Canada announced on Friday that it would open formal free-trade negotiations with South Korea as Ottawa aims for a firmer foothold in the booming Asian region.
The negotiations will start later this month in Seoul, the South Korean capital, said Trade Minister Jim Peterson, adding that a formalized trade pact with South Korea could be lucrative for a range of Canadian companies.
"Canada places great importance on emerging economies, and sees Korea as a strategic gateway to the dynamic northeast Asian region," Peterson said.
Current two-way trade between the two nations is about US$6.6 billion, most of it exports from South Korea into Canada.
A deal could even out the trade balance, though some industries worry about unfair competition. Some automakers and shipbuilders say the South Korean government's support for its industries is detrimental to competitors.
Canada hopes to eliminate tariffs for "substantially all trade" and will work to address non-tariff barriers, Peterson said in a statement.
He said a free-trade agreement could create new opportunities for Canadian businesses in such areas as agriculture, fisheries and natural resources, as well as in the machinery and equipment industries and among financial and professional services.
Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun met in Santiago, Chile, last November and announced that the two nations would explore the feasibility of negotiating a trade agreement.
Canada believes such an agreement would improve market access for Canadian exporters, reduce the red tape and transaction costs for companies doing business with one another in both countries, and enhance market access in the areas of financial, high-tech and professional services.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the