At the end of his mission to South Korea, Québec’s Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, Pierre Arcand, said that Québec needs to bolster its ties with the East Asian country, which offers numerous opportunities for Québec companies and organizations.
“In the context of the free trade negotiations currently under way between Canada and South Korea, it is important to position ourselves in order to benefit from the increasing openness of this market. The country is the world’s 13th-largest economy. Based on the discussions that I had with Korean authorities, business leaders and senior representatives of various institutions, I am highly confident about the future of our relations,” said Minister Arcand.
Political and economic meetings
In addition to meetings with the Republic of Korea’s First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Rector of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Pierre Arcand met with a number of Korean government representatives, business leaders and economic partners of Québec in sectors such as telecommunications, biotechnology, pharmaceutics and tourism.
According to the Minister, “South Korea is highly advanced in a number of sectors of activity in which Québec companies also stand out. I’m thinking in particular of information technology, green technology and agriculture. The Koreans also show a sustained interest in the mining sector, culture and education. Our know-how in these areas and the attraction of our abundant natural resources are valuable assets, in the light of our ambition to increase our trade with South Korea. In Québec, international exports account for close to 25% of gross domestic product. We have to be present on dynamic markets to ensure our economic prosperity.”
Confirming South Korean interest in Québec’s educational offering, the mission ended with the signing of a collaboration agreement between Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Université de Montréal. The pact will stimulate and boost the research and training capacities of both institutions. Present for the occasion, the Rector of Université de Montréal also signed an agreement with Seoul National University. South Korea is number-two in the world in terms of the number of its citizens studying abroad.
Québec trade branch in Seoul