Montréal, March 11, 2014 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal welcomes the announcement of a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea, which will benefit Montréal businesses.
“The strategy to diversify export markets for Canadian businesses will be furthered by gaining preferred access to major markets that are experiencing strong growth,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade. “East Asia is one of the most promising markets in this respect, but Canadian exporters currently do not have free trade conditions with any country in the region. Once the agreement with South Korea takes effect, for the first time they will have a commercial advantage in a country in the region.”
“With this agreement, the Government of Canada is responding to calls from Canadian exporters to defend their market share in South Korea,” Michel Leblanc continued. “Their American and European competitors already have preferred access. This puts Canadian companies at a disadvantage, and we congratulate the negotiators on reaching an agreement that will put exporters on equal footing in developing this dynamic market.”
“We hope that agreements with other Asian countries will follow in the coming years, particularly with China, Japan and India,” Michel Leblanc said. “The Government of Canada has initiated negotiations with each of these economic giants, and we encourage them to waste no time in pursuing them, for the benefit of local companies.”
“We encourage Canadian Members of Parliament to ratify this agreement as soon as possible and thereby restore the competitiveness of our businesses in South Korea,” Michel Leblanc said. “In the mean time, the Board of Trade’s team of international trade experts, the World Trade Centre Montréal, will help companies prepare for when the agreement comes into force, notably through training and trade missions.”
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.
About the World Trade Centre Montréal
With the help of its World Trade Montréal experts, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal offers international trade services to the extended business community, with the support of Canada Economic Development.
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Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042
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