SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2012) - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today successfully concluded his economic mission to South Korea, where he met with government officials and industry leaders to help strengthen investment, innovation and partnerships with Canada in the natural resource sectors.
"The Harper Government recognizes that Canadian exports to South Korea are vital to Canada's future prosperity. We continue to achieve tremendous progress in trade, investment and scientific innovation," said Minister Oliver. "Our Government is aggressively pursuing agreements with countries in the Asia-Pacific region to give Canadian businesses an opportunity to compete in the fastest-growing region in the world."
Minister Oliver's successful visit supports the government's priority of strengthening relationships to increase opportunities for Canada's natural resource sectors, including the export of natural gas to South Korea, the world's second largest importer of the product. The Minister acknowledged the success of Canadian and South Korean companies and promoted Canada as an ideal destination for further South Korean investment by:
- Discussing strengthened cooperation under existing innovation and energy agreements with Minister Sukwoo Hong of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy;
- Attending a roundtable dinner with South Korean and Canadian energy companies to promote Canada's energy sector and its openness to investment from South Korea;
- Expressing the need for further cooperation in energy and environmental research, development and technology at the Korea Institute of Energy Research. This could include collaboration on renewable hybrid energy systems and microgeneration; and
- Meeting with Canada Wood Seoul and industry representatives to learn about opportunities for wood market exports in South Korea and to promote Canadian wood products and wood frame construction.
Minister Oliver also visited the Korea Polar Research Institute, where Canada signed a joint statement regarding cooperative Arctic research and the use of South Korea's new state-of-the-art polar research vessel. This partnership will assist the Geological Survey of Canada in advancing geohazard and environmental research on the Beaufort Shelf and in the Canada Basin.
"Today, South Korea is Canada's seventh-largest trading partner, with two-way trade of more than $11 billion," said Minister Oliver. "We are working together to encourage further trade, investment and technological innovation in our natural resource sectors to strengthen the strategic relationship between our two countries."
The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:
Canada and South Korea Sign Joint Statement to Conduct Polar Research Activities
NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.