Strong Spirits Industry Support for Canada Korea Free Trade Deal

TORONTO, March 11, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Spirits Industry warmly welcomes the announcement of a successful conclusion to negotiations for a Canada - Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA).

Korea represents a very significant 50 million plus strong consumer market, a spirits-focused alcohol social culture and is amongst the top 10 largest global whisky markets.

"The elimination of the existing 20% import tariff and the formal recognition of Canadian Whisky and Canadian Rye Whisky by Korea will provide Canadian Spirits manufacturers with a real growth opportunity moving forward", said Jan Westcott, President & CEO of Spirits Canada.

Existing free trade deals between Korea and the E.U. and the U.S. had resulted in a significant reduction in Canadian exports in recent years.

"We understand that these were extremely challenging negotiations and we wish to extend our deep appreciation to Prime Minister Harper and Minister Fast, as well as to the department of foreign affairs, trade and development officials for their perseverance at the table and ensuring Canadian interests were protected", said Mr. Westcott.

Spirits annually represent nearly 70% of the total value of all Canadian beverage alcohol international exports, far surpassing the combined value beer, cider and wine shipments. International exports of Spirits in 2013 were in excess of half a billion dollars and were 20% more than the previous year.

Spirits Canada is the only national trade association representing Canadian spirits manufacturers, marketers, exporters and consumers. Member companies represent over 90% of annual spirits production in Canada.

SOURCE Spirits Canada

For further information:

Mr. Jan Westcott
President & CEO
Spirits Canada
416 707 8851