SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — Lawrence MacAulay, Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, concluded on April 27 an agricultural trade mission to Japan and South Korea where he was joined by representatives from the Canadian grain and oilseed sectors to emphasize the mutual importance of Canada’s trading relationships with these countries. 

In Tokyo, MacAulay joined the Canadian industry in meetings with the Grain Importers Association and the Japan Flour Millers Association to promote sales of high-quality Canadian wheat. 

In Seoul, MacAulay met with South Korean Agriculture Minister Lee Dong-Phil to discuss the benefits of science-based trade, market access for Canadian agri-food products, and the ongoing implementation of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on Jan. 1, 2015. The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement has helped strengthen a mutually beneficial agri-food and seafood bilateral trade relationship that has grown 45% over the past two years to reach C$723 million ($577 million) in 2015. MacAulay also participated in meetings with other industry groups to emphasize Canada's safe and stable source for wheat, beef and pork.

Earlier during this mission, MacAulay participated in the G7 Agriculture Ministers' Meetings in Niigata, Japan, where Ministers supported the adoption of the G7 Niigata Agriculture Ministers' Meeting Declaration, which focuses on work towards revitalizing rural areas and increasing farmers' income; improving sustainable agricultural production and productivity; and reducing agriculture's environmental footprint and adapting to climate change. In 2015, Canada exported C$3.8 billion of agriculture, agri-food and seafood products to Japan, representing approximately 40% of all Canadian merchandise exports to this market.