Canada in brief
Major cities: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec
Official languages: English, French
Population: 35.7 million
Religion: Catholic (39%), other Christians (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 about $11.9 billion last year.
Canadian merchandise exports to Korea were $4.03 billion, while Canadian merchandise imports were $7.9 billion.
Canada’s top exports include mineral ores, mineral fuels and oils, and machinery. Korea’s leading exports are vehicles, machinery, electronics, and electrical machinery and equipment.
At the end of last year, the stock of foreign direct investment in Canada from Korea was valued at $3.8 billion, while Canadian investments in Korea were valued at $465 million.
Korean investments in Canada are mainly in the oil and gas, mining, electronics, auto parts, equipment and life sciences sectors.
On July 1, Canada will celebrate 149 years since its founding, a day of worldwide celebration for Canadians to show off their pride in national history, culture and achievements.
Here in Korea, the Embassy of Canada has been highlighting the tradition every July with a week or month filled with festivities, working hand in hand with the Seoul Metropolitan Government. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/CanadaROK/.
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. First as an English teacher and later as the wife of a diplomat, Tsai 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. While teaching on a volunteer basis, Tsai is also currently enrolled in a local Korean class as a student.
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 2015. Before his current post, he was the minister and deputy head of mission at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin (2010-14), director of North Asia relations at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (2008-10) and director of East Asia relations under the same ministry (2007-08).