Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA)

Provincial and Territorial Benefits

The Government of Canada is focused on creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country.

Our long-term prosperity depends on our ability to take advantage of economic opportunities in emerging markets. The most recent Speech from the Throne committed to expanding trade in Asia to benefit Canadian workers, businesses and industries across the country. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) delivers on that commitment.

On September 22, 2014, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea, witnessed the signature of the CKFTA by Minister Fast and Minister Yoon Sang-jick, Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy. The CKFTA entered into force on January 1, 2015, following the prompt ratification of the Agreement in both countries. In accordance with the strong desire of stakeholders for swift entry into force, the timeline for CKFTA implementation represents the fastest ever achieved for a Canadian FTA, as it moved from signature of the Agreement to entry into force in just over three months.

This landmark achievement constitutes Canada’s first FTA in the Asia-Pacific region and provides new access for Canadian businesses and workers to Korea, the world’s 11th-largest economy and fourth-largest economy in Asia, with an annual GDP of $1.8 trillion and a population of 50 million people. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will create thousands of jobs for Canadians by increasing Canadian exports to Korea by 32 percent and boosting Canada’s economy by $1.7 billion.  It levels the playing field for Canadian businesses competing with Korea’s other trading partners, including the United States, the European Union, and Australia, who already have FTAs in place with Korea.  Since the agreement entered into force on January 1, 2015, 85% of Canada’s exports benefit from duty free market access into Korea, and as of January 1, 2017, 93% of Canada’s exports are eligible for duty free access. Upon full implementation of the CKFTA on January 1, 2032, Korean tariffs will be eliminated on 99.75% of Canada’s current exports. The Agreement benefits workers in every region of the country by increasing sales and exports and gives consumers more choice and lowers prices.

While Korea is a major economic player in its own right and a key market for Canada, it also serves as a gateway for Canadian businesses and workers to the dynamic Asia-Pacific region as a whole. As a result, Canadian companies can take greater advantage of Korea as a strategic base for expanding their presence in regional and global value chains.

Being well-positioned in this region is critical to Canada’s own long-term economic prosperity.

With more than 50 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and Korea, an FTA was the natural next step in a dynamic relationship between two nations committed to economic growth and development through free trade.