, which currently includes substantial imports of Canadian canola, wheat and barley.
Then, once in Seoul, the delegation will meet with industry stakeholders and companies, such as Lotte Mart, that have seized business opportunities offered by the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA). Carr will also meet with his counterpart Yoo Myung-hee, Minister for Trade, to discuss Canada’s trade diversification strategy.
“With Asian markets continuing to import more food every year, it is crucial we promote the safe, reliable and high-quality agri-food products Saskatchewan has to offer,” Harrison explains. “Japan and South Korea remain two of Saskatchewan’s most important and valued customers and it is important we strengthen those relationships.”
Last year, Canada exported more than $11 billion in canola products to over 50 markets.