On his one-day visit to Ottawa for a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the president praised Canada’s natural resources and research into artificial intelligence.
He said those strengths complement his country’s work in digital technology and semiconductors.
The two leaders agreed to deepen cooperation on critical minerals used in electric vehicle batteries as both countries seek to cut emissions to fight climate change.
“Yoon and I discussed ways to collaborate in a variety of areas, including essential minerals, batteries for electric vehicles, and emerging technologies, including AI (artificial intelligence),” Trudeau told reporters.
Canada has many of the critical minerals – like lithium, cobalt and nickel – that are now used to make batteries for EVs, and the government is in the process of seeking to help producers and processors scale up production.
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“Canada, as a global leader in the production of minerals, and Korea, a major semiconductor and battery maker – each play crucial roles in global supply chains,” Yoon said through an interpreter.
“The governments and businesses of our two nations will work together for the mineral resources sector to build a cooperative architecture… to respond to the shocks resulting from the changing world order,” Yoon added.
China is currently by far the dominant global supplier of critical minerals used in EVs. Yoon said it was strategically important for both countries to find an alternative supplier.
Both Canada and Korea are still working on strategies for the Asia-Pacific region, such as how to balance trade with human rights.
Trudeau said finding that balance is crucial when it comes to China, so that it can’t drive a wedge between countries.
Multiple Liberal ministers are headed to Seoul next month to flesh out opportunities for trade and cultural exchanges.
—With files from Reuters
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