The Government of Saskatchewan is moving forward with plans to open three new international offices. Developed to facilitate investment and trade efforts to grow the province’s exports and economy, the offices to be located in Tokyo, Japan, Singapore, and New Delhi, India, are expected to open in early 2021.
“International offices, and a sustained international presence, are a key component of our strategy to grow Saskatchewan’s economy as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Today, as we re-open Saskatchewan, a continued focus on export development and trade growth is as essential as when we laid out our ambitious plan in Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan 2030.”
The new international offices will provide services to facilitate investment in Saskatchewan and enhance exports to Asia, including providing information on trade and investment opportunities in Saskatchewan, assisting with investment and trade mission planning for incoming delegations, strengthening partnerships and connecting Saskatchewan businesses with buyers in Asia, and providing information and assistance on in-market trade laws and regulations. Where feasible, the intent will be to co-locate the offices with existing Government of Canada offices.
“Saskatchewan has what the world wants and needs, but in an increasingly volatile trade environment, we need to diversify and strengthen our export markets, while continuing to showcase to the world what a resilient and great place our province is to invest,” Harrison said. “Our exports have seen significant growth to Asia in the past decade, to major markets that we need to keep and grow during our economic recovery and to achieve those aggressive targets in the Growth Plan 2030.”
The Government of Saskatchewan also welcomes the recent announcement by the Government of India that tariffs on lentils have been temporarily reduced from 30 per cent to 10 per cent, effective from June 2 to August 31, 2020.
In November 2019, Minister Harrison went to India on a trade mission and was joined by Stephen J. Harper, CEO and Chairman of Harper and Associates. In India, they met with senior government ministers and officials, and stressed the importance of increased trade between Saskatchewan and India, and advocated for the elimination of trade barriers. Agriculture Minister Marit also visited India in February 2020 and gave the keynote address at the Global Pulses Conclave, noting the importance of transparent and predictable trade.
Saskatchewan exports approximately 68 per cent of the products it produces. Total international merchandise exports in 2019 were valued at approximately $30 billion. The province’s top exports include agricultural products, potash, oil and uranium.