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Prime Minister strengthens ties with the Republic of Korea

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today concluded a successful bilateral visit to the Republic of Korea (Korea) on the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries, where he continued to strengthen ties and grow our economies.

Canada and Korea have a strong history of shared values and priorities, including defending democracy and standing up for human rights. They also share a dynamic trade relationship, especially in sectors like clean energy, critical minerals, and emerging technologies.

While in Seoul, the Prime Minister held an extended bilateral meeting with the President of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol, where the two leaders reiterated their mutual commitment to deepening their friendship, coordinating closely on regional and global issues, and strengthening economic ties. Both leaders reaffirmed the importance of the Canada-Korea Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and agreed to continue working together to defend shared values, grow the economy to benefit everyone, and create good, middle-class jobs and opportunities for people and businesses in both countries. Prime Minister Trudeau also welcomed President Yoon’s agreement to join the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge, a Canadian initiative to encourage the adoption of carbon pollution pricing systems which will fight climate change and grow the economy. In Canada, carbon pollution pricing remains a key pillar of Canada’s climate plan because it is one of the most effective ways to cut pollution while making life more affordable for families.

As the world continues to face increasingly complex challenges, the two leaders underscored the importance of economic and energy security, democracy, and human rights. They agreed to work closely together to defend the rules-based international order, specifically in the Indo-Pacific and North Pacific regions, and enhance collaboration through information sharing, defence, and maritime security. Both leaders also discussed their commitment to gender equality, including advancing the meaningful participation of women in defence & security, peace operations and peace negotiations.

The Prime Minister also addressed the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, where he celebrated the strong relationship between our countries and ties between our people. He highlighted the deepening partnership between the two countries, underscored the importance of democracy and democratic institutions, and outlined key steps taken by both countries to create jobs, support families, and protect the environment.

As part of its Indo-Pacific Strategy, Canada will strengthen critical minerals, hydrogen, and clean energy sources, to continue positioning Canada as a responsible and reliable supplier. Given new opportunities presented by Korea’s increased demand for critical minerals, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Yoon witnessed the signing of a new landmark Memorandum of Understanding on Critical Mineral Supply Chains, the Clean Energy Transition, and Energy Security. This recognizes the leading role both countries can play as reliable players in the critical minerals and electric vehicles supply chains. It will continue to drive trade between the two countries, grow our economies, and create good middle-class jobs on both sides of the Pacific.

Recognizing the strength of Canada and Korea’s trade partnership, the Prime Minister met with Korean business leaders during his time in Seoul. These meetings helped further position Canada as an investment destination of choice with a highly skilled and talented workforce, low-cost clean energy, a world-leading clean mining sector, and an excellent research community. The Prime Minister also highlighted the importance of working together on supply chains, critical minerals, and innovative research.

Prime Minister Trudeau and President Yoon also announced a new Youth Mobility Arrangement, which will increase work and travel opportunities available to young Canadians and Koreans. It will also help young people gain valuable experience and deepen ties between our peoples.

Before leaving Korea, Prime Minister Trudeau will stop in Gapyeong where he will officially open the Kapyong trail and take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Canadian Monument to honour Canada’s heroic contributions during the Korean War in particular the battle of Kapyong. The event will bring together youth, serving military members, and veterans.


“Canada and Korea share a close friendship built on historic ties and shared values. In the face of unprecedented global challenges, this visit has helped reaffirm that Korea is a strong and trusted partner to Canada, and I am confident that we will continue to work together to create a better future and a stronger economy for Canadians and Koreans alike. As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, I know that we will continue to deepen our ties for a successful next 60 years.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

  • Korea is Canada’s seventh largest trading partner, the sixth largest merchandise export market, and the sixth largest source of merchandise imports.
  • Canada-Korea two-way merchandise trade is robust and reached $21.9 billion in 2022. In the same year, Canada exported $8.6 billion of merchandise to Korea, consisting primarily of mineral ores, mineral fuels and oils, precious stones and metals, pulp of wood, and meat.
  • In 2021, Canadian investments in Korea were valued at $174 million. Canadian companies are active in several sectors including insurance, real estate, manufacturing, and transportation. Korean direct investment in Canada was valued at $ 7.9 billion in 2021, primarily in the energy sector (oil, gas, and renewables).
  • In 2023, Canada and Korea are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations. Canada’s involvement during the Korean War (1950-1953) and sustained positive political and economic cooperation contribute to the close relationship between the two countries.
  • In Seoul, Prime Minister Trudeau was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne.
  • During his time in Korea, the Prime Minister took part in a ceremonial visit to the Seoul National Cemetery, where he paid tribute to fallen Korean and United Nations Command allied heroes. He also visited the grave of Dr. Frank Schofield – a Canadian veterinarian and Protestant missionary who contributed to Korea’s independence movement.
  • Released in the fall of 2022, Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy sets out the importance of Canada’s bilateral relationship with Korea including on regional security, the transition to clean energy, artificial intelligence, cyber security, economic and energy security, critical minerals and electric vehicle battery supply chains, agriculture and agri-food, and trade corridor infrastructure.
  • Korea’s Strategy for a Free, Peaceful, and Prosperous Indo-Pacific Region mentions Canada as a key partner, and supports increased cooperation on several fronts, including climate change response and emerging technologies.
  • Contributing the third largest number of soldiers among the United Nations countries, Canada had dispatched 26,791 soldiers to the Republic of Korea between 1950 and 1953. As a result of the Korean War, 516 Canadians died. Another 16 soldiers have not been found and five sailors were lost at sea.

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