VANCOUVER, March 17, 2014 /CNW/ - "The Canada-Korea Trade Agreement will help our producers to fulfil their potential and expand into new markets," says Chris Sporer, Executive Director of the Seafood Producers Association of British Columbia, the largest organization of wild seafood processing companies on Canada's Pacific coast.
The BC wild seafood industry exports approximately 80% of its production. As an export industry, access to world seafood markets is one of the key things needed for business success. International trade agreements enable the industry to achieve this access.
"Seafood is the most valuable agrifood food export commodity from British Columbia – about $1 billion per year, and the wild seafood industry accounts for almost two thirds of that export value," notes Sporer.
Under the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, all South Korean tariffs on fish and seafood products will be eliminated. There will be immediate tariff elimination for Pacific salmon and almost 70% of Canadian fish and seafood products will be duty-free within five years. All remaining duties will be eliminated within 12 years.
"The US-Korea free trade arrangement which went into effect in 2012 is eagerly being seized on by our Alaskan competitors and we were in danger of being left behind – we know there are benefits to a free trade agreement with Korea because our Alaskan competitors are already enjoying them," notes Sporer.
Canada's Pacific wild seafood industry generates approximately $810 million in annual revenues and contributes more in terms of GDP, employment and wages & salaries than either aquaculture or tidal recreational fishing.
The wild seafood industry on Canada's Pacific coast is comprised of commercial fishing and seafood processing and provides a secure and nutritious food source for Canada and the world. Canada also has a rigorous regulatory framework in place that protects the public health of Canadian and international seafood consumers and the integrity of domestic and international supply chains.
The Seafood Producers Association of British Columbia applauds the Government of Canada's efforts to deepen and broaden our country's trade with South Korea.
SOURCE: Seafood Producers Association of British Columbia
For further information: Chris Sporer, Executive Director, Seafood Producers Association of British Columbia, 604-725-2524, [email protected]