This two-day virtual conference featured all the same components as an in-person trade mission, such as high-level speakers from Canada and South Korea, short pitches by mission delegates to showcase women-led Canadian innovation, and networking opportunities for attendees and delegates alike.
Distinguished speakers included:
• The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Government of Canada
• Dr. Songyee Yoon, President, NCSOFT & CEO, NCWEST
• Vicki Saunders, Founder, SheEO
• Tanya van Beisen, Biesen, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Engagement, Catalyst
We encourage you to explore the resources on this page to learn more about Canada–Korea trade, investment opportunities, strategies for advancing gender equality through international trade, and to hear about innovations by Canadian entrepreneur delegates.
The virtual format of the public portions of the event enabled participation by an unlimited number of women entrepreneurs across Canada as non-delegate participants to the mission’s two-day conference agenda. The online format allowed us to reach and connect a broader range of women entrepreneurs who are interested in exporting to Asian markets, regardless of where they are in Canada or their stage of export readiness.
Speakers delivered their remarks in English. French and Korean language interpretation was available for the main conference programming.
Messages from the Ministers
Watch remarks from Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea's Minister for Trade and Mary Ng, Canada's Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade at the September 9, 2020 launch of Canada's First Women-only Virtual Business Mission to South Korea
The pre-mission training sessions featured a series of webinars on curated topics, such as: market entry strategies, current market conditions, available government supports for exporters, international trade law and the legal framework in South Korea, an overview of Korean business culture, and more. These sessions were open to the public, but official delegates were given priority during the Q&A.
Pre-Mission Training Sessions Webinar Videos:
- Sept. 29: South Korea in 2020 (Watch the webinar now available here)
- Oct. 6: Federal & Provincial Government Supports for SMEs (Watch the webinar now available here)
- Oct. 13: Trade Law & Regulations (Watch the webinar now available here)
- Oct. 20: Technical Expertise (official delegates only)
The two-day conference featured prominent leaders from business, government, and technology, as well as company pitch sessions by delegates to showcase women-led Canadian innovation.
FOLLOW OUR MISSIONS:
The South Korea mission theme focused on promoting women entrepreneurs in STEM sectors that provide care services, products, and solutions to support the care and lifestyles of children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. Export opportunities in the care sector can be broadly defined to include, but are not limited to, innovations in health care, education, leisure, and other personal care products and services that promote healthy living solutions such as food, cosmetics, and entertainment.
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WHY SOUTH KOREA?
Gender equality is a priority of South Korean President Moon Jae-In, a self-described 'Feminist President.' The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 2015, is Canada's first and only bilateral free trade agreement in the Asia Pacific region. As of January 1, 2019, 95% of Canada's exports benefit from duty-free access into South Korea – and this will grow to 99.75% of Canadian exports by 2032. South Korea is Canada's 7th largest merchandise trading partner and our 3rd largest in Asia, after China and Japan. There are 61 cities and 498 million consumers located within 2,000 km from South Korea, making it a key gateway to the Asia Pacific region with strategic access to regional and global value chains. Given these dynamics, South Korea presents excellent growth opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Canada.
The mission theme focused on promoting women entrepreneurs in STEM sectors, which provide services, products, and solutions for the care economy supporting the care and lifestyles of children, people with disabilities, and the elderly. Bilateral opportunities in care can be broadly defined to include, but are not limited to, innovations in health care, education, leisure, and other personal care products and services that promote healthy living solutions such as food, cosmetics, and entertainment – all of which contribute to nurturing and supporting present and future populations.
The key objectives of the mission were:
1. To mutually showcase innovations in South Korean and Canadian care technologies, such as information and communications technologies (ICT), robotics, artificial intelligence (A.I.), biotechnology, supply chain solutions, and other products for homecare and improving the quality of life for caregivers and care recipients.
2. To provide bilateral networking opportunities for Canadian women in business with counterparts in South Korea.
3. To provide an opportunity to share insights and best practices on addressing the growing needs of advanced economies facing demographic challenges through tech innovations, market solutions, and public policy.
With one of the lowest birth rates in the world, a rapidly aging population, and a society that values higher education, South Korea has and continues to make investments in the care economy a national priority, presenting Canadian women-owned and women-led SMEs (small and medium enterprises) involved in this sector with tremendous growth opportunities.
For inquiries, please contact:
A.W. Lee, PhD
Diversity and Inclusive Growth Strategy for
Women Entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Toronto
205-375 University Ave.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2J5