Over the last 50 years, the bilateral relationship between Korea and Canada has developed through a strong partnership and, recently, through extensive bilateral cooperation. On January 14, 1963, the two countries established diplomatic relations. In 1965, Korea opened its first Embassy in Ottawa and Canada followed suit in Seoul, 1973. During the 1960s and 1970s, Korea and Canada the two countries shared almost no economic interaction.
In the 1980s, the bilateral relationship between Korea and Canada expanded. Korea realized the need to expand its international relations beyond the scope of the United States to a much broader international sphere. Canada, on the other hand had a new interest in the Asia Pacific region due to an increased influx of Asian immigrants to Canada and the high growth of the Asia Pacific economy. In the 1980s, the total bilateral trade volume increased more than seven times from that of the 1970s.
In 1993, the Special Partnership between the Korea and Canada was established. Korea and Canada sought to diversify bilateral relations by expanding its bilateral relations from traditional economic interchanges to non-traditional interchanges in areas such as education, culture, sports, and the media. In the last 20 years, Korea and Canada have made remarkable progress in terms of their relationship and have successfully demonstrated a strong commitment to enhance cooperation as the middle powers of the Asia Pacific region. The bilateral relationship between Korea and Canada will enable both countries to face the challenges of the new millennium effectively.
Multilateral Relations between Korea and Canada
Multilateral relationships between Korea and Canada have also developed solidly. Korea and Canada are part of 21 founding members of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) established in 1989. Korea and Canada expect trade, investment liberalization, and economic and technological cooperation through APEC. Korea’s new membership in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1996 produced new opportunities for Korea to work with Canada on major international economic issues. Korea and Canada are also committed to strengthening the multilateral trading system of the World Trade Organization(WTO). As globalization increases, the opportunities for Korea and Canada to cooperate internationally will increase and with those opportunities, the benefits to both countries will also increase.