Federal Ag Minister Lawrence MacAulay recently concluded a week-long trip to Japan and South Korea. He met with the Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ken Saito, and the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Katsunobu Kato, to highlight Canada and Japan's longstanding and collaborative trade relationship, and to reaffirm its importance in the context of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which was officially signed last week in Santiago, Chile.
"Canada is building strong markets in Asia for our agricultural products, which will benefit our farmers and food processors, and help grow the middle-class at home and abroad," said MacAulay. "There are great opportunities available through shared markets that will help us strengthen our agriculture and food trade relationship, and provide consumers with more of our high-quality, innovative foods and beverages."
The CPTPP will provide enhanced market access to key Asian markets, including Japan. This landmark agreement will give the Canadian agricultural industry preferential access to all CPTPP countries and will provide new market access opportunities for a wide range of Canadian products, including meat, grains, pulses, maple syrup, seafood and agri-food.
The Minister also attended FOODEX Japan 2018, Asia's largest professional trade show for food and beverages. The event hosted over 80,000 buyers from a variety of businesses including food services, distribution and trading. MacAulay used the opportunity to promote Canada's world-class agricultural products and highlight trade opportunities. In terms of sales, industry representatives reported some 7.2 million in on-site sales, and 15.5 million in anticipated sales, over the next year.
MacAulay, along with a delegation of Canadian industry stakeholders, met with representatives from Costco Japan. He discussed the success of Canada's high-quality pork exports and congratulated Costco on their decision to exclusively import Canadian pork at all of their Japanese stores.
In South Korea, MacAulay met with government officials, as well as representatives from a range of domestic industry groups. This included retailer Lotte Mart, an East-Asian superstore operating 122 branches in the country, and the Korean Meat Importers Association, which operates closely with the South Korean government to facilitate trade.
Once the CPTPP enters into force, it will be one of the largest free trade agreements in the world—11 countries representing nearly 500 million people, with a combined GDP of $13.5 trillion, or 13.5% of global GDP.
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