Wall Street Journal: “New Zealand Completes Free Trade Negotiations With South Korea”

Wall Street Journal: “New Zealand Completes Free Trade Negotiations With South Korea”

Deal Expected to be Signed Once it is Legally Verified and Translated


WELLINGTON, New Zealand—New Zealand and South Korea have completed free trade negotiations with the agreement expected to be signed once it had been legally verified and translated.

New Zealand’s government announced over the weekend that it was very pleased that the two countries had completed the negotiations for a free-trade agreement.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye (R) and New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key announce the two countries have struck a free trade agreement  in Brisbane, Australia Saturday.ENLARGE
South Korean President Park Geun-hye (R) and New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key announce the two countries have struck a free trade agreement in Brisbane, Australia Saturday. YONHAP/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

“The FTA will put New Zealand exporters back on a level playing field with competitors from Korea’s other FTA partners, such as the United States, Chile and the European Union,” said New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key in a statement.

South Korea is New Zealand’s sixth largest export destination for goods and services and eighth largest import source of goods and services, with total two-way trade of 4 billion New Zealand dollar ($3.1 billion) in the year ending June 2014.

On entry into force, tariffs will be eliminated on 48% of current New Zealand exports, while tariffs cuts under this will create an estimated duty saving of NZ$65 million in the first year alone. Duties on New Zealand’s current exports will largely be eliminated within 15 years of entry into force, according to the government.

“There are positive outcomes for agricultural exports, as well as the forestry sector, the fisheries industry and exporters of all industrial goods. Government procurement, trade in services and investment are all subject to high quality commitments,” said Minister of Trade Tim Groser.

Write to Lucy Craymer at Lucy.Craymer@wsj.com

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The Globe and Mail: “Which Companies Will Benefit from the South Korean Trade Deal?”

Which companies will benefit from the South Korean trade deal?


Special to The Globe and Mail


Last updated 

The Canada-South Korea free-trade agreement, which took effect on Sept. 22, is set to help Canadian companies boost sales to the East Asian country’s 50 million citizens, many of whom have plenty of disposable income.

The agreement will eventually put Canada on an equal footing with the European Union and the United States, which already have trade pacts with the country.

Among the Canadian sectors that stand to benefit are seafood, wine and forestry products.

Feeling the pinch

About 15 Canadian and 15 American companies ship lobster to South Korea, but since 2012, tariffs on American lobsters were dropped, and their exports skyrocketed.

“The Americans are 2-1/2 years ahead of us, but better late than never,” said Stewart Lamont, managing director of Nova Scotia’s Tangier Lobster Co. Ltd.

In 2013, $905-million worth of Atlantic Canada lobsters were exported, making them Canada’s most valuable seafood export.

But Canadian lobsters entering South Korea carry a tariff of 20 per cent. The new agreement will see nearly 70 per cent of fish and seafood lines become duty-free within five years and all remaining duties erased within 12 years.

Mr. Lamont says Canada’s harder-shelled, meatier lobster is superior to the U.S. product and less costly than Australia’s “rock lobster” variety.

South Korea has a big appetite for seafood and a vibrant restaurant culture and is a “wonderful place to do business,” said Mr. Lamont, who has 13 years of experience doing business there.

In 2012, South Korea ranked ninth as an export destination for Canadian fish and seafood, with those products worth $44.8-million, and nearly $17-million of that from lobster.

Canada has been a small player in South Korea’s voracious seafood marketplace, says Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada. With the trade pact in force, he predicts Canadian lobster exports will rise, assisted by storage technology that allows live lobsters to be held for months, and a reputation for a sustainable product from a pristine environment.

In May, Korean Air Cargo launched weekly lobster shipments to Incheon, South Korea, from Halifax’s Stanfield International Airport. The trip takes 38 hours for boxes filled with live lobsters and surrounded by ice.

A toast to the future

South Koreans aren’t known for drinking wine, but as the health benefits of red wine filter into the country’s psyche, Canadian vintners are smiling.

“South Korea has a real interest in red wine,” said Miles Prodan, president of the B.C. Wine Institute. “There is a marked shift from hard liquor toward wine.”

In 2012, just 1 per cent of all alcohol consumed in South Korea was wine. But from 2002 to 2012, the value of imported wine rose to $147-million (U.S.) from $28-million, Mr. Prodan said. Continue reading…

South Korea Seeks Powerhouse FTA Central America Block

South Korea Seeks Powerhouse FTA Central America Block

The government of South Korea seeks to be a powerhouse player in Central America by attempting to negotiate a free trade agreement with the entire region as one market.

In the coming months the governments of Central and South Korea begin formal negotiations with a view to signing a Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

According to the South Korean ambassador in Nicaragua, Soon Tae Kim, there is his country’s interest to enhance trade relations with the region, but as one market. “My government is currently studying with Central American countries in this regard (the feasibility of the FTA). It finished a feasibility study last year and will start in the near future negotiations to sign this agreement, “he said.

The diplomat expressed confidence that negotiations do not extend to the FTA “will be signed as soon as possible.”

BRIDGE TO OTHER REGIONS Point the ambassador that the benefits for Central America are in advantage that South Korea is an economic power and has trade agreements with the European Union, the United States, other Asian and Latin American countries like Chile and Peru, and in July signed the FTA with Colombia .

Orlando Solorzano, Minister of Commerce, identifies that the FTA with South Korea seeks more than just growing the business. “Korea has production capacity, capital and technology and we have land, agricultural potential, food processing and possess both strategic positions in each of our regions. We take that to together produce goods that can be distributed not only in Korea and Central America, but internationally.

After two years still there is no FTA with the Central America Countries, pending questions are still with no answers so it will be until 2015 that things might get closer to be done.


Brazil – Asia Relations and their Perspectives

Brazil – Asia Relations and their Perspectives


Brazil has 1 million people of Japanese descent and consequently entertains close relations with this country. In the 1970s Brazil launched an important political and economic co-operation with the PR China, and in the last ten years close relations have been developed with the ASEAN nations, South Korea, and India in the field of trade, investments, technological and nuclear projects and in the diplomatic arena. After the creation of MERCOLSUL in 1991, Asian countries stepped up their interest in the region, not because of burgeoning economic possibilities, but also as a strategy to search for alternatives to the growing US hegemony. Continue reading…

South Korea and Mexico Have Become Good Partners

South Korea and Mexico Have Become Good Partners

In the 1900’s, there were many Koreans living on the Korean Peninsula who were seeking immigration in search of a better life. At that time, Korea was under Japanese rule, and life became a struggle for the Koreans. On February 28, 1905, 1,033 Koreans immigrated from Korea to Mexico. The Japanese sold these Koreans as slaves, and they were required to work as slaves when they arrived in Mexico. They left Incheon that day, and the journey to Mexico began. These people became the first generation of Korean immigrants in Mexico. Continue reading…

Chile, Korea Build a Future on Friendly Firsts (FTA)

Chile, Korea Build a Future on Friendly Firsts

If you know the story of the Chilean and Korean relationship, it may seem like a fairy tale. Among Latin American countries, Chile was the first country to recognize the Korean government on May 27, 1949. The agreement on establishing ambassadors was June 12, 1962, and they have kept friendly and cooperative relations from the establishment of diplomatic ties. Continue reading…

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