VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 12, 2014) - Port Metro Vancouver welcomes the announcement today of a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea. The agreement, which will significantly strengthen the trading relationship between both countries, is an important development for Port Metro Vancouver, which serves as a key link in the Asia-Pacific Gateway.
"Port Metro Vancouver is very pleased with the conclusion of a free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea," said Robin Silvester, President and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver. "This is an important step forward in the growing trade relationship between our two countries. South Korea is our port's third-largest trading partner in Asia, with trade through Vancouver of more than 200,000 containers per year including commodities like grain from the Prairies and natural resources from British Columbia."
South Korea is a key market for Canada's resources, which come from provinces across the country. The top five export commodities to South Korea are thermal and metallurgical coal, wood pulp, lumber, ores and concentrates.
Through Port Metro Vancouver, which is the country's largest and busiest port, Canada also imports the goods and commodities that Canadians rely upon throughout their daily lives. From construction materials and metals to household goods, vehicles and parts, Canadians will benefit from this new chapter in the trading relationship between the two countries.
According to Mr. Silvester, "This trade liberalization agreement will further increase the $10 billion in annual two-way trade between Canada and South Korea, creating jobs and driving economic growth across Canada."
The trade agreement also complements Port Metro Vancouver's future growth plans such as the proposed Terminal 2 expansion at Roberts Bank. The project, once complete, will provide an additional 2.4 million twenty-foot equivalent unit containers (TEU) of capacity to Port Metro Vancouver-placing the region in a prime position to seize the growing movement of trade to and from the Asia-Pacific region.
Port Metro Vancouver is North America's largest export port by tonnage and Canada's largest gateway, handling 19% of Canada's total goods trade. Economic activity supported by the Port generates more than 57,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Lower Mainland, providing an average wage that is $23,000 above the national average. Across Canada, the port generates an estimated 100,000 jobs, and provides $9.7 billion in direct GDP.