Joint Statement by the President of the Republic of Korea and the Prime Minister of Canada

Seoul, Korea
11 March 2014

Over the last half century, Canada and the Republic of Korea (ROK) have developed friendly and cooperative relations, as natural partners who share common values and have mutually complementary economic structures. Now, welcoming the conclusion of the negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement between Korea and Canada, we are pleased to express our strong commitment to raise our partnership to a new level. This statement represents our firm will to strengthen our cooperation in political, economic, cultural, people-to-people exchange and other realms and to expand our strategic collaboration in regional and international fora.

Announcing the conclusion of the negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement

Today’s announcement of the successful conclusion of negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Korearepresents a landmark achievement on the heels of the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. This historic initiative will further strengthen relations between the ROK and Canada. We are committed to finalizing the legal review and required domestic procedures expeditiously with the mutual intention that the Agreement will enter into force as soon as possible.

The Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Korea is a 21st century trade agreement that will strengthen our trade and investment ties across the Pacific, translating into increased export opportunities, innovative partnerships, as well as creating jobs and economic opportunities for Koreans and Canadians alike. The Agreementcovers virtually all sectors of Canada-ROK trade, including increased access for goods, services and investment, enhanced predictability and transparency in our respective markets, disciplines on non-tariff measures and strengthened cooperation in areas of mutual interest. Once implemented, the Agreement is expected to bring significant benefits for the Canadian and Korean economies, business communities, including small and medium enterprises, and consumers.

The Free Trade Agreement between Korea and Canada will unlock the full potential of our economic relations and lay the foundation for a new era of mutually beneficial bilateral relations.

Launching a new era in our bilateral relations

As strong economic partners, we recognize great opportunities for economic cooperation in various areas including energy and natural resources, innovation, science and technology, and Arctic research and development.

Noting with satisfaction the significant development of relations between our two countries and the expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation, we endeavour to upgrade our relationship. This reflects our long-term commitment to work together on areas of common interest and enables our two countries to protect and promote our shared goals in regional and global issues.

As such, we underline our desire for sustainable peace and stability on the KoreanPeninsula as envisioned in the Trust-Building Process initiated by President Park Geun-hye. In this regard, we urge North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear and ballistic missile programs, including its uranium enrichment program in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.  Further to this, we share the vision of peaceful unification of the KoreanPeninsula based on the principles of free democracy and a market economy, which will bring a better future for all Koreans. We emphasize the significance and role of regional dialogue and cooperation as a means of building trust in Northeast Asia.

We note that our partnership has been and will be strengthened through historically rich ties among our people, as demonstrated by the large Korean-Canadian community’s contributions to the vitality of the Canadian society. We reaffirm our commitment to facilitate and expand people-to-people exchange.

As natural partners, we look forward to working together for opening new horizons in our relations.