Chairman's Message

Chairman’s letter

Dear members and friends,

I am very excited about the year ahead for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea! As the newly elected Chair, I am thankful for the support of our members and look forward to elevating the Chamber and progressing towards our goals. As a non-profit organization with an all-volunteer Board of Directors, we depend on your active involvement and support in order to pursue our goals of promoting closer trade relations between Canada and Korea and strengthening our Canadian community here in Korea. We are committed to raising the value of membership in CanCham.

Amidst all of the uncertainty in the world today, Canada is an example of economic stability, rules-based trade and social leadership. And with increasing protectionist sentiments emerging around the world, Canada continues to be committed to promoting freer trade as evidenced by Canada’s multiple free trade agreements which have provided better access to more than a billion consumers around the world. Canada and Korea have built a strong, mutually beneficial trade relationship which will be further supported by the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Virtually all sectors and business activity will be covered by the CKFTA and when the agreement is fully implemented, both countries will remove duties on approximately 98% of tariff lines. We are encouraged by the strong bilateral support to quickly ratify this agreement and optimistic about the opportunities to increase our already strong trade relationship.

At CanCham, after a period of internal focus and improvements, this year we are focused on re-energizing the Chamber, increasing our activities to build community and creating more value for our members. We have committed to 5 Signature Events for the full year in addition to establishing Committees which are aligned with commercial interests. The Signature Events are the CanCham Cup Golf Tournament, Canadian University Alumni Night, Canada Day celebration, Commonwealth Chambers Network Night and the Maple Gala. In addition, we are broadening our commercial committees to include our Education Committee and Small and Medium Sized Business Committee.

The Chamber aims to increase the activity, connectivity and community, and through this, additional value to your membership. As a specific example, we are currently creating a network of preferred vendors for our members to access at membership rates. This network of vendors will include professional services for our corporate members as well as personal services for our individual members.

Finally, I would like to mention that we are an open and inclusive Chamber. We have many members of different nationality who join because they have some connection to Canada, or they are simply interested in Canada. We welcome your membership and appreciate your support as we create more vibrant and relevant Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea.

Peter Kwak

Chairman, Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea