Market Opportunity - South Korea

In 2015, South Korea's agri-food and seafood imports were valued at $36.2 billion representing an increase at a compound annual growth rate of 12.2% from 2013 and 2015.

Video transcript

[Light electronic music fades in.]

[An aerial view of an Asian city fades in. A red bar appears over the video. The title for the video appears on the red bar.]

Text on screen: Canadian Agri-Food Trade Commissioners

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Text on screen: Market Opportunity Korea

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[The shot changes to show a Buddhist statue looking out over a modern Asian city.]

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Angela Bilkhu: South Korea is a fast-moving...

[Cut to a shot of Canadian Agri-Food Trade Commissioner, Angela Bilkhu. She is standing against a white background and talking slightly off camera.]

Text on screen: Angela Bilkhu, Trade Commissioner

...dynamic and highly competitive market. It's the 15th largest economy in the world...

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...and the 4th largest in Asia.

[Cut to a shot of Angela Bilkhu.]

South Korea is not only a major economy in the world...

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...and a key trading partner with Canada...

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...it also serves as a gateway into the dynamic Asia-Pacific region.

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The major opportunity for Canadian agriculture and agri-food businesses...

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Text on screen: Know the Regulations

...is the recently implemented Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

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The free trade agreement provides preferential...

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...or new access to the South Korean marketplace.

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On January 1, 2015...

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...over 97%...

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...of agricultural export duties...

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...were eliminated...

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...providing preferential access...

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...to this marketplace.

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This landmark agreement is Canada's first free trade agreement...

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...in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Once fully implemented...

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...all South Korean tariffs on fish and seafood products...

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...will be eliminated.

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Text on screen: Know the Market

Overall, South Korea imports 60-70%...

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...of it's food needs. Canada has 2% of that share.

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Which represents a great opportunity...

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...for Canadian agriculture and agri-food exporters.

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In 2014....

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...South Korea imported 32.7 billion ...

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...dollars worth of agri-food...

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...and seafood products. Canada was South Korea's...

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...11th largest supplier of these products.

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Top exports included non-durum wheat...

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...canola oil...

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...pork...

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...and food preparations.

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South Korea has a strong affinity to Canada.

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When it thinks of Canada it thinks of blue skies...

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...green spaces.

[Cut to a shot of people buying fresh fruit at a market.]

This is something that Canadian companies should use...

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...to their advantage when they're promoting their product in market.

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Overall, South Korea is a price-sensitive market...

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...where quality and other factors are secondary.

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This may sound contradictory however South Koreans...

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...are willing to pay a premium for a products that they perceive to be...

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...as nutritious and healthy.

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For example, if you go to the natural health section...

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...of a retail store, it's not uncommon to find...

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...a jar of honey for over $70.

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If your product is considered to be healthy...

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...and have health claims attached to it...

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...this might be a niche for you to explore.

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What South Korea is seeing...

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...is a lot of younger consumers...

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...influencing what's in the marketplace.

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These consumers have travelled...

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...or studied abroad...

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...and are now demanding those products...

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...in South Korea.

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The import beer market...

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...has doubled...

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...in 3 years.

[Cut to a shot of a young, Asian woman standing on a rooftop, checking her phone, and holding a bottle of beer.]

That's the youth...

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...driving that demand.

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South Korea has seen an increase...

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...in two-income families...

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...which has lead to an increase in interest in convenient foods.

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If I leave you with one piece of advice it is to be flexible...

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Text on screen: Be Flexible

...when you're working with your in-market representative.

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A simple change like changing your label, changing the colour of your package...

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...or changing of the taste profile...

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...could lead to great success...

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...in this particular market. As a first step...

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...I would encourage you to visit...

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Text on screen: tradecommisioner.gc.ca

...the Trade Commissioner Services website. There's a lot of information about agriculture in South Korea. If you think this market is right for your product...

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Text on screen: Contact Us Today

...I would encourage you to contact AAFC's trade commissioners in South Korea. They'll provide you with market information and put you in touch with key contacts.

[Light electronic music fades out.]

[Cut to the animated Canada wordmark on a white background.]

Text on screen: (c) Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2016)

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