'Saskatchewan has what India needs': Premier Moe heads on trade mission

Premier Scott Moe is gearing up for his first trip to India to promote Saskatchewan.

India is Sask.'s third largest international trade market

Premier Scott Moe is headed on a seven-day trade mission to India. (CBC News)

Premier Scott Moe is gearing up for his first trip to India to promote Saskatchewan.

"Saskatchewan is a world-leading producer of sustainable food, fuel and fertilizer, which gives us the unique ability to work with India to enhance its food and energy security," Moe said.

"India's economy and population are booming and Saskatchewan has what India needs to support that growth."

Moe said the trip is being led by the Saskatchewan business community, who share interests here and in India. 

"The mark of success of this would be measured over time," Moe said, pointing to potential future gains in exports and investment in Saskatchewan products. 

Moe said potash, uranium and pulse tariffs are among the items on the agenda. Officials from Cameco will be attending some meetings, as will representatives from Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the University of Regina.

Earlier this year India slapped import tariffs on Canadian pulse crops including chickpeas, peas and lentils. In 2016, Saskatchewan accounted for 90 per cent of Canadian chickpea crop land.

"This is a sensitive subject with respect to the market and non-market tariffs that have been applied to our products," Moe said.

The premier said he would be taking meetings to tackle the tariff issue.

NDP MLA Nicole Sarauer said the premier "set the bar pretty high" by criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for coming back from his trip to India without a trade deal.

"We need to see something substantive that benefits Saskatchewan people," Sarauer said.

The government is sending a six-person delegation to India. Last November, then-Minister of Economy Steven Bonk and his chief of staff went on a trade mission to the country. The eight-day trip cost $14,500.

Moe said Saskatchewan's three largest trading partners are the United States, China and India. Since becoming premier, Moe has made three trips to the U.S. and he travelled to China in September.

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