Canadian Wine Industry Encouraged by Progress on Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement

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| Source: Canadian Vintners Association (CVA)

OTTAWA, ON, June 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA), the national voice of the grape and wine industry, is encouraged by today's announcement that the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, has tabled the Text of Final Agreement of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement (CKFTA) in the House of Commons. The CVA applauds Minister Fast and the Government of Canada's hard work in finalizing Canada's first free trade agreement in the Asia Pacific, and encourages the Korean Government to ratify at the earliest possible date.

"Korea offers substantial opportunities for Canada's wine industry, and as the world's 15th-largest economy and the fourth-largest in Asia, our exporters are eager to bolster trade with Korea and take advantage the 15 percent tariff elimination on Canadian wine," stated Dan Paszkowski, CVA's President and CEO.

Upon ratification of CKFTA, all import tariffs on Icewine, which represents 96 percent of the total value of wine exports, will cease immediately.   All import tariffs on other wines will be eliminated over a 3-year period.  

Korea is Canada's 5th largest wine export market by value, and with a growing interest in wine, where consumption has increased 177 percent in the last decade, the CVA believes that CKFTA will stimulate exponential growth of Canadian wine exports to this strategic market of more than 50 million people.  "The CVA is confident that CKFTA will further level the playing field for the Canadian wine exports, removing import tariffs on wine and improving our competitive position against major wine exporting nations, including the European Union, United States and Chile–and soon Australia–all who have completed trade agreements with South Korea," stated Paszkowski.

About the Canadian Vintners Association

The Canadian Vintners Association (CVA) is the national voice of the Canadian wine industry, representing more than 90% of annual wine production.  CVA members are engaged in the entire wine value chain from grape growing, farm management, grape harvesting, research, wine production, bottling, retail sales and tourism. www.canadianvintners.com

Beth McMahon,
Vice-President, Government and Public Affairs
Canadian Vintners Association
(613) 755-2736