Canada in briefCanada in brief
Major cities: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec
Official language: English, French
Population: 35.7 million
Religion: Catholic (39%), other Christian (29%), nonreligious (24%)
Area: 3,854,085 square miles
Number of Korean expats: 2 million (2013)
Half-century of ties
Canada and Korea established formal diplomatic relations in 1963. A decade later, Canada opened its embassy on Korean soil. In 2013, Canada and Korea celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The two countries designated 2013 as the Year of Korea in Canada and the Year of Canada in Korea.
The two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Korea is robust, reaching $11.4 billion last year. Canadian merchandise exports to Korea were $4.16 billion, while Canadian merchandise imports were $7.26 billion. Canada’s top exports include coal, copper, and wheat. Korea’s leading exports include automobiles, computer parts and non-crude oil.
At the end of last year, the stock of foreign direct investment from Korea into Canada was valued at $4.9 billion, while the stock of Canadian direct investment in Korea was valued at $534 million. Korean investments in Canada are mainly in the oil and gas, mining, electronics, auto parts and equipment sectors.
Born in France, Lucie Tsai spent a few years in the United States before moving with her parents to Canada at the age of 7. As the wife of a diplomat, she then traveled around the world, living in Taiwan, Vietnam, Turkey, Romania, Switzerland, Germany, and now in Korea. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in political science and Canadian studies, Tsai went on to acquire ESL certification, and then a master’s in linguistics. She has taught English in a variety of different schools and universities. No longer a teacher, she’s currently enrolled in a local Korean class as a student.
Canadian ambassador to Korea
A graduate of McGill University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in Russian, Eric Walsh has served as the Canadian ambassador to Korea since February. Before his current post, he was the minister and deputy head of mission at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin (2010-2014), director of North Asia relations at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (2008-2010) and director of East Asia relations under the same ministry (2007-2008).