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Ontario government eyes Korean market
Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli was among the province's highest-level officials to visit Korea recently since the opening of its representative office in 먹튀검증사이트  Seoul in 2017. / Korea Times photo by Yi Whan-woo

By Yi Whan-woo

Ontario has several reasons to believe why it can be a lucrative economic partner for Korea among the four Canadian provinces that run representative offices here separately from the Embassy of Canada.

The province's 1.076 million square kilometers of land makes it the country's second-largest province after Quebec — which has a presence in Korea along with British Columbia and Alberta.

It is the country's most populous province as of 2018 at 14.32 million.

Being the country's largest provincial economy, it accounted for 39 percent of the nationwide gross domestic product (GDP) with 825 billion Canadian dollars, and also accounted for 47 percent of the country's manufacturing output.

This is why Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who took office in June 2018, sent the province's highest-level delegation recently to its Seoul representative office which opened in 2017. It is the fourth and last one to do so among the four Canadian provinces.

The delegation was led by Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman and Minister for Seniors and Accessibility Raymond Sung Joon Cho.

Each minister met with corresponding government officials and entrepreneurs here. They promoted how Korea can expand investment and business opportunities in Ontario, in addition to the bilateral trade volume of $7.2 billion last year.

"We fish where the fish are and it's obviously why we're here," Fedeli told The Korea Times. "We look for opportunities to expand our trade opportunities."

Fedeli said Ford's cabinet is "open for business and open for jobs."

The minister's areas of interest for cooperation ranged from cars to advanced technology, artificial intelligence, health and medical care, renewable and clean energy.

The executives he met were from Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor, LG Electronics and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

Fedeli noted Ontario, which borders the United States, is within one-hour distance by plane to major American cities such as New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and its geographical location can appeal to potential Korean investors interested in sales to the U.S.

In 2018, Korea was Ontario's 13th-largest export market globally and sixth-largest source of imports.

Ontario's exports to Korea amounted to $800 million, with gold, copper and measuring instruments being the top sales items.

The province's imports from Korea totaled $6.4 billion, including cars, auto parts and smartphones.
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