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Ontario concludes trade mission to South Korea and Japan


October 28, 2019
By Top Crop Manager


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Ontario wrapped up its trade mission on Oct. 24, 2019 to South Korea and Japan that included delegates promoting Ontario agri-businesses, signing new trade agreements and developing new trade opportunities in automotive, aerospace and other emerging sectors.

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman held a final meeting with delegates in Tokyo, highlighting successes of the mission’s more than 40 events and meetings with over 100 businesses to strengthen trade and build new international relationships.

During the agri-food portion of the trade mission, delegates from Ontario’s pork, beef, grain and other agri-food sectors met with business leaders, government representatives, importers and retailers. Through meetings, site visits and events during the trip, delegates made new connections and identified future opportunities in Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo.

While in South Korea, the Ontario government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea Importers Association to develop greater trade opportunities for Ontario produced goods. Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade announced that DAYLI Partners, based in Seoul, has partnered with Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP) to create a first-of-its-kind US$20 million global healthcare venture fund. In Japan, Ontario Corn Fed Beef and Kinsho Stores signed a collaboration agreement that will increase the availability of Ontario beef products in Japanese grocery stores.

Minister Hardeman jointly led the trade mission with Minister Fedeli, hoping to increase trade and economic opportunity between Ontario and South Korea and Japan. Raymond Sung Joon Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility, also participated in the South Korean portion of the mission and was instrumental with contact development and initiating important business meetings.

The trade mission also generated positive media coverage in Japan and South Korea that helped increase awareness of Ontario companies and our high-quality agri-food products.

“This trade mission has raised the profile of Ontario agri-food products in South Korea and Japan,” said Minister Ernie Hardeman. “Ontario businesses and agriculture organizations have made important connections with importers, retailers and government representatives, and they’ve set the stage for future business opportunities that will help our agriculture sector thrive in the future.

Hardeman noted the trade mission will support growth in Ontario agri-food exports in the South Korean and Japanese markets. It will also be key to the province’s ongoing efforts to further strengthen market access for these products in those nations.

“We set out on this joint trade mission with the goal of promoting Ontario as the ideal place to do business,” said Minister Vic Fedeli. “It’s very important to bring businesses together face-to-face to build stronger relationships in these growing markets.”

“Ontario grain is sold in every corner of the world and is known for its high quality and safety. Japan is a key strategic market and South Korea has the potential to be an important market for Ontario grain. Grain Farmers of Ontario is pleased to see the Ontario government working to keep our international markets open, and to promote the high quality of our sustainably grown grain,” said Crosby Devitt, vice president, Grain Farmers of Ontario.