Saskatchewan moves ahead with plans to develop its export market

The Saskatchewan government is opening international trade offices as part of a plan to develop its export market.

Trade offices in London, Dubai, Mexico City and Ho Chi Minh City set to open by April

About 65 per cent of what Saskatchewan produces is exported. (iStock)

Saskatchewan aims to emerge from the pandemic with a bigger presence on the international stage than ever before.

Eighteen months into the pandemic, Saskatchewan is halfway through an expansion plan that will see the provincial government open international trade and investment offices in London, Dubai, Mexico City and Ho Chi Minh City by April.

The move follows the launch of offices in Tokyo, New Delhi and Singapore in January of this year. 

"Over the past several months we have seen significant investments into Saskatchewan and these new offices will help us continue this economic growth and strengthen our international relationships," Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said in a statement released on Aug. 30. No details were given about the costs of the expansion.

The province has had an office in Shanghai since 2010, but decided to expand its international presence to develop trade in priority markets. 

"By taking Saskatchewan to the world and bringing the world to Saskatchewan we will increase exports and attract investment, which will create jobs, economic growth and strong communities across our province," Harrison said.

Saskatchewan exports about 65 per cent of what it produces and the exports were valued at $30 billion in 2020, according to the government's website.

The government plans to increase the value of its exports by 50 per cent and grow private capital investment to $16 billion annually by 2030, it said in the statement.

In the first six months of 2021, exports increased by more than 20 per cent, according to the statement, which also noted that Saskatchewan was the only province in Canada to increase exports in 2020.